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Mo. budget funds lab for faster newborn screenings

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers are putting more money into the budget to try to speed up the results of newborn blood screenings.

A budget plan pending in the House would add about $150,000 for the state public health laboratory to conduct newborn screenings on Saturdays and have a courier service on Sundays.

The money was inserted into the budget last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream, of Kirkwood. It’s supported by House member Sheila Solon, of Blue Springs.

Solon cited research showing that Missouri ranks poorly in how quickly the newborn blood samples reach labs for testing. She told The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1eKBxna ) that she hopes the additional money can help speed up the process and potentially save lives.

Missouri screens babies for 79 different health conditions.

AP-WF-03-17-14 1349GMT<