Cody Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Cody Smith

St. Louis County is interested in joining a statewide eletronic monitoring program for people awaiting trial once Missouri gets it up and running.
FIle photo | Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is planning a statewide electronic monitoring program for people awaiting trial in local jails — with the hope of saving money.

The state put $5 million toward electronic monitoring in its current budget, but the program is still several months away from being launched. 

Missouri is required to help counties and cities cover the costs of holding people in jail and transporting them to state prisons, but the state hasn’t been able to keep up with its payments — leaving local governments in a lurch. The state ended its last budget cycle in July owing cities and counties a total of $32.5 million.

The Missouri General Assembly beat the Friday evening deadline to pass the $29.7 billion state budget, but took the long way there, with the Senate’s final vote coming at just after 2 a.m.

In a day dominated by tensions between the chambers, the House also made quick work of legislation that came up just Thursday that offers $50 million in tax incentives to General Motors. The automaker is considering a major expansion at its plant in suburban St. Louis.