The Missouri Senate has passed a 34-billion dollar state operating budget that could put an end to a waitlist for public defender services and help reduce caseloads. The Missouri Public Defender System has nearly 400 lawyers handling about 90,000 cases annually. Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Hegeman (hegga-mun) says the budget proposal would add several attorneys.
FTE stands for full-time employees. A group of House and Senate members will start negotiating their budget differences early next week.