The big ticket item that was proposed by Jay Nixon and it seemed everyone would support to some extent is the Ethics reform bill. The Speaker appointed a special committee in the House to do this. Almost everyone in the House is a sponsor or co-sponsor of some ethics bill. The special committee heard all the bills. Held public hearings then worked and worked to put together a bill that had bipartisan support. This on some issues that it is very hard to agree upon.
The House Committee was able to put together a bill that had the support of the entire committee. In fact I signed the bill the the committee constructed and we then voted it out to go to the floor for debate. But before that happens it goes to the "powerful Rules Committee" for review. Rules is supposedly a gatekeeping committee that decides which issues will go to the floor for debate. But it is being used to simply kill the bill. The ethics bill was scheduled to be voted out Thursday. I am the only person on the Ethics committee that also serves on the Rules Committee. I asked there why the bill had not advanced. I was told that the Chairman, who was absent from the meeting, would have that information next week. But after adjournment the informal answer was that the Republican leadership is killing the bill unless the Ethics committee will remove the campaign contribution limits and other finance provision.
Expect big drama and posturing this week if that rumor is indeed true.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Burnett: Ethics bill bottled up in Rules Committee
In his weekly report. Sen. John Burnett, D-Kansas City, says ethics legislation has been bottled up in the powerful Rules Committee in an effort to block efforts to reinstate campaign contributions: