As Ferguson protests continue, the costs to the city are mounting. In a call late Friday night with members of the state legislature, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sought more funding for National Guard and state police.
Gov. Jay Nixon says the costs of the work of the National Guard and police in Ferguson is set to exceed this year’s budget allotment. The current year’s fiscal budget provides $4 million for Missouri National Guard emergency response and $3.4 million for the State Emergency Management Agency, which covers expenses and costs related to the state police. The current budget year runs through June 30. The governor says there could be additional costs related to the Ferguson protests in the form of cleanup efforts, such as debris removal. There could also be other emergencies occur between now and June 30 that would require additional funding.
The National Guard and state police have maintained a steady presence in Ferguson since the protests began after a grand jury failed to indict Office Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed at the time he was shot and killed.
In the special legislative session last night, the governor stated time is of the essence in ensuring the state police and National Guard receives payment on December 15.
“The dedicated men and women of the National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are playing a critical role in keeping people safe and protecting property in the St. Louis region. Time is of the essence. It is vital that we act quickly so that we can fulfill our obligation to the men and women who are so bravely and capably serving their fellow citizens.”
The governor stated the call with legislators was productive, and he looks forward to working with legislators in the coming days to ensure resources are available.
The Ferguson protests picked up again Friday night, as hundreds of protestors returned to the streets of the city. A conflict between protestors and authorities occurred outside of the Ferguson Police Department, resulting in 15 arrests. One of the protestors who was arrested faces charges of assaulting a police officer. Other protestors remained peaceful.
Protests continue across the country in support of Ferguson.
A special session is needed for the governor to request further funding in regards to the costs associated with the Ferguson protests as the appropriations set aside for the state’s emergency costs do not include an “estimated” designation. Without that designation, the governor must ask the legislature to appropriate additional funding when needed.
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