Ethics reform proposals will be off to a quick start in the state legislature, with 18 ethics bills being sent to the House committee on government oversight and accountability just one day into the legislative session.
Lawmakers in both parties and both chambers and Governor Jay Nixon (D), all say ethics reform is a priority. House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) said the first bills out of the House this session would propose updates to financial disclosures by politicians, stop legislators from becoming lobbyists until one year after leaving the General Assembly, ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, and deal with how a politician’s campaign committee is terminated when he or she leaves public service.
Governor Nixon said ethics legislation must not be “symbolic,” or “half-hearted.” He and Democrats in the legislature, though, would not define what reforms must pass to in their minds represent a genuine effort by the Republican majorities.
The House bills expected to be referred to committee Thursday are HB 1395, HB 1452, HB 1474, HB 1572, HB 1573, HB 1574, HB 1575, HB 1633, HB 1669, HB 1766, HB 1773, HB 1829, and HB 1925. Senator Onder’s legislation is SB 643.