Gov. Jay Nixon today called on the General Assembly to pass strong ethics legislation that restores the ethics provisions of Senate Bill 844, reinstates strict contribution limits, and bans legislators from acting as paid "political consultants" for fellow legislators.
The Governor outlined these pillars of a strong ethics bill at a news conference in his office. He also will communicate directly with the General Assembly through a letter to each Senator and Representative.
Passing a strong ethics bill became an urgent priority when earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled on procedural grounds that the method used to pass Senate Bill 844 was invalid. Because of this ruling, it is now urgent to reinstate adequate criminal and civil penalties for crimes including obstruction of Missouri Ethics Commission investigations and bribery of public officials, Gov. Nixon said. Getting the protections afforded by SB 844 back on the books will help bring greater openness, transparency and accountability to our government, the Governor said.
"Openness, transparency and accountability are bedrock pillars of our democracy," Gov. Nixon said. "The people of Missouri must have confidence that their elected leaders are truly interested in the public good, not personal gain. When it comes to our ethics laws, we must keep moving forward, not backward. So I call on the General Assembly to move swiftly to pass a bill that restores the ethics provisions of Senate Bill 844, reinstates strict contribution limits, and bars legislators from doubling as paid political consultants for fellow legislators."