Gov. Jay Nixon and members of the House are butting heads over how to fund renovations and upgrades to Fulton State Hospital. The hospital, which is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi, is in major need of a fix up and has become a hazard to employees and patients. In fact, one of every three employees at Fulton State Hospital has to go to the hospital for workplace related injuries.
Nixon claimed the house stripped funding for the hospital but members of the house say that they haven’t acted on the issue. Nixon released a statement pointing the finger of blame at members of the House.
“The house Budget Committee’s vote to strip funding for the long-overdue public safety priority from the supplemental budget puts patients and caregivers at risk,” Nixon said in the statement.
Legislators in the House from both parties dispute the governor’s claims about what occurred. Rep. Chris Kelly of Columbia says the house was focusing on its other budget issues.
“We dealt with the regular appropriation bill and neither put anything in or took anything out or discussed Fulton in any way in that bill,” Kelly said.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream plans on introducing a new plan to the house on Monday.