Petition To Limit Campaign Contributions, Lobbyist Gifts Moves Forward

Jason Kander | Photo from
Jason Kander | Photo from

An initiative petition that would limit campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts and also tackles voter signatures has met the state standards for circulation, according to Secretary of State Jason Kander. Brad Ketcher of St. Louis submitted the petition to amend Article III of the state’s constitution.

Currently, Missouri is the only state where unlimited campaign contributions and unlimited lobbyist gifts are permitted. The amendment would not only place limits on campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts that candidates for the Missouri Legislaturecan accept, it would also prohibit state legislators from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of time or being paid for campaign work, according to the ballot language. It also prohibits political fundraising on General Assembly property and requires legislative records be open to the public.

In addition, it also prohibits any law that disqualifies the counting of valid signatures of petitions based on how the voters signed it.

According to a release, the amendment would not have an impact on local government operating costs. However, it would increase operating expenses for the state government by at least $120,000. The impact to state and local governmental revenues is unknown.

Kander joined with state Rep. Kevin McManus, D-Kansas City, on Tuesday to propose an ethics reform and campaign finance package that had similar goals.

In order for the petition to get on the ballot, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast in 2012 governor’s election from six of the state’s eight congressional districts. The signatures are due May 4.

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