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Carthage lawmaker playing key role in budget debates

When Missouri lawmakers began drafting next year’s budget, state Rep. Tom Flanigan was in the middle of the fight. Flanigan, a third-term Republican from Carthage, serves as vice chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, and next year he is in line to become chairman because the current chairman — Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood — is not eligible to run for re-election due to term limits.