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Lawmakers say its business as usual despite governor’s controversy

Lawmakers continue to be divided on several issues in the wake of the news of Governor Eric Greitens affair and accusations that he blackmailed a mistress.

ABC17 News has reported lawmakers from both sides of the aisle calling for the governor to resign, and saying his affairs are distracting from the work that needs to be done this session.

But Thursday, top Senate leadership said they will not call for Greitens to resign, and touted accomplishments of the short week.

Majority Leader Mike Kehoe and President Pro Tem Ron Richard laid out some of the work completed this week in the midst of the governor’s controversial allegations.

A lobbyist gift ban bill approved in the House of Representatives Wednesday could get play on the Senate floor as early as next week.

“I think this is the earliest we’ve gotten things to the calendar,” said Kehoe.”House and Senate leadership have met several times and we’re going to continue to do business of the state.”

Richard, a longtime legislator, said there have always been distractions to the work, but he vowed to keep lawmakers on track.

“I protect the institution every chance I get and make sure that we have the ability to do what we do which is appropriate, file legislation and pass it,” he said. “People can sign it or not sign it, or testify against it. You can have every confidence that we know what to do.”

Both lawmakers said people make mistakes, and that shouldn’t be a cause to resign.

“We’re human,” said Kehoe. “Certainly if something comes forward that is more severe that changes the storyline, I will have a different answer.”

When asked what he needed from the governor going forward, Kehoe said he “need[ed] him to sign the bills we send him.”

Lawmakers will be back in the building Monday to reconvene.

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