Did Missouri Lawmakers Act Illegally with Ethics Bill? - State and Federal Communications

November 7, 2011  •  

Did Missouri Lawmakers Act Illegally with Ethics Bill?

Missouri Supreme Court buildingThis week the Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether lawmakers acted illegally in a legislative attempt to increase ethics requirements. The case appeals a ruling by Circuit Judge Daniel Green finding Senate Bill 844 to be a violation of the constitution’s single subject requirement.

What began as a one-page bill allowing officials to use the Office of Administration for procurement decisions became a 69-page bill entitled relating to ethics.” The bill changed campaign finance laws, gave greater authority to the Missouri Ethics Commission, created new crimes for ethics violations, and required Capitol dome keys be given to all lawmakers.

Judge Green’s ruling struck down all but the original procurement provision. The Attorney General believes the bill can be saved by striking only the provision regarding Capitol dome keys. Those challenging the bill argue the entire bill is unconstitutional.

Photo of the Missouri Supreme Court building by Americasroof on Wikipedia.

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