Lawmakers discuss funding for Fulton State Hospital

Lawmakers discuss rebuilding of Fulton State Hospital

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Fulton State Hospital was built in 1851 and is the oldest mental hospital West of the Mississippi.

Representatives Jeanie Riddle and John Dhiel agree that the facility is becoming more and more dangerous for the patients and workers.

The House and Senate appropriated thirteen million dollars last year to rebuild the state hospital.

The next step, which is construction, will require the bill to be signed by Governor Jay Nixon in Mid-May.

Representative Jeanie Riddle said, "I want to assure you the House will do its part to see that this facility, a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital Campus sees through and is built."

When Representative John Dhiel was asked if there was any doubt the bill would not be passed this session he said, "Well, it's the General Assembly so there's always a chance."

Governor Nixon held a news conference Tuesday in his office and responded to both Riddle and Dhiel's comments regarding his absence in the push for funding the new facility's construction.

"I've stated time and time and time again, that this is the year to get that done and anyone that has not had the ability to hear that, I'll be glad to say it again", Governor Nixon said.

Governor Nixon also said the primary thing to do this year is to rebuild the hospital.

Riddle and Dhiel want to fund the construction over a span of five years.

Whereas the Governor proposed twenty-five years.

Both Representatives agree they are willing to negotiate with the Senate on the time frame.

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