Missouri lawmakers back repeal of attorney general residency

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley/KY3
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley/KY3(KY3)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 1:16 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers voted Thursday to abolish a residency requirement for the state attorney general that had caused headaches for U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley when he served as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

Missouri law has long required that the attorney general “reside at the seat of government” — a provision traditionally interpreted to mean living in the Capitol’s home of Jefferson City or Cole County.

When Hawley took office at attorney general in 2017, he lived in neighboring Boone County and commuted to work in the capital city. After Democrats complained he was violating the law, Hawley rented an apartment in Jefferson City.

The House gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would delete the residency wording from state law, leaving only an existing requirement that the attorney general’s office must be at the state Supreme Court building. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday.

Hawley resigned as attorney general after winning election to the Senate in 2018.

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