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Politics

Missouri Senate Passes $200 Million Bond Repurpose

Missouri Capitol Building
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Missouri Statehouse in Jefferson City

200 million dollars in bonds originally meant for the construction of a new mental health facility will now be used for state building repairs.

The Missouri State Senate passed a bill on Thursday to repurpose bonds issued by the Board of Public Buildings originally for a new mental health facility at Fulton State Hospital. The new facility is now being funded by the Missouri Development Finance Board, an entity that can issue bonds for state projects.

“Since we, the state, chose to finance the Fulton State Hospital through Missouri Development Finance Board, we don’t need the Board of Public Building bonding capacity for Fulton,” Linda Lueberring, Missouri State Budget Director, said. “The Legislature is free to use that in other ways.”

Senator Mike Parson is sponsoring the bill that would repurpose the bond money for projects like the State Capitol Building and Annex.

“We’ve got some major renovation we have to do, especially under the front steps of the State Capitol because of the water damage that’s occurring below,” Parson said. “That was just one of the things that we felt was a priority to be able to do that.”

Parson says that the original bill that was passed in 2014 stated that the money could only be used for Fulton Hospital.

“We were trying to free up the language where we could use that other 200 million for either more deferred maintenance or actually for some new projects,” Parson said.

At least $75 million of the bonds will be used on the State Capitol and Annex. 

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