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      Mo. officials to consider to new building bonds

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri has finally paid off a $600 million bond issue approved by voters in 1982. Now, lawmakers are considering whether to ask voters to take out a new loan.

      When they convene in January, Missouri lawmakers could consider a new bond issuance worth as much as $1 billion to finance construction at college campuses, repairs at state mental health institutions and office buildings and maybe even new road work.

      Supporters say several factors make it a good time to issue bonds. Interest rates are low. Construction costs are down. Missouri has a long list of capital improvement needs. And now that the 1982 bond initiative is repaid, Missouri has some available cash.

      State figures show the 1982 initiative cost the state $1.25 billion after all the interest was paid.