Senate Appropriations Continues to Grill Highway Patrol
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Senate Appropriations Continues to Grill Highway Patrol

Date: February 18, 2013
By: Taylor Beck
State Capitol Bureau

The state's top cop was grilled again over the Highway Patrol's purchase of a multi-million dollar plane.
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Wrap: Chairman Senator Kurt Schaefer questioned the Highway Patrol about a request to increase salaries of highway deputies to match those of water deputies.

Years ago the two forces merged and the General Assembly approved an increase of water deputies salaries to match highway deputies. 

Schaefer said he doesn't like this pattern.

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Description: "It shouldn't be lost on anyone that this merger was explained to us as a cost saving measure, and i think if we went back and look we would see that it actually cost us quite a great deal of money."

Schaefer also asked why the patrol asked to buy vehicles out of the general revenue fund when they have nine million dollars in the same revolving fund it purchased the new multi-million dollar plane with.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.

The Executive Director of the Missouri Lottery said it hasn't made enough money to fund early education programs at a Senate Appropriations committee hearing Monday.
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Wrap: The Missouri Lottery Commission said funding early education programs it is supposed to will be a stretch.

The funding system for these programs changed last year when Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill to send money from Missouri casinos into state-run nursing homes for military veterans instead of education programs.

This put more pressure on the commission, but Exective Director of the commission May Scheve says they are trying to adjust.

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Description: "We are doing a number of new initiatives Senator, that my commission has been very engaged with and very excited about to increase our sales because we know the money is so desperately needed."

Scheve said she estimates they will need about 35 million dollars more.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.


Wednesday's Senate Appropriations committee hearing started with another questioning of the Highway Patrol's multi-million dollar plane purchase.
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Wrap: Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer didn't hold back in immediately questioning the Office of Public Safety about the multi-million dollar plane purchase. 

The office of Public Safety oversees the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which purchased the plane.

Schaefer asked why the office didn't think the purchase needed to be discussed beforehand, and Director of the Department of Public Safety Jerry Lee answered.

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Description: "an aircraft of that nature is always going to be rather expensive and I felt like it was a capital improvement and it was within their budget."
Schaefer said the scandal has put a "serious dent" in the trust the General Assembly put in the Highway Patrol.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.

The Senate Appropriations chair said Highway Patrol's multi-million dollar plane purchase cost more than just money.
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Wrap: Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer said the purchase also cost the Missouri State Highway Patrol trust within the General Assembly.

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Description: "I think this whole process has put a serious dent in the discretion and the trust that we put in the patrol."
Schaefer questioned the Highway Patrol about the purchase, but also many of the Highway Patrol's other budget requests.
Two of the most heavily debated budget requests were on increased funding to raise highway deupties' salaries and buying more vehicles through general revenue funds.

Reporting from the state Captiol, I'm Taylor Beck.

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