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As session nears end, lawmakers reach deal on controversial village bill

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – Lawmakers avoided a near disaster early Friday after reaching a deal over how best to dispose of a law that allows landowners to form self-governing villages and dodge local zoning rules.

On Thursday night, several senators launched a filibuster of the final version of the village law repeal.

Some feared that House Speaker Rod Jetton, who created the controversial law in 2007, would retaliate by blocking passage of crucial bills on the last day of the session.

But shortly before 4 a.m., Republican Senator Jack Goodman of Lawrence County announced a deal was reached in which Jetton agreed to not stop the repeal bill if the emergency clause was removed.

"I think it is a far better bet, not that I'm a wagering man, but a far better bet to take this much of a sure thing, rather than risk going home and to the people I serve with nothing at all," Goodman said.

The clause could have allowed the bill to take effect immediately; instead, it would take effect along with other legislation August 28.

Senators then voted unanimously for the bill, which now goes to the Missouri House. Jetton was unavailable for comment.

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