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Lawmakers announce plans to rebuild Fulton State Mental Hospital

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Saying his fellow lawmakers were “all in,” House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, unveiled his proposal to fund the rebuild of the state’s only maximum-security mental hospital in Fulton.

The facility, which predates the Lincoln Presidency, has been long overdue for repairs for years, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have struggled to locate the hundreds of millions needed to fully rebuild.

Rep. Rick Stream
Rep. Rick Stream

Gov. Jay Nixon called last year for the state’s lawmaker to send a massive general obligation bond — which included the approximately $200 million needed in Fulton — to a vote of the people. Nixon’s proposal called for a 25-year general obligation bond for the project.

Flanked by members of House leadership, Stream filed legislation to establish a five-year revenue bond proposal allocating funds for Fulton.

“The end result is that we will finally realize the construction of this much-needed facility while doing it at a cost to the taxpayers that is $120 million less than what the governor would have us spend.”

Stream’s plan would allocate approximately $47 million annually for payments on bonds related to the construction across five years. The proposal comes after Nixon publically admonished Stream and his budget committee for “slashing” Fulton-related funds from the Budget, something both Democrats and Republicans on the committee called a mischaracterization.

While Nixon’s office has yet to issue any official statement on the proposal, Stream said gubernatorial staff that saw the plan seemed “pretty happy,” with the proposal. Stream said he hoped it was an indicator of successful negotiations to come.