Missouri House Moves 4 Ethics Bills in 2nd Week

(AP) – Still reeling from the chaotic end of last session and the resignation of the chamber’s leader, members of the Missouri House started anew Thursday by passing four measures to change loose ethics laws.

The legislation would close the revolving door of lawmakers becoming lobbyists; require candidates, elected officials and others to report their personal finances more often; ban officials from also serving as paid political consultants; and require lawmakers disclose trips paid for by third parties more quickly.

Republicans asserted the bills are step forward after years of failed attempts to enact change, but others, mostly Democrats, argued the measures don’t go far enough. Missouri is the only state with the trio of unlimited campaign contributions, unlimited lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and a policy that allows legislators to immediately become lobbyists after leaving office.

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