Senate skeptical of ethics overhaul, balk on lobbying waiting period

 

Last year the Missouri Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill mandating a two-year waiting period for legislators before they could return to the Capitol as professional lobbyists.

The waiting period would have applied only to future legislators and still ended up dying before it could be passed into law.

On Thursday, against the backdrop of yet another murky departure of one of their own colleagues, the Missouri Senate approved a bill that actually included current lawmakers but failed to include any waiting period, voting instead to only require lawmakers to finish their term before becoming a lobbyist.

Some Missouri senators believe the ethics push is still missing the mark. Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said, “This reveals the legislature does not have the will to pass meaningful ethics reform.”

In the coming weeks, the Senate is expected to debate a laundry list of ethics reform bills approved by the House, ranging from a ban on lobbyist gifts to a prohibition on lawmakers serving as political consultants while in office.

Read more: Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio


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