By Mike Lear
The House Committee on General Laws spent an hour-and-a-half Tuesday afternoon hearing five different proposals that all take different approaches at ethics reform. Lawmakers left that hearing appearing to agree that ethics reform is needed. Governor Jay Nixon and Secretary of State Jason Kander have also called for ethics reform, and legislation on the issue was also heard in a Senate committee Tuesday afternoon.
Three of those bills include a limitation on how quickly after leaving office a former legislator can become a lobbyist. That was one provision that drew criticism from some lawmakers.
Representative Rocky Miller (R-Tuscumbia) questions the need for such a provision.
“Everybody wants to limit what somebody does for a living. I thought the whole point of being a free nation was that we could grow up and become adults and go to work and do what we want to do for a living.”
Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis County) says such provisions could cause the law to be thrown out by a judge.
“You’re telling me I can’t work in an industry that I’ve been in for the last 8 years, or 6 years, or 4 years, to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”