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The Governor withholds $25 million for a new health lab

November 5, 2001
By: Richard Jordan
State Capital Bureau

Money set aside to help deal with the threat of bioterrorism is being withheld by Governor Holden.

The Missouri Legislature approved a 25 million dollar bill for the construction of a new state health lab last session.

The story from Richard Jordan at the State Capitol.

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A letter was sent to Governor Holden by members of the Senate Iterim Committee on Improving Health Care, urging him to release the 25 million dollars he approved for a new state health lab.

According to Senator Marvin Singleton who is the only doctor in the state senate, there is only one lab in the state that could test for biochemical diseases like anthrax.

The governor's spokesman, Jerry Nachtigal says Missouri resdients can be confident in the state Health Department.

Actuality:jerryn2
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Contents: spokesman for the governor says the Health Dept. can handle bioterrorism

The money for the new health lab would have come from the tobacco settlement fund.

It is now being used to plug general revenue shortfalls.

In Jefferson City, Richard Jordan - KMOX News.

The governor is not releasing 25 million dollars set aside to help build a new health lab that would confront the threat of bioterrorism in Missouri.

The story from Richard Jordan in Jefferson City.

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Right now the state has only one facility that can detect diseases like anthrax, but a new health lab would also have that capability.

The legislature passed a bill which was signed by the governor that set aside the money from the tobacco settlement to go toward construction of the new lab.

Jerry Nactigal, the governor's spokesperson, says the money will be used to balance the state budget instead.

Actuality:jerry1
RunTime: 14
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Contents: governor's spokesman says money will be used to balance the budget

Officials at the health department say a new lab would make things safer and easier for their employees.

In Jefferson City, Richard Jordan - KMOX News.

The governor delays the next step by the Missouri Legislature to deal with bioterrorism threats.

Richard Jordan reports from Jefferson City.

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A new state health lab in Missouri is on hold, after the governor refused to release 25 million dollars he earlier approved for it's construction.

A majority of the Senate Iterim Committee on Improving Health Care sent a letter to Governor Holden asking him release the funds.

On that committee is Senator Marvin Singleton, a physician.

Actuality:single1
RunTime: 09
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Contents: Sen. Singleton says he will continue to sponsor health related issues

The new health lab would be able to test for diseases such as anthrax; only one other lab in the state can do that at this time.

And that lab is processing 184 suspected samples of anthrax.

At the Capitol, Richard Jordan - KMOX News.