State Rep. Kip Kendrick (D-Columbia) will propose legislation next session that would require state elected officials to wait five years before they can become lobbyists. The Missouri legislature passed a bill this year and Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed it into law that makes them wait six months.
“The general public knows that the six months isn’t long enough. That does really nothing to limit the conflicts of interests from a legislator becoming a lobbyist,” says Kendrick.
He says a five year minimum is critical because that’s the average length of stay for a Missouri legislator.
“If someone leaves the General Assembly, then if they wait a minimum of five years, then that should clear out a lot of the conflicts of interest with people they served with while they were in the building,” says Kendrick.
He says his legislation matches what Republican Governor-elect Eric Greitens has been promising for months.
“Governor Greitens really ran his entire campaign on rooting out the rampant corruption that exists in Jefferson City,” says Kendrick. “If there’s anything that we can take from this election, I believe there’s a clear mandate to do that. Part of it is, holding him accountable to his campaign rhetoric and the promises that he made to the Missouri voters. That’s definitely part of it. I have every reason to take him at his word.”
Kendrick will also propose banning all lobbyist gifts to lawmakers. The Missouri legislature considered a proposed ban on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers this year, but it did not pass.
Inappropriate conduct between legislators and interns in the Missouri capitol put the state in the national spotlight in 2015. House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) has vowed to change the capitol culture and pass ethics-related legislation.