MARCH 9, 2004 - Posted at 2:22 p.m. CDT
JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri House Appropriations Committee today voted to keep open state health labs in Poplar Bluff and Springfield.
Lawmakers said residents in those two corners of the state should not have to drive long distances for the services.
Governor Holden had proposed closing the auxillary health labs, which employ seven people between them. Holden suggested increased use of a courier service to take items to the state's only remaining lab, in Jefferson City.
The House panel determined that the state will bring in millions of dollars from the federal government that had not previously been in the budget. That would free up other state revenues that can be spent in other parts of the budget, including on the health labs.