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Funeral today for MO state Rep. Byrd

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Richard Byrd died Saturday, a day after lawmakers finished their spring session. (UPI file photo)

By Missy Shelton, KSMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – Funeral services are set for Thursday for a Missouri lawmaker who died of a heart attack last weekend at his suburban St. Louis home.

Richard Byrd, 46, chaired the House Judiciary committee and was in the public spotlight when he handled the legislation limiting liability lawsuits, a high-profile bill that was a Republican priority.

Representative Brian Stevenson of Webb City served on Byrd's Judiciary committee.

"He was extremely skilled at bringing all sides of an issue to the table and encouraging them to work towards an agreement," Stevenson said. "He taught me a lot on the art of legislating."

Members of both parties have praised Byrd's knowledge of the political process, including the top Democrat in the House, Jeff Harris. Just last week, Harris says Byrd counseled him on a bill that came up for a vote.

"It wasn't a major vote or anything but it's just an example of Richard being knowledgeable, always approachable. The legislature as a whole will miss him. That is, the body, the institution, will miss him."

The Kirkwood Republican is survived by his wife and two children.

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