Governor Jay Nixon says he will call the legislature back to the capital in December to provide money for the Missouri National Guard and Highway Patrol to continue responding to unrest in Ferguson. Nixon says the work the Guard and Patrol are doing are on pace to overtax their current budget allotment.
The current budget provides $4-million for the Guard and $3.4-million for the State Emergency Management Agency to respond to state emergencies through June 30. He notes there could be additional costs for cleanup in Ferguson, and other emergencies or disasters could arise between now and June 30 that could require more money to respond to.
Nixon called his conversation with legislative leaders “productive.”
“It’s clear these legislators share our commitment to public safety and understand the need for prompt action. I look forward to working with legislators in the coming days to ensure these vital resources are available,” said Nixon’s statement.
The Patrol and Guard have been part of the state’s response to unrest that has followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Junior, August 9 by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Nearly two weeks ago he issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and calling on those agencies to be part of an effort to “protect civil rights and ensure public safety.”
With that mission, the Patrol is part of a unified command with St. Louis Metropolitan Police and St. Louis County Police and 2,200 National Guard troops have been deployed in the St. Louis region since Tuesday.
The date the special session will begin and other details will be released in the coming days.
The action means that the current General Assembly, including some members who will not be back in January due to term limits or to having lost re-election bids, will convene at the State Capitol one final time. The new slate of state lawmakers that was elected this month won’t be sworn in until January.