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Two campaign finance bills pre-filed in Mo. General Assembly

Missouri State Capitol.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Bills addressing campaign finance reform in Missouri have been pre-filed, just over a month before the start of the 2010 legislative session.

One bill would restore campaign contribution limits that were removed in 2007, restored by the Missouri Supreme Court later that same year, and then removed again by GOP lawmakers and former Governor Matt Blunt in 2008.

The proposal to again restore limits is sponsored by House Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D, Independence).

"Since that time, we've seen a lot of increase in the amount of contributions going to committees, and a lot of questions about how they relate to legislation...we think that the limits make sense, the people of Missouri wanted them...they voted for them overwhelmingly when there was an election for it," LeVota said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph) has also pre-filed a campaign finance bill. It would bar campaign contributions while the General Assembly is in session.

"Now, this is an issue that's been around, we've tried it before...it has been ruled unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court, but we may go after it again and find out if we can do that," Shields said.

The bill would also expand income reporting requirements to legislative staff members, and would provide the Missouri Ethics Commission with a full-time investigator.

The 2010 Missouri legislative session begins January 6th.

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