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Lt. Governor Kinder is Presiding Over the Senate Daily

February 1, 2005
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

A state leader says he's not surprised to see the Lieutenant Governor in the senate chambers daily.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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The state constitution gives the Lt. Governor the authority to preside over the senate. Historically, Lt. Governors have handed the day to day responsibilies to the President Pro Tem. President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons is a Republican senator from St. Louis County. He says Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is dedicated to the senate.

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"I expect him to be here more than his predecessors but I think as he gets busier in his new role they'll probably be times when he's just not here."

Before being elected Lt. Governor, Kinder was a state senator for 12 years.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland

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When it comes to presiding over the senate, the Lieutenant Governor has all the training he needs.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Lt.Governor Kinder is presiding over the senate daily. The state constitution gives him the authority to do this but most Lt. Governors have left that job to the President Pro Tem.

Republican Senator Mike Gibbons is the President Pro Tem. He says he thinks Kinder likes being involved because he was a state senator for 12 years before being elected Lt. Governor.

Gibbons says the senate welcomes Kinder.

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"As far as appointing committee chairmen and committees and that sort of thing he doesn't have any role in that, but he can preside if he wants to be here. So far, he's wanted to be here pretty regularly."

Gibbons says he expects to see less of Lt. Governor Kinder in the senate throughout the legislative session. Gibbons says he thinks Kinder's job as Lt. Governor will keep him busy enough.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.

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The Lieutenant Governor is presiding over the senate daily, but a Republican leader explains the limits of that role.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Before being elected Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder was a state senator for 12 years. The state constitution gives Kinder the authority to preside over the senate when it's in session. Historically Lt. Governors have handed the day to day responsiblities to the President Pro Tem. Republican Senator Mike Gibbons from St. Louis County is the President Pro Tem. Gibbons says Kinder has no authority to appoint committees or committee chairs.

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"I think that we're likely to see some commitment on an issue or two from Lt. Governor Kinder, but otherwise that's about it."

Gibbons says it's not unusual for a Lt. Governor to push a legislative issue they care about.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.