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      Lawmakers embrace plan for Fulton hospital project

      The Fulton State Hospital is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River.

      Missouri legislative budget leaders have embraced a financing plan for a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.

      The proposal calls for issuing bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board and paying them off over 25 years. The upcoming year's budget would include $14.2 million for payment on bonds. House and Senate negotiators were working Tuesday on a final version of next year's state budget.

      The financing proposal approved Tuesday by the lawmakers follows Gov. Jay Nixon's plan for the project.

      The Fulton State Hospital is Missouri's only maximum-security psychiatric facility and the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. Patients include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment, and people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.