Missouri has racked up millions of dollars in debt for county jail reimbursements. The Missouri Senate has passed a 34-billion dollar state operating budget for the next fiscal year that includes 40-million dollars to counties for housing and transporting convicted felons. Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Hegeman says the proposal includes another 14-million to wipe out the debt the state owes in jail reimbursements. Missouri could be the only state in the nation that pays counties and the city of St. Louis for a portion of a defendant’s entire local jail stay if the individual ends up going to state prison.
A group of House and Senate members will start negotiating their budget differences early next week.