The Missouri Senate has passed a 34-billion dollar state operating budget that could end a waitlist for public defender services and help reduce caseloads. The Missouri Public Defender System has nearly 400 lawyers handling about 90,000 cases annually. Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Hegeman says the budget proposal would add several attorneys.
FTE stands for full-time employees. A group of House and Senate members will start negotiating their budget differences early next week.