Proposing ethics bills in the Missouri legislature seems to be more popular than The Situation.
That might be an overstatement. But December alone has brought about a number of proposals to alter the state's campaign finance regulations, reporting requirements and internal lawmaking procedures.
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, made several proposals last week, while Reps. Tim Flook, R-Clay County, and Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, released details of their package yesterday. House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, has proposed instituting limits on campaign donations.
House Majority Leader Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, released details about his own proposal, which were published first on the Turner Report. According to a press release, Tilley wants to:
- End to political consulting while serving as a member of the legislature.
- Place a moratorium on serving as a legislative lobbyist for 180 days after a member leaves the general assembly.
- Fully disclosure of all members, spouses, and staff of any political employment.
- Fully disclosure of any financial interest (PFD) of any general assembly, executive, or statewide offices including staff and contract agents.
- Prohibit accepting political contributions for any compensated appointment made by the Governor, Speaker of the House, or Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate that requires Senate approval for a period before and after the appointment.
- Place a moratorium on appointing members of the general assembly to executive department positions for 180 days after they leave office.
- Prohibit of any political donations being made to the Governor by any entity that has a pending decision before an executive department or decision making body.
- Ban lawmakers from taking lobbyist gifts.
The last one is especially interesting, since individual lawmakers take tens of thousands of dollars worth of lobbyist meals, entertainment and trips every year.
Several Democratic lawmakers have unsuccessfully proposed a gift ban in the past, only to have the legislation go nowhere in the GOP-controlled legislature. Tilley is probably the highest-ranking Republican lawmaker to propose a gift ban. It'll remain to be seen whether that will make a difference next year.