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Growing number of Missouri lawmakers also business owners

A growing number of Missouri legislators have been listing work with small businesses and management as their occupation over the last 30 years. (KTVO file)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A growing number of Missouri legislators have been listing work with small businesses and management as their occupation over the last 30 years.

The Columbia Missourian reports there were more business owners and employees in the 2017 Legislature than any other occupation, including attorneys and teachers.

According to lawmakers' self-reported outside job listings from this year, 36 legislators are involved in small business. The Missouri Legislative Library shows that there were only 18 in 1987.

University of Missouri in Columbia political science professor Peverill Squire has studied the Missouri Legislature for more than three decades. Squire attributes the shift in occupation to the increase in Republicans in the Legislature.

Democratic Rep. Mary Nichols says lawmakers should represent a variety of occupations because their outside jobs influence their legislative work.

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