Stalemate over state budget talks causes a Missouri veteran's hunger strike

May 9, 2012

A final vote awaits on a bill that would include solidifying funding for veteran's homes. Up to $30 million would be shifted within a casino entrance fee fund from early childhood education and put forward to veterans homes. While this awaits a vote in the Senate, one Missouri veteran is on a hunger strike.

Stover resident and Persian Gulf War veteran Bill Fairbairn is on a hunger strike.

"Today I've had one small protein shake and probably a gallon of water," Fairbairn said.

He says he will continue striking until the Senate passes the bill to allow $30 million to veteran's nursing homes.

Fairbairn says he's disappointed on the Senate's inaction and says veterans are watching.

"We're really hoping this year they get their act together and instead of pointing their fingers at each other that they know veterans vote and we point our fingers at them," Fairbairn said.

A Senate filibuster held up the bill late Monday with attempts to strike funding to organizations promoting political activities and direct $2 million to Southeast Missouri State University.

House leaders say they will not act on the state budget due May 11 until the Senate passes the bill.