|Intro:||The Senate's top leader defends using lobbyist funds for Senate expenses.|
Wrap: Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields said that Senate budget cuts have lead to use of lobbyist funding.
|Description: "At this point you got a Missouri senate that has consistently reduced its budget in the amount it takes from taxpayers to run this place."|
According to State Auditor Susan Montee donations solicited from lobbyists are used to pay for meals during evening sessions, parties, gift cards, and country club retirement receptions.
Her audit said the Senate received over 76,000 dollars from lobbyists over 6 years.
Montee said soliciting donations from lobbyists is a practice that needs to be reconsidered due to potential conflicts of interest.
From Jefferson City, this is Whittley Jones.