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Missouri lawmakers consider security improvements
Associated Press WriterJEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri needs to spend another $2 million to $3 million to address immediate security concerns, the governor's security adviser told legislative budget writers Thursday.
The money for security improvements will be requested by various state agencies for the budget year that begins July 1, Tim Daniel told the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Daniel said that since Sept. 11, Missouri has spent $785,000 on security improvements, including new security badges for state employees and more guards at government buildings.
Daniel told lawmakers that the relatively small request for security spending is partly because the state must wait to see what the federal government plans to do.
"I don't think it would be wise to spend a lot of money absent a national strategy," Daniel told lawmakers. "We have not received a dime from the federal government -- yet."
Daniel said the budget requests would include $900,000 for the Capitol Police, $833,000 for the Department of Health and Senior Services, $600,000 for the State Data Center and up to $150,000 for Task Force One, Missouri's emergency response unit.
Sen. Wayne Goode, D-St. Louis, vice chairman of the committee, said the state was taking the right approach on security spending.
"I'm glad to see a measured and conservative approach," Goode said. "The current budget situation aside, we should do those things we need to do and that work."
Daniel's remarks to the committee came just hours before Gov. Bob Holden was to announce recommendations of a special security panel he appointed last year.
The 32-member panel, which includes the attorney general, law officers, rescue workers and the mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, has been studying Missouri's readiness in case of a terrorist attack.
The group, of which Daniel is also a member, met in several locations across the state over the past weeks to come up with its recommendations.
Holden announced the formation of the panel in October, one day after U.S. military operations began in Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon.
------On the Net:
Missouri Legislature: http://www.moga.state.mo.us
Gov. Bob Holden: http://www.gov.state.mo.us