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2010 12 People You Need to Know: Scott Marrs

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Lobbyist Scott Marrs doesn't expect to have much down time in 2010.

Marrs, who owns Springfield-based lobbying firm Governmental Services Group Inc., predicts the state's estimated budget shortfall of $1.5 billion will have "horrendous" consequences.

And that means he'll be on the move, trying to protect his clients' interests.

"I'm telling clients at this juncture, be very pleased if you can hold on to the appropriations you have," Marrs says.

"It's (so) desperate that they're going to have to look at everything. Most, if not all, programs will take cuts," Marrs says. "It's a pretty desperate situation."

Marrs - whose clients include the city of Springfield, Springfield Public Schools, City Utilities of Springfield, the Greene County Commission and Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce - predicts economic development will drive the upcoming legislative session.

"I think you'll see a lot more on economic development, especially in science and technology," Marrs says. "We've got to do something to get more jobs, get more people living in Missouri."

Marrs says one of the greatest challenges he faces in advocating his clients' interests is term limits.

It takes a while for newly elected officials to figure out how to navigate the legislative system in Jefferson City, and about the time they do, their time's up.

But that's where his years of lobbying experience and institutional knowledge come in handy.

"Obviously, I know the process quite well, which is nice," he says. "That's what people retain me for. They want someone on the ground who knows what's going on."

Marrs' interest in politics began as a student at Drury, where he earned a degree in political science.

His interest in finance and eco-nomics led to his master's degree in administration from University of Missouri.

Since graduation, he's been tied to government in one form or another, starting as a volunteer legislative aide for former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth and later serving as national marketing director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

He moved into the lobbying field when he accepted a job with the Missouri Hospital Association, where he stayed for three years.

After securing the city of Springfield as a client, he launched Governmental Services Group in 1985 and began taking additional clients.

The majority of his clients are in the health care or governmental fields. He doesn't accept clients in the gambling, tobacco or alcohol industries, he says.

And while he's heard that other lobbyists are losing clients in this strained economic climate, Marrs says he hasn't thus far.

"I think right now, people realize they've got to have representation. I'm up there to promote and protect the client's interest."[[In-content Ad]]

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