The House has sent two batches of ethics reform proposals to the state Senate, and some ethics proposals could soon be debated by the full Senate.
Democrats continue to say an ethics reform effort won’t be complete without a bill to limit campaign contributions, but Republicans oppose such a measure.
Still, the Chairman of the House Committee handling ethics bills, Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), says it will be brought up.
“I will probably hold a hearing on a campaign contribution limit bill at some point. That hearing hasn’t been scheduled,” said Barnes.
Republicans say reinstating campaign contribution limits would result in donations being funnelled through committees, hiding the identity of the actual donor.
Barnes earlier this year said, “No matter what limitation we put on campaign finance as a legislative body, under citizen’s united, people have the ability to spend as much money as they want on political issues that don’t go through official campaign accounts. That money is in many cases unaccountable, it is uncontrollable. Money in politics is like water. It will take the path of least resistance.”
Democrats note that Missouri voters approved limits in 1994. Those limits were struck down by courts and replaced by the legislature, which later voted to eliminate them in 2006. Democrats maintain that voters still want limits.
The House has passed bills that would ban lobbyist gifts to legislators, keep elected officials from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office, and make several other ethics reforms.