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Missouri Senate approves budget plan

State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph and a medical doctor, was asked Wednesday evening during the Missouri Senate’s budget debate if he had a conflict of interest, because he was arguing against funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Moments later, Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, complained that two of the Senate’s lawyers suggested they could read the state Constitution better than non-lawyer members.

And Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, suggested a couple of times that most of the senators might regret later that they didn’t accept proposed cuts to the budget now, because Nieves and several others are prepared to delay a vote on another budget bill that contains only federal stimulus money.

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“It’s certainly no surprise — we have some members who have very strong opinions on federal funding,” Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, told reporters Wednesday night, “and that’s pretty much what we saw on the amendments.”

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