SB 577 Modifies various provisions relating to ethics
Sponsor: Shields
LR Number: 3568L.09C Fiscal Note: 3568-09N.ORG
Committee: Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics
Last Action: 5/14/2010 - H Inf Calendar S Bills Taken from Committee Per Constitution Journal Page: H1342-1343
Title: HCS SS#2 SCS SB 577 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: January 1, 2011
House Handler: Wilson

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HCS/SS/SCS/SB 577 - This act modifies the law relating to ethics.

FUND-RAISING EVENTS (Section 8.925)

Fund-raising events to support or oppose candidates, ballot measures, political parties, or committees are prohibited on state property unless it is routinely used and made available for rent to the public.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (Sections 105.450, 105.456, 105.465)

Members of the General Assembly are barred from acting as paid political consultants for a member of the General Assembly, state-wide elected officials, campaign committees, candidate committees, continuing committees, exploratory committees, and political party committees. Such individual's family members are barred from receiving compensation on behalf of a member of the General Assembly who acts as a paid political consultant.

Members of the General Assembly are barred from lobbying for one session immediately after serving as a legislator.

Legislators holding office shall not act as lobbyists or paid political consultants.

A Governor or Governor's agent is guilty of the crime of bribery of a public servant if he or she makes offers or promises to confer appointments to legislators in exchange for the member's official vote. Those who agree to such appointments are guilty of the crime of acceding to corruption.

Those who intentionally offer or accept anything of value in exchange for a vote or who engage in any legislative, executive, or judicial act designed to benefit, delay, or hinder the passage or failure of a state or local law, rule, or ordinance shall be guilty of a class D felony

LOBBYISTS (Sections 105.473, 105.478, 105.479)

Lobbyists are required to report expenditures and particular details for occasions where all statewide elected officials are invited in writing.

Lobbyists and lobbyist principals are required to maintain accurate records of expenditures. Records relating to expenditures for elected officials shall be kept for at least 3 years and be available to the Ethics Commission for inspection during an investigation.

Legislators and their staff, employees, and family members shall not accept more than $100,000 per year from lobbyists.

FILING DATES (Sections 105.487, 130.046)

Currently, financial interest statements cover the 12 months prior to the closing date of filing for candidates. This act changes that period to the previous calendar year and makes that time period the standard for all individuals required to file such statements.

Currently, campaign finance disclosure reports and financial interest statements shall be postmarked no later than midnight of the day previous to the day of the filing deadline. This act moves that deadline to midnight of the day of the filing deadline.

ETHICS COMMISSION COMPLAINTS AND PROCEDURE (Sections 105.955, 105.957, 105.959, 105.961, 105.966)

The term for a member of the Ethics commission may be extended one time for up to 120 days. The term for the commissioner of the Ethics Commission is increased from a 6 years to 8 years.

With a 4 member vote of the Ethics Commission, the executive director may conduct an independent investigation of an ethics violation without a complaint if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred. The commission shall notify the person under investigation and assign a special investigator. Investigations failing to establish reasonable grounds to believe a violation has occurred shall be terminated. The investigations of the executive director are confidential and the revealing of such information shall be cause for removal or dismissal.

Currently, within 120 days of receipt of a complaint, the special investigator submits a report to the commission. This act changes that threshold to 90 days. Currently, the commission may allow investigations to proceed for additional successive periods of 120 days. This act changes that period to 90 days

Determinations that violations have occurred, other than referrals for criminal prosecution, may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Cole County.

The act removes a provision allowing extra time for investigations when they are assigned to a retired judge and a provision allowing the commission to file a petition to seek extra time.

LATE FEE ASSESSMENTS (105.963)

The late filing fee for filing campaign disclosure reports and statements of limited activity are increased from $10 to $50 per day not to exceed $3,000. The executive director is allowed to send notice by other means than registered mail within 7 days of failure to file. Unpaid late filing fees may be collected through garnishment and execution against a committee’s official depository account after a 30 day delinquency.

Lobbyists required to file expenditure reports, individuals required to file financial disclosure reports, and candidates and committees required to file disclosure statements may appeal late fee assessments in the same manner with the commission.

FEIGNED CANDIDACY (Sections 115.349, 115.365)

Inducing a person to run for office when the person has the identical or similar name to another candidate running for the same office is a class 3 election offense.

COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION, TERMINATION, AND REPORTING (130.011, 130.021, 130.031, 130.041, 130.044, 130.046)

Persons may not form a new committee or act as treasurer or deputy treasurer of a committee until all previous campaign disclosure reports and statements of limited activity are current and outstanding fees are paid.

Continuing committees are required to file a statements of organization no later than 60 days prior to the election for which the committee receives contributions or makes expenditures and no later than 30 days for all other committees. This change will require continuing committees to report the name of the candidate or ballot issue supported or opposed at the time they file the statement of organization.

Committees are required to file amended statements of organization within 24 hours of determining the candidates and ballot measures it will support or oppose, receiving contributions, or making expenditures.

Committees are required to file disclosure reports within 48 hours of making a contribution of $2,000 or more.

Committees required to separately disclose contributions received from a single donor of over $2,000 shall include that contribution on the disclosure report for the period in which it was made and on the report for every other period in that election cycle or calendar year or on a statement of limited activity when that is required in lieu of a disclosure report.

Currently, committees accepting contributions from a single donor exceeding $5,000 are required to report the contribution within 48 hours. This act reduces that amount to $2,000.

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS (130.032)

Campaign contributions are set at $5,000 for all elected offices in any one election.

TECHNICAL CORRECTION (130.036)

An incorrect reference to the campaign finance review board is replaced with Missouri ethics commission.

ELECTRONIC FILING (130.057)

All committees are required to file reports in electronic form.

ELIGIBILITY FOR CANDIDACY (130.071)

The act ensures that candidates and all affiliated committees shall have paid all fees owed to the Ethics Commission and filed all reports required to be filed with the Ethics Commission before filing for or taking office.

This act shall become effective January 1, 2011.

This act is similar to SB 434 (2009), SB 882 (2010), SB 648 (2010), HB 1322 (2010), HB 1326 (2010), HB 1337 (2010), HB 1727 (2010), HB 1846 (2010), HB 2039 (2010), and HB 2300 (2010).

CHRIS HOGERTY