It appears that the rancor of last week has faded to the background and agreement has been reached on an ethics measure.
Senate-House negotiators have emerged from a conference committee, in agreement on the framework within which an ethics reform measure can be written.
“A good piece of legislation; it doesn’t give everything that the House wanted, but I think it makes tremendous strides in terms of ethics reform,” says Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, a Republican from St. Joseph.
Shields says the key was getting it in conference, stripping provisions unrelated to ethics from it and focusing the crux of the issue. House Republicans last Thursday loaded down an ethics measure with many highly-partisan provisions unrelated to ethics.
House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville is optimistic a bill can be crafted.
“And if you get an ethics bill that is aggressive to my desk, I guarantee it will happen,” Tilley tells the Missourinet.
One sour note: House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) ignored the recommendations of Minority leader Paul LeVota about which Democrats should sit on the conference committee.
“The unprofessionalism of the Speaker is beyond the pale,” LeVota says. “It’s beyond the pale. The good news is he’s only here for three more days.”
The session ends Friday at 6pm.