JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons on Monday could not preside over the chamber because he was filling another role -- as governor.
Gibbons, R-Kirkwood, was given the powers of the governor last week, when Gov. Matt Blunt left the state to attend a governors' meeting and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder also was out of state. The Senate leader is third in the line of succession.
Gibbons' duties as governor wouldn't end until Kinder returned to the state, which was expected Monday evening. Only senators and their guests are allowed on the Senate floor, and even if acting governor Gibbons could enter, he could not perform duties such as voting on a bill, so he didn't bother.
As governor, Gibbons signed a bill Thursday banning protests near funerals so it would take effect immediately, in case there is a funeral where it would apply.
Gibbons said Monday he hadn't performed any other official duties, but added, "I was ready for action if anything came up."
He also said he didn't cost the state much, since he drove himself around and didn't use a security detail.
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