Nixon Discusses Taiwan Trip, Healthcare Program Expansion

7 years 1 week 6 hours ago Thursday, December 09 2010 Dec 9, 2010 Thursday, December 09, 2010 7:34:59 PM CST December 09, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon held a news conference Thursday to announce the Department of Mental Health would expand one of its programs to help more mentally ill Missourians.

However, the open-ended news conference soon changed course when reporters asked why Nixon last week postponed a trip to South Korea and Taiwan.

Nixon had declared that his delegation had "travel challenges" and therefore could not make the trip.

However, there's been speculation Nixon may have changed his plans because of the possible damage it may do to a potential state business deal.

China is currently looking into possibly making Lambert Airport in St. Louis into a trading hub.

One of the countries Nixon was going to go to, Taiwan, has a turbulent relationship with China.

Nixon did not say whether this was in fact the case.

"I just felt at this time because there's a lot going on in that zone right now and with the timing of this that the best thing to do was to postpone and reschedule," Nixon said.

He did say, however, the trip was only postponed; he still wants to visit the countries.

The main purpose of Thursday's news conference was the announcement of the expansion of a mental health care program.

The Department of Mental Health plans to expand its "Partnership for Hope" program to another 500 families with members who are mentally ill.

Those families will receive up to $12,000 in services per year.

"Helping them [mentally ill individuals] get the services they need to live up to their God-given potential is a responsibility and an opportunity we all share," Nixon said.



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