Legislators question state's purchase of $5.6M airplane

Jan 23, 2013

Some Republicans in the State Senate are expressing outrage that the Missouri Highway Patrol spent more than $5.5 million on a new airplane that could be used by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and other elected state officials. 

Freshman Senator Ryan Silvey of Kansas City and a few others paid a visit Wednesday to Jefferson City’s airport to examine the King Air 250. Silvey says lawmakers should have had input into the purchase: “It was circumventing the legislature to purchase a new plane for the governor to fly around the state to have these press conferences…it’s very troubling, especially at this time…you gotta remember, this is the governor that recommended cutting 100 million dollars out of Higher Education last year.”

Silvey says he was told by the Highway Patrol that the plane’s first flight was Wednesday, and that it would be used to take Governor Nixon to St. Louis.  The governor’s office referred all calls to the State Highway Patrol, which has not responded to our requests for a comment.