Posted: Jan 23, 2014 1:18 PM by Kelly Skehen, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jan 28, 2014 7:23 AM
FULTON - Gov. Jay Nixon pushed for the legislature Thursday morning to approve a $198 million bond to be used to repair the Fulton State Hospital.
The hospital is Callaway County's largest employer and is in disrepair, which critics say is a safety hazard to hospital staff and patients.
Gov. Jay Nixon assured that if passed, the $198 million bond would meet revenue estimates.
The bond does not need voters approval to be passed. When asked whether putting the bond before the legislature rather than taking the issue to voters was unconstitutional, Nixon said that was not an issue.
Kurt Schaefer, R-19th District, who is chairman of the Senate appropriations committe, has questioned why Nixon is insistant to rebuild the Fulton State Hospital. Schaefer said Nixon has seemed uninterested in the past. Nixon said he has always been a supporter of rebuilding voters shouldn't be distracted by political rhetoric.
Last year, the legislature approved $14 million which is now being used for site designs. Nixon is asking for supplemental funding to go towards the operations of the new Fulton State Hospital during its first year in operation. The approval of the supplemental funding means if the $198 million bond is approved, the rebuild of the new Fulton State Hospital will be ready to go immediately.