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Mo. House comes up with plan for funding Fulton State Hospital

Published On: Feb 24 2014 09:28:57 PM CST
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

Missouri House of Representatives announced their plan to fund the new Fulton State Mental Hospital.

Their plan - to pay $47 million per year over the course of five years with revenue bonds.  It's a plan Chairman Rick Stream said will save taxpayers $120 million over the course of the project.

They would use the same revenue bonds Gov. Nixon proposed using, except over a much shorter time span -- five years, instead of 25 years like the governor originally proposed.

Speaker Tim Jones said this project is a top priority.

"This is a project that's long overdue," Speaker Jones said.

That's because some lawmakers, like Rep. Jeannie Riddle, consider the mental hospital "the most dangerous place to work in the state".

"We will get this hospital done," Rep. Riddle said. "With a plan that we feel is fiscally responsible to taxpayers."

The plan wouldn't affect the scheduled start and end date of construction on the new building, which will be built in Callaway County.

It's a plan many seem happy with.

"We've spoken to members of the Senate and they seem to be on bard with it," Rep. Stream said.

The governor's office released a statement regarding the plan saying, " "We appreciate members of the Missouri House and Senate for responding to Gov. Nixon's call to replace the dangerous and deteriorating Fulton State Hospital. We applaud Chairman Stream for working on a bipartisan plan to issue bonds to address this issue so that the project can begin without needless delay. As this continues to move through the process, we look forward to working with members of the Senate and others to fund this project in the most cost-effective way possible."

Rep. Chris Kelly said this plan was a substantial step forward in the plans for the new maximum security mental hospital.

Rep. Stream filed a bill Monday night to approve the funding which will include paying off the first bond payment.

"We're all in.  We'll get it done in five years and it'll be a good facility," Rep. Stream said.

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