It’s a sad day when the ethics laws in Washington D.C. are stricter than in the Show-Me state. Strengthening these laws is far from a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans alike should be ashamed that Missouri operates in a political system that doesn’t even match the current ethical standards in our nation’s capital.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning echoed my call for ethics reform, pointing out that Missouri is the only state in the country where lawmakers can take both unlimited campaign contributions and unlimited gifts from lobbyists. In praising my legislation the Post said, “he correctly has identified the three big evils that lawmakers must address if they want to reduce the pernicious effects of special-interest donations on the political process.”
I have championed ethics legislation every year that I’ve served in Jefferson City. If passed, this bill would help instill greater faith in the Missouri legislature.
Here is a sampling of the reforms contained in the bill:
- Banning all lobbyist gifts, up to and including a cup of coffee.
- Closing the political revolving door by establishing a two-year ban on lobbying after elected officials leave the legislature.
- Establishing campaign contribution limits, including $500 for House races, $1,000 for the Senate, and $2,000 for statewide elections.
- Banning lawmakers from soliciting lobbying positions while still in the legislature.
- Banning lawmakers from serving as political consultants.