The state Senate has finished adding things to, and taking things out of, a proposed ethics reform bill.

Senator Ron Richard

Senator Ron Richard (R-Joplin)  is the sponsor of the Senate ethics proposal.

Its plan would bar lawmakers from serving as paid consultants, would make them wait two years after leaving the legislature before becoming lobbyists, and toughens the requirements for reporting gifts from lobbyists to elected officials and lawmakers, as well as other provisions.

It doesn’t include limits on how much can be donated to political campaigns. Senator Paul LeVota (D-Independence) tried to add that.

“This, Mr. President, is a way that we show the people of Missouri that we care about ethics reform,” LeVota said of his proposed amendment. “We want to get rid of that cloud that there’s any type of influence going when it comes to campaign contributions and we move forward and we have good ethics.”

Republicans rejected his amendment without a vote, finding in a procedural move that it didn’t fit into the legislation.

“The purpose of the bill is regulating the ethical behavior of professionals engaged in political activities,” said Senate President Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles). “Our campaign finance law is a part of our state statute, and [Senator LeVota’s] amendment really is a value judgement about the size of a campaign contribution, and not as much ethically about what a person believes is reasonable to receive.”

Another favorable vote would send the package to the House, which has its own set of legislation addressing ethics.