State Leaders to Propose Hospital Funding Solution

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JEFFERSON CITY - House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, is expected to deliver a financial plan Monday that will outline possible funding for new facilities at Fulton State Hospital.

The office of Rep. Ton Flanigan, R-Carthage, confirmed to KOMU 8 News Monday the announcement will take place after the House's evening adjournment.

KOMU 8 News reached out to Fulton State Hospital, but leadership said they did not wish to comment on the expected announcement until after it had been made.

Debra Walker, spokesperson for the Fulton State Hospital, said that while the hospital is aware of the announcement, the new information will not directly impact the work being done - at least not right away.

"Fulton is providing treatment every single day with the funding that we currently have," she said, "Certainly the hope is we're able to the Legislature to appropriate funding to start building a new Fulton State Hospital."

The facility is the oldest public health mental health facility west of the Mississippi River.

"We are continuing to give treatment in a facility that is in dire need of repair," Walker said, "Until we get a new facility there isn't much that changes at Fulton State Hospital."

Ryan Burns is the public Information officer for the State of Missouri Office of Administration. She said the Office is awaiting the upcoming announcement and supports a plan outlined by Gov. Nixon in late January.

At that same time, Gov. Jay Nixon told city leaders in Fulton that improvements to the facility need to be an immediate priority.

"Fulton State Mental Hospital is Missouri's only maximum security psychiatric facility -- a facility is crumbling and in desperate need of replacement," Gov. Nixon said. "Over the past year, we have seen growing bipartisan consensus on the urgent need to rebuild Fulton State Mental Hospital, to protect taxpayers and the safety of all Missourians. The time is now to address this critical public safety priority."

Once funding for new facilities is determined, the Office of Administration will be in charge of the subsequent construction plans.

The Fulton State Hospital is the state's only maximum security psychiatric facility.