Lawmakers mull plans for mental health facility

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are working through how to pay for a new mental health facility at the Fulton State Hospital campus.

The hospital is Missouri's only maximum-security psychiatric facility. Patients include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment, and people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.

Officials could back the issuance of bonds for the project. They must decide what state board should issue them and how quickly to pay them off.

A longer payment schedule would require devoting less money each year but require more overall interest payments. Paying off the bonds sooner would mean less interest but tie up more state funds during that period.

The deadline for passing budget bills is Friday and May 16 for non-budget legislation.

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