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Lobbyist gift ban on to the Senate

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — With ethics as a priority for Missouri House of Representatives  leadership, Rep. Justin Alferman’s lobbyist gift ban legislation is moving to the Senate.

The bill includes “the exact same language the committee and the House saw last year” which includes not mention of “gifts” but rather “expenditures.”

The bill bans lobbyist expenditures to state public officials. It also would remove reporting requirements.

However, the bill does include provisions to ensure that lobbyists can still make expenditures for the entire General Assembly and it makes an exemption for customary gifts, flowers and plants.

“This is something my constituents have pushed hard for,” Rep. Peter Merideth said.

Ethics has been a big talking point on both sides of the aisle and most agree that a ban on lobbyist gifts are need but the finer points of the bill offered some contention.

Some members of the chamber questioned certain aspects of the legislation, saying it “will decrease transparency” and “push a lot underground.” Others don’t think it goes far enough.

Even so, the bill overwhelmingly passed and now is in the Senate, where is stalled last year.