Ethics on Missouri lawmakers' 2015 agenda -

Ethics on Missouri lawmakers' 2015 agenda

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By Ryan Storz By Ryan Storz
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's legislative leaders say 2015 is the year they'll rein in lavish gifts from lobbyists and unchecked campaign donations.
But political scientists are skeptical ethics bills will pass after years of failure.
Interest in ethics gained momentum after an October New York Times article claimed Attorney General Chris Koster was influenced by lobbyist gifts and campaign contributions.
Lawmakers so far have filed 28 bills addressing current ethics laws, which currently allow limitless lobbyist spending on gifts and campaign contributions.
Proposals also include "cooling-off" periods to prevent lawmakers from going into lobbying immediately after leaving office.
But ethics legislation is introduced regularly and hasn't gone far in the past two previous sessions.
Missouri State University political scientist George Conner says smaller bills on ethics might pass, but meaningful reform is unlikely.


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