Missouri Senate Considering Lobbyist Gift Restrictions

ethics, gift law, lobbying, Missouri

The Missouri Senate made changes to the lobbyist gift ban passed by the House last month. The bill must pass the Senate before returning to the House for debate.

The original version banned most gifts from lobbyists, while the Senate’s version allows officeholders to accept up to $40 of gifts per day. The amended bill would also allow officials to reimburse lobbyists for gifts exceeding $40 and permit lobbyists to cover a legislator’s constituent expenditures.

If a lawmaker accepts an event ticket from a lobbyist, however, the bill requires the lobbyist to attend the event with the lawmaker.

While the Senate’s version of the bill is less stringent than the House version, it is still considered a step towards ethics reform.

Current law permits elected officials to receive unlimited gifts of any value.