Mid-Missouri lawmakers cite successes

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives throw their papers in the air at the conclusion of the final day of the legislative session Friday, May 18, 2012, in Jefferson City, Mo.

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives throw their papers in the air at the conclusion of the final day of the legislative session Friday, May 18, 2012, in Jefferson City, Mo. Photo by The Associated Press.

Cole County voters in November will elect their next circuit clerk. A bill containing language to make that job an appointed post died Friday, on the last day of the legislative session, after the House amended the bill and the Senate didn’t take it up.

State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, promised to pursue the appointed clerk’s position next year.

Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, and Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, noted the Legislature’s support for extending the work of the Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wages.

The committee worked last year under a mandate that expired at the end of 2011, and verified that Missouri government employees’ paychecks rank last among the 50 states.

The new study will look at state workers’ total compensation, including vacation, insurance and retirement benefits.

Barnes said his biggest success was winning “$15 million in (higher) salaries for state employees who work in Cole County” in the budget for the state business year that begins July 1 — his top priority this year.

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