Judge rules Missouri owes $26.3 million to blind residents

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A judge has ruled that the state of Missouri owes $26.3 million to more than 3,000 blind people who were underpaid by the Department of Social Services’ blind pension fund.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the judgment by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce was entered last month but made public Sunday.

The blind pension fund was established in the 1920s to provide a social safety net for the blind. About 3,000 Missourians are paid roughly $728 a month from a special levy on property taxes.

In 2006, the Missouri Council of the Blind sued the state for using money from the fund for other state expenses.

Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office has until Nov. 6 to decide whether to appeal.