Mitten wants to bar statewide candidates from chairing committees

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, today filed legislation that would prohibit lawmakers from chairing House or Senate committees while running for statewide office.

Mitten believes the combination of the committee chairman influence over legislation combined with the fundraising needed to run for statewide office creates a situation that is ripe for abuse, especially with unlimited campaign contributions.

Mitten
Mitten

“It just doesn’t pass the smell test when a committee chairman who holds life-or-death control over legislation is raking in huge donations from those who have a stake in a bill passing or not passing,” Mitten said. “To avoid the appearance of corruption, if a lawmaker wants to pursue statewide office, they should have to relinquish their chairmanship.”

HB 2398 would require lawmakers to resign his or her committee chairmanship within two weeks of creating a statewide candidate committee. Anyone who refused to do so would be statutorily barred from running for statewide office during the two subsequent election cycles.