Lobbyist gift ban up for Missouri House vote this week

The Missouri House has moved quickly on the latest effort to ban gifts from lobbyists, and it could send a proposal to the Senate this week.

House members gave first-round approval Thursday to this year’s bill, which would ban gifts from lobbyists to elected officials, with a few exceptions such as flower arrangements and speaking fees. It’s sponsored again by Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, told reporters Thursday he has the option of just making it a House rule not to accept lobbyists gifts, but would prefer a permanent law.

Last year’s version of the lobbyist gift ban sailed through the Missouri House, passing in late January 2016. But it died in the Missouri Senate over complaints that it was too broadly written and could land a lawmaker in hot water for something as obscure as eating a slice of pizza.

Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, made banning gifts from lobbyists one of his top campaign priorities during last year’s governor’s race. Less than an hour after taking the oath of office he signed an executive order that bars employees within his administration from accepting lobbyist gifts.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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