Gov. Jay Nixon is defending his plan to issue $198 million of bonds for a new maximum and intermediate security facility at the Fulton State Hospital.
The governor wants to pay off the bonds through annual legislative appropriations. He is proposing to set aside $14 million this year and an additional $14 million in the 2015 budget for the initial bond payments. Nixon touted the plan Thursday at City Hall in Fulton.
Nixon says addressing the mental hospital is Missouri's most pressing need and cannot wait. He said his approach is permissible and cited examples of other facilities built using similar financing.
Some legislators have expressed concern. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said Wednesday a bonding proposal without a vote of the people is "extremely troublesome."