May 20, 2013 •
Missouri Legislature Adjourns
Ethics reforms fail to pass
Lawmakers have ended the 2013 legislative session. Although both chambers are scheduled to convene on May 22, 2013, for a technical session, the House marked the conclusion with the traditional and celebratory paper toss on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Several bills aimed at reinstating or expanding the ethics reforms of Senate Bill 844 failed to pass. The major 2010 ethics reforms in Senate Bill 844 were found to be unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court because they were joined to a procurement bill.
Photo of the Missouri State Capitol by RebelAt on Wikipedia.
November 7, 2011 •
Did Missouri Lawmakers Act Illegally with Ethics Bill?
Missouri Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments
This 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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