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Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:20 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing $198 million in bonds for a new maximum and intermediate security facility at the Fulton State Hospital.
The hospital has Missouri's only maximum security psychiatric facility, and patients include those committed by the courts for treatment. It also is the statewide treatment facility for people who have been found guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.
Nixon is proposing a $14 million supplement to the current year's budget for the hospital and another $14 million in his recommendations for the 2015 budget that takes effect July 1.
The governor's budget director says bonds would be issued if lawmakers approve the supplemental budget request. One option would be issuing the bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:16 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Senate panel has halted one of Gov. Jay Nixon's appointments to the Missouri Human Rights Commission.
The Democratic governor appointed former Democratic state House member Sara Lampe, of Springfield, to the board. The Republican-led committee stopped the nomination Wednesday because of concerns that there would be too many Democrats on the commission.
Republican senators said they would not proceed with Lampe's confirmation until Nixon fills more commission slots with Republican nominees.
The Human Rights Commission investigates complaints of discrimination in employment, housing and places that accommodate the public. It currently has two Republicans, three Democrats, and five vacancies. Nixon has one other Democratic nomination to the commission pending before the Senate.
Lampe served in the Legislature from 2005 to 2013 and is a former teacher and school administrator.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:11 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's chief justice is encouraging lawmakers to overhaul state laws detailing various crimes and punishments.
Chief Justice Mary Russell highlighted the need to revise Missouri's criminal code in her annual State of the Judiciary speech Wednesday to a joint session of the House and Senate.
Lawmakers have been working for the past couple of years on a potential criminal code revision. Russell said the last comprehensive overhaul occurred about 35 years ago. Since then, lawmakers have continued to add new crimes and penalties, some of which aren't enforced often.
Russell said there were 232 offenses that were charged only once in the entire state last year and an additional 130 offenses that were charged just twice. She also questioned the fairness of some penalties.