Mo. panel probes Nixon's plan for mental hospital

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have questions about Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to issue bonds for a new facility at the Fulton State Hospital.

Gov. Jay Nixon wants to issue $198 million of bonds and pay them off through annual legislative appropriations. He proposes setting aside $14 million this year and an additional $14 million in the 2015 budget for initial bond payments.

The House Budget Committee examined the proposal Wednesday. Legislators asked whether the funding is needed for the current year and about issuing bonds without a public vote. Nixon's administration defended the plan. No one questioned whether the project was needed.

Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream says it is a financing question. Stream says the committee will need more information before making a decision.

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