The state is halfway to going another $400-million dollars in debt to fix up neglected state buildings. 

The Senate has approved a bond issue that will pay for a lot of repairs and maintenance that haven’t been done for a decade, at least.  Sponsor Mike Parson of Bolivar says another batch of money will go for something new, a mental hospital in Fulton. The bill raises the state’s debt limits , which upsets a few Senators who object and argue that the state should take money from other programs and pay for the hospital and the repairs out-of-pocket.

One critic, Senator Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit, says the legislature should have been setting the money aside each year to make the repairs on a pay-as-you go basis.  He says the bond issue puts dozens of projects ahead of any other projects or services in the state budget becuase the constitution requires paying down any state debt before money can be spent on anything else.   

The House has to approve the bond issue before the money is available for the projects.

AUDIO: Debate 6:51