Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander unveiled on Tuesday a wide-ranging ethics proposal he wants lawmakers to take up and pass this year. It includes:
- restoring campaign contribution limits,
- banning gifts from lobbyists to all state elected officials,
- requiring a three-year waiting period before ex-lawmakers can work as lobbyists.
Kander, a Democrat, says if adopted, Missouri can go from having the worst ethics system in the country to the best.
"This dance has gone on long enough," Kander said. "It's time to get serious. By passing this bill lawmakers can finally craft a system worthy of the fine people who sent them to Jefferson City in the first place."
Kander's proposal would also give the Missouri Ethics Commission the authority to levy fines and remove candidates from election ballots; it would also make it a felony to obstruct an ethics commission investigation. The measure, House Bill 1340, is sponsored in the Missouri House by fellow Democrat Kevin McManus of Kansas City. It’s not expected to make much, if any, progress in the Republican-dominated General Assembly. Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has also called for restoring campaign contribution limits.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport