April 2, 2006 - Posted at 12:32 p.m. CST
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers could be close to
making dubious history -- the first time the state government has
broken a lease by not paying its rent.
Governor Blunt has pushed for the state to get out of a 15-year
lease it signed in 2001 for office space in St. Louis. Officials
say the rent is too high and they haven't been able to get the
landlord to lower the rent or sell the building at a reasonable
The House has already approved a budget lacking the
one-point-three million lease payment. A Senate committee is
now considering a similar move.
Experts are divided on whether breaking the lease will hurt the
state's credit rating and make it harder to lease space in the
Landowner Charles Hennemeyer says his rent is in line for
similar office space in the area.