Missouri lawmaker resigns, becomes drug court commissioner

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - One of the top-ranking Republicans has resigned
early from the Missouri House to start a new job in the judicial system.The House on Wednesday released a resignation letter from Assistant Majority
Leader Kevin Austin, who stepped down Monday. Austin, who is a Springfield
attorney, wrote that he will be working as the Greene County drug court
commissioner and so could not continue as a House member.

Austin's legislative term had been scheduled to end in January. He chose not to
seek re-election this year.

His resignation means 12 of the 163 House seats are now vacant, an unusually high number. The impact is minimal, however, because the Legislature isn't scheduled to meet again until the newly elected members are sworn into office in

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