Broad, Bipartisan Ethics Legislation Being Considered in Missouri

With the opening of legislative sessions nationwide, 2010 is sure to be one of the busiest years ever for pay-to-play legislation. As the Kansas City Star reports, numerous pieces of ethics reform legislation have already been filed in advance of Missouri’s 2010 legislative session, which begins on January 6.

According to published reports, the most notable legislation is a bipartisan proposal aimed at overhauling Missouri’s campaign finance system. Among other things, the legislation proposes to stop the common practice in Missouri of transferring funds between campaign committees, which can obscure the original donor of such funds. Additionally, the legislation would institute a mandatory online filing system for Missouri filing entities, and would require registration of some political consultants as “de facto lobbyists.”

Notably, such legislation also has significant pay-to-play ramifications. Specifically, the new Missouri legislation would codify a prohibition on exchanging campaign contributions for legislative action. The Pay-to-Play blog will monitor this legislation as it goes through the legislative process, as well as similar legislation that is sure to be at issue nationwide in 2010.

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