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Politics

Southwest Missouri Senator Tapped to Chair Appropriations Committee

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/southwestm_98.mp3

A senator from Southwest Missouri has been appointed to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Republican Senator Gary Nodler of Joplin served three terms as vice chairman before being named chairman.

He explains what his appointment will mean to Southwest Missouri.

The announcement of Nodler's appointment came as no surprise to the ranking democrat on the committee, Senator Joan Bray of St Louis County. She says she hopes Nodler will follow his predecessor, Senator Chuck Gross in making sure the committee operates in a non-partisan way.

Nodler says he hopes to work closely with Bray and other democrats on the committee.

Nodler was elected to the Senate in 2002 and has served on the appropriations committee since then.

But Democratic Senator Joan Bray notes that he has spent significantly less time in the state legislature than the previous appropriations chairmen.

Nodler says he has experienced a variety of budget scenarios since coming to Jefferson City five years ago.

Nodler says his main priority will be preparing a balanced budget each year by the constitutional deadline.