The Missouri Senate has endorsed proposed of changes to laws governing ethics for state lawmakers. The package has been sent to the state House on a 32-2 vote.
It would make a number of changes but it was one provision that two senators objected to strongly enough to vote against it, though for two different reasons.
Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) doesn’t like that the bill would bar lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for two years after they leave the legislature.
“It’s nobody’s business in this chamber other than mine what I do when I leave this chamber,” said Parson.
Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) also doesn’t like that provision, but he thinks it doesn’t go far enough because it would only apply to lawmakers who take office in 2017 and after.
“Under this bill it will be 14 years until we remove the conflict of interest this provision is designed to address,” said Schaaf.
He also wanted the bill to include a ban on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.
“At the very least the public would want us to prohibit lobbyist gifts, and we will have failed to take even that most basic measure,” said Schaaf. “If we pass this bill it means we will probably table the issue of ethics for several years. We will say we passed ethics reform when we should do so much more.”
The package would also increase the requirements for reporting gifts from lobbyists, would bar lawmakers from serving as paid consultants, and other provisions.
The legislation is SB 11.
Earlier story: Missouri Senate ethics proposal wins initial approval