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Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

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Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

State Budget Cut: Short Term Fix vs. Long-Term Costs

May 10, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A move to save money for Missouri now could cost more money in the long run. Advocates for the disabled are sounding that warning, while also raising issues about the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. The Missouri Department of Mental Health plans to rebuild a state-run institution in the western Missouri town of Nevada by building nine segregated group homes, in the name of saving money.

Stephanie Briscoe. board chair of the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities says society has moved away from such institutional settings because they cost taxpayers more money than investing in ways to help people with developmental disabilities to live in their communities. And, she argues that 'segregated group homes' are no different from institutions.

"These types of things are taken away from people who are institutionalized, because they are told when to eat, when to shower. If they want to go see a movie, and it's too late to watch TV, and it's 'lights out' time, they're not able to do these things."

Cathy Brown, a program specialist with the Planning Council, says there are about 5,000 Missourians on a waiting list for home and community-based services, who will now continue to wait because of money going into this plan.

"And I think that as long as we continue invest limited dollars in these segregated settings, we're never going to figure out how to serve those people on the waiting list in their homes and in their communities."

Supporters of the plan say the state can save an estimated $3 million by rebuilding the institution in Nevada. Details of this plan haven't been released, but advocates says $9 million was allocated for a similar plan, half the size of this proposal, in another part of the state.

Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO