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Slay to State: Give city control of police department or pay for it yourselves

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay delivers his annual State of the City report to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen at City Hall in St. Louis on April 25, 2008. Slay spoke out today about local control of St. Louis' police department. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis City Hall is ratcheting up pressure on Jefferson City to relinquish control of the city's police department, or pay for it themselves.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he expects the Missouri legislature to return control of city police department this year.

If not, the Mayor says St. Louis is within its rights to bill the General Assembly for part of the cost of running it.

"There are several options that we have and one of them is to send the state a bill for $100-plus million saying, 'this your department, state, you can pay it.'" - Francis Slay

Slay says a 1980 amendment to the state constitution, called the Hancock Amendment, bars the legislature from passing mandates to local governments without funding.

The move is opposed by the St. Louis Police Officers' Association which claims that city control might jeopardize police officer pensions.

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