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Special session might deal with overtime glitch

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – If Missouri Governor Matt Blunt calls a special session to deal with tax breaks, House Democrats want him to also take up a glitch in overtime pay for police and firefighters.

A bill that would've allowed them to work more than 40 hours a week without triggering overtime pay failed during the regular session.

Democratic House Member Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County says the glitch is costing local governments and the state of Missouri millions of dollars:

"Both rank and file law enforcement and firefighters and police and fire management have come together and said, 'Hey, these are not circumstances under which we can operate a public safety agency,'" Roorda said. "There has to be some latitude and scheduling for public safety agencies just because of the 24/7 nature of the work."

Overtime protection for police and fire failed to pass this year because a committee chairman and several other lawmakers felt it was unfair not to offer the same exemption to small business owners.

When contacted for a response, the governor's press secretary said all requests regarding the content and date of a special session are being considered, but a decision hasn't been made yet.

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