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Ethics bill receives initial approval in Missouri Senate

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden of Columbia is the sponsor of a bill that received initial approval in the upper chamber. 

It would effectively ban lobbyist gifts, in addition to requiring lobbyists to file annual expense reports versus the current monthly reports. 

Caleb Rowden said:  “They can still technically give lobbyist gifts to local officials. They can’t give lobbyists gifts to us, right? We’re banned from taking lobbyists’ gifts, but that prohibition did not extend to local officials and so they still have a monthly report that they’re supposed to give.”

The lobbyist gift ban on local elected government leaders does not prevent candidates, including candidates for reelection, from accepting donations in accordance with campaign finance law. 

An amendment added to the bill would allow for campaign finances to be used for certain legal fees. 

The Senate still has to have one more vote of approval on the bill before sending it to the House for consideration. 

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