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Counties Hope Higher Prisoner Per Diem Makes Final State Budget

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- County governments are hoping the House’s proposal to pay them more for holding state prisoners survives the rest of the budget process.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- County governments are hoping the House’s proposal to pay them more for holding state prisoners survives the rest of the budget process.

The House approved a budget that would pay counties $22.58 a day for each prisoner being held on state charges. That would be a three dollars-a-day increase and the first increase in that per diem in years.

Missouri Association of Counties Executive Director Dick Burke says that would be a big boost for many counties’ general revenue funds.

“It impacts the largest counties to the smallest counties,” says Burke. “I think it will be welcome everywhere where they’re operating a county jail.”

Burke says those prisoners are the state’s responsibility.

“There are no county crimes,” notes Burke. “These are all violators or potential violators of state law, and that’s why they’re in a county jail awaiting trial or just being held.

If the proposed increase survives the budget process, it will still be about 15-dollars-a-day less than the maximum that state statute would allow.

The Senate Budget Committee continues today going through and proposing changes to  the FY 2015 budget proposed by the House.


(Mike Lear, Missourinet)

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