Senate Ends Ethics Bill Debate After Gift-Giving Limits Proposed

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons

An attempt at ethics reform fell flat in the Senate when a sponsor withdrew his bill to require a waiting period for lawmakers to become lobbyists, a move prompted by an amendment to largely end lobbyist gifts to lawmakers. Gifts, such as meals and event tickets, would have to be reimbursed within 30 days. The original bill focused on implementing a two-year cooling off period for lawmakers after they leave office before they can become lobbyists.

Debate on the bill Monday focused on a Democratic effort to limit campaign contributions. A supporter argued that a lobbyist buying a steak dinner for a lawmaker pales in comparison to donors funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns. Coupling contribution limits with lobbying reform does not have the support of Senate leadership.

Read more from the Springfield News-Leader

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