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Missouri Legislature convenes for 2006 session

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri lawmakers convened in Jefferson City Wednesday for the start of the 2006 legislative session.

Activity was mostly ceremonial and little actual business was conducted. But Republican leaders laid out their priorities for the election year session, which include more health care reform, eminent domain control and energy independence.

Senate Majority Floor leader Charlie Shields says the GOP wants to pass long-term legislation.

"Particularly like in Medicaid, we're talking about strategic planning and things that will affect this state for not only years, but decades to come, Shields said. And that's really what the Senate is all about and sort of a theme that we've taken along is moving the state forward and setting the stage for this state not only for the next few years but the next decade. .

Republicans hold a 96-to-64 majority over Democrats in the House and a 22-to-11 majority in the Senate. All of the House seats and half of the Senate seats are up for election this year.