JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.

The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich did not have legal standing to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011.

The cuts to education and other services were based partly on the expectation that Missouri would incur millions of dollars of unbudgeted costs from a deadly tornado that hit Joplin a month earlier. As it turns out, the Joplin costs came in lower than expected.

The Supreme Court said Schweich's challenge to the governor's budget-cutting authority amounted to a pre-audit of state spending. The court says the auditor does not have such powers.