The State Ethics Commission is making changes to the way in which lobbyists’ reports are viewed by the public. Lobbyists are required to file monthly reports containing information as to how much money they have spent and on whom. Commission Executive Director Bob Connor says changes are being made to allow online viewers to more easily see these reports and a lobbyist’s activities. Connor points out the information has always been available, but it has not always been easy to find. Concerns were raised over a report filed by lobbyist Mary Scruggs of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Her monthly report for November of 2004 initially showed a $160 entertainment expenditure given to Ethics Commission Director of Compliance Mike Reid and his wife. A later look at that report showed no trace of the expenditure and no sign of an amended report. Connor says Reid recently reimbursed the money and that an internal record existed, even though it could not easily be found on the lobbyist’s monthly report. With the changes, these amendments will now be more transparent and more easily viewed by the public.
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Missouri Ethics Commission