Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Ron Richard prefiles ethics bill

A bill prefiled today by Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, would extend the definition of "elected local government official lobbyist" to include those who are attempting to influence school board members.

Another section of the bill would require state legislators to wait two years after they leave office to become lobbyists.

The description of the bill is printed below:

SB 11 - This act bars members of the General Assembly and candidates for such office to act as paid political consultants for a candidate for state representative or state senator, or the candidate committee of such candidate or officeholder.

A two year cooling off period is imposed for members of the General Assembly before they may become lobbyists.

The act modifies the definition of "elected local government official lobbyist" to include individuals who are employed specifically for the purpose of attempting to influence an action by an elected school district official.

The act modifies the definition of "public official" to include any superintendent of a school district or school board members.

The act stipulates that lobbyists are required to report all entities they represent to the third degree even if they are not directly compensated by such entities.

The act specifies that lobbyist are required to report expenditures made on behalf of all public officials as that term is defined in statute.

The act modifies the exceptions to "expenditures" to include any item, service or thing of value transferred to any person within the third degree of affinity of the transferor which is unrelated to any activity of the transferor as a lobbyist.

Expenditures are only allowed to be reported as a group for all senators, all representatives, and caucuses when attendees are invited at least 48 hours in advance. Staff and employees of the General Assembly may be included as part of these groups. Such reporting can no longer be made for joint and standing committees.

Under current law, lobbyist expenditures for out of state travel and lodging for members of the General Assembly must be approved by the administration committees in the House and Senate. This act bars such expenditures and also bars expenditures for food, beverage and entertainment when it occurs outside of the state.

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