Nixon and Hulshof face off

Democrat Attorney General Jay Nixon and U.S. Ninth Congressional District Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., have begun the fight for governor with differing policies concerning higher education, health care and the economy.

In regards to higher education, Nixon supports the Missouri Promise plan.

The Missouri Promise is "a new plan to provide a pathway for middle-class Missourians to earn a four-year degree from a state college or university tuition free," a news release from Nixon's campaign stated.

The program is for Missouri students who are seeking a four-year degree who meet specific academic, community service and financial need requirements.

After completing a two-year degree at a Missouri community college or technical school, students who meet the criteria would be eligible to access the Missouri Promise scholarship to cover the cost of tuition at a Missouri state college or university, the news release stated.

Hulshof supports current Gov. Matt Blunt's Lewis & Clark Discovery Initiative, Hulshof's Web site stated. According to a campaign news release, Hulshof would make increasing funding for higher education a top priority.

"He wants to change the fact that Missouri is so low in higher education funding," Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker said. "He will be offering new solutions."

Health care is another important issue in the upcoming election. Nixon helped create the Missouri Foundation for Health, which is a foundation dedicated to strengthening Missouri's health care system and to promoting prevention and healthy lifestyles, Nixon's campaign Web site stated. Nixon has proposed creating the Show-Me-Health Care Consumer Web page, which would allow consumers to compare prices and plans, increase awareness of available community-based resources and lower costs of health care by raising competition, a news release from Nixon's campaign stated.

Hulshof's Web site states that he promotes a patient-focused system that revolves around prevention and wellness with an emphasis on the doctor/patient relationship.

"The old system of delivering care via the emergency room is neither beneficial to patients or to taxpayers," Hulshof's campaign Web site stated.

Hulshof will be unveiling a health care proposal on Tuesday.

"Jay Nixon wants to take us back to the 20th century," Baker said. "Hulshof has new, innovative plans."

In addition to the costs of higher education and health care, oil is a large part of both platforms. Nixon proposes to push for policies that will lessen the dependence on oil. Nixon supports the development of ethanol, wind, solar, bio-diesel and cellulosic-based biofuels in Missouri, Nixon's Web site stated.

Hulshof wants to lessen Missouri's reliance on foreign sources of energy through increased use of "homegrown fuels" like biodiesel and ethanol, Hulshof's Web site stated.

While Hulshof's primary opponent, Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman, has not endorsed his campaign, Baker said the Republican Party is uniting behind Hulshof.

"The more the party learns about Jay Nixon, the less likely they are to support him," Baker said.

Hulshof will be releasing a policy package further detailing all of his upcoming policies later this week, Baker said.

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