January 13, 2016 •
Ethics Bills Pass Missouri House Committee
Four ethics bills have passed out of the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee and now move to consideration by the entire House.
These bills include banning statewide elected officials or legislators from working as political consultants while in office, creating a “cooling off” period of at least a full legislative session before elected officials or officials in jobs subject to Senate confirmation may work as lobbyists, requiring public officials to file semiannual reports detailing their personal finances, and reporting any out-of-state travel for official business when paid for by a third party.
Rep. Gina Mitten questioned the effectiveness of the revolving door bill during the committee hearing, asking if the cooling off period was long enough. She advocated having the measure cover legislative staff, requiring elected officials who leave office early to be prohibited from acting as lobbyists until the end of the term, and making the measure become effective as quickly as possible.
Hearings for bills regulating how to handle surplus campaign funds once an official leaves office and the banning of gifts from lobbyists have been delayed due to issues with the drafting of the bills. The committee will take those bills up next week.
Photo of the Missouri Capitol courtesy of RebelAt on Wikimedia Commons.
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