- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers approved more than $220 million in building projects Thursday, including many on college campuses, but it remains uncertain whether some of the projects actually will get money.

The House and Senate both gave final approval to a capital improvements budget that authorizes the spending, but some of the construction projects are contingent upon the issuance of state bonds or an excess of state revenues beyond what lawmakers have projected.

House leaders said they hope to pass a separate bill next week allowing the bonds to be issued.

Assuming the projects all go through as budgeted, “this is the biggest single economic development bill in 33 years,” when Missouri last had a major bond issuance for buildings, said Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia.

Among its many projects, the bill would provide $40 million for a Ozarks Health and Life Science Center at Missouri State University in Springfield, $38.5 million for an expansion of the Lafferre Hall engineering building at the University of Missouri-Columbia, $33 million for a new building for the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia, and $19 million for a new medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Those projects all are among the more than $140 million of items dependent on the issuance of bonds.

The bill also includes more than a dozen projects at universities and community colleges that will require local funding to pay half the cost.

The legislation includes $4.5 million for the Missouri State Highway Patrol to replace a vehicle maintenance facility in Jefferson City that was destroyed by fire in early April.



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