The legislature says some people in state custody are too dangerous to be guarded by sleepy people.
Backers of a bill sent to the governor say the maximum security units for the criminally insane at the Fulton State Hospital and the Sexual Predator Unit at the Farmington mental health facility are places that need alert staffs.
The legislature has limited workers at those two facilities to no more than 12 hours in each 24-hour period. Senate sponsor Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City has heard reports of people working double shifts, and more, at times. But he says those places are too dangerous for that.
He was speaking to St. Louis Senator Jim Lembke.
The mental health department says it might need 15 to 20 more workers if the bill becomes law.