Missouri lawmakers to start 2015 annual legislative session

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JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are gathering at the Capitol for the start of their annual session.

The session is set to begin at noon Wednesday with a swearing-in ceremony for lawmakers and the election of legislative leaders.

Republicans outnumber Democrats 117-45, with the most GOP members ever in the chamber. The party has a veto-proof majority in the Senate, as well, with 25 Republicans and nine Democrats.

Topics on this year's agenda include issues that surfaced after the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white Ferguson police officer Aug. 9. Bills filed so far include measures that would require police to wear body cameras.

Other issues include changes to ethics laws and proposals to revamp a Missouri law allowing students in unaccredited districts to transfer to other nearby schools.

Coinciding with the beginning of the legislative session is the 2015 Missouri Governor's Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon and the 2015 Missouri Governor's Prayer Breakfast Committee.

The breakfast is an annual observance open to participants from across the state.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes President and CEO Les Steckel was the guest speaker and spoke to officials, students and other members of the community about seeking God's guidance as political leaders begin a new year. 

Steckel was a coach to the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers.

He then left coaching to join Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

"When you share the faith of Jesus Christ and you take the world of sports and you put the two together, you got FCA, and that's what makes it as strong as it is. That's why we're being invited on campuses and middle schools, high schools and colleges nationwide. You may not hear that but we are," Steckel said.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes' (FCA) vision is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit www.fca.org

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