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Missouri Senate gets off to rocky start over rules dispute

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Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Senate is off to a rocky start to its new session because of a dispute over rules.

After a ceremonial first day, the Senate’s second day of work Thursday was quickly derailed over a proposal to add four new committee positions.

The plan was put forward by new Republican Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz. Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh also had said more committee positions could help new members build expertise for the future.

But Republican Sens. Doug Libla, of Poplar Bluff, and Gary Romine, of Farmington, tied up the chamber for hours while expressing their displeasure. They said senators already are stretched thin among multiple committees and often can’t give their full attention to people who may travel for hours to testify at committee hearings.

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