State Senate and House leadership has called for public hearings to investigate Governor Jay Nixon’s response to the recent protests in Ferguson following the grand jury’s decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson. The proceedings will also be used to determine if emergency funds are necessary to cover operations for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri National Guard.
According to a statement release by the Senate, President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, House Speaker Tom Jones, and House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl are willing to providing necessary resoources to maintain public safety in Ferguson, but have concerns regarding the Governor’s failure to communicate and provide adequate information to state leaders. The statement claims Senate and House analysis reveals the governor has nearly $3.1 million in emergency assistance for the Highway Patrol and another $3.2 million for emergency payment to the Guard. This is in addition to $51.8 million in the Patrol operating budget and $11.6 million to cover the Guard’s response to declared emergencies. Based on these numbers, state government leaders believe there are adequate funds available to cover necessary expenses in Ferguson.
The committee is expected to hold the first hearing in the next few days.