More ethics reform advancing in Missouri House

The Missouri House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that would ban elected officials from directly accepting gifts from lobbyists.

Under the measure, all lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, including free meals, booze, trips, event tickets and other freebies, would be banned. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, would also end the practice of lobbyists giving gifts to groups such as legislative committees or caucuses.

There are currently no limits on lobbyist gifts to elected officials, and lawmakers take around $900,000 a year in freebies.

The gift ban is one of a host of ethics reform measures moving through the General Assembly this year in response to a series of legislative scandals last summer that drove two lawmakers out of office.

Read more: Kansas City Star, Missourinet

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