SJR 16 - This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, establishes several new constitutional provisions relating to ethics.
A three year cooling off period is imposed for members of the General Assembly before they may become lobbyists or paid political consultants, with exceptions for lobbyists of religious or charitable associations. Paid political consultant is defined in the article. (Section 15(a)).
GIFT AND COMPENSATION LIMITS
The amendment prohibits any statewide elected official or any member of the General Assembly from accepting any consideration for performing any service for the state or political subdivision thereof except for that which is provided for the performance of his or her official duties. This provision is identical to Section 105.456.1(1).
No statewide elected official or member of the General Assembly shall attempt, for compensation except that provided for the performance of his or her official duties, to influence the decisions of any agency of the state on any matter. This provision is identical to Section 105.456.1(3).
No statewide elected official or member of the General Assembly shall solicit any registered lobbyist for any position with a hiring date beginning after such person is no longer an elected official. (Section 16).
No individual or business entity shall solicit a member of the General Assembly to become employed as a legislative lobbyist. Further, members of the General Assembly shall not solicit clients to represent as a legislative lobbyist. (Section 17).
Neither the Governor nor any person acting on behalf of the Governor shall offer or promise to confer an appointment to any board, commission, committee, council, county office, department directorship, fee office, judgeship, or any other position, to any member of the General Assembly in exchange for the member's official vote on a public matter. (Section 18).
All statewide elected officers and all members of the General Assembly are prohibited from accepting any tangible or intangible item, service, or thing of value from any lobbyist. Such persons may accept contributions to political committees under his or her control as well as informational materials. (Section 19(a)).
The amendment prohibits lobbyists from delivering any tangible or intangible item, service, or thing of value to any statewide elected official or member of the General Assembly, or such person's staff, employee, spouse, or children. Such persons may make contributions to political committees under the control of a public official as well as informational materials.
(Section 19 (b)).
The amendment prohibits any person from intentionally offering to any elected or appointed official or employee of the state or political subdivision thereof any item, service, or thing of value in exchange for voting or acting in favor or against any specific state or local legislation, rule, or regulation. Violation of this provision is a Class E felony. (Section 22).
Persons who engage in lobbyist activities and knowingly fail to register as a lobbyist shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Subsequent violations shall be class E felonies. (Section 20).
The Governor is required to deliver a list of political contributions and expenditures made by a political appointee within the previous four years to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate within ten days of submitting such appointment letter to the Secretary of State. (Section 21).
This amendment requires statewide elected officials and all members of the General Assembly to complete four hours of ethics training within 120 days of taking office and every two years thereafter. (Section 23).
Several provisions of current law relating to campaign contributions are incorporated into the amendment, albeit with several changes. (Section 24).
Any person acting as a treasurer or deputy treasurer for a committee shall not act as a treasurer or deputy treasurer for another committee.
Any person forming a new committee or serving as a treasurer or deputy treasurer of any committee may not do so until the person has filed all required campaign disclosure reports or other required statements. No candidate shall form or control a continuing committee. Continuing committee is further defined in the article. (Section 24(a) and Section 24(b)).
Campaign committees are required to terminate either 30 days after the general election or upon the satisfaction of all committee debt after a general election, whichever is later. However, a committee retiring debt cannot engage in any other activities in support of a measure for which the committee was formed as specified in the amendment. (Section 24(c)).
The amendment prohibits concealing the identity of a contributor or recipient of a contribution or expenditure as well as circumvention of the contribution and expenditure limitations. Rebuttable presumptions are created concerning these prohibitions. (Section 24(d)).
All committees, beginning on January 1, 2017, must file required campaign financial disclosure reports with the commission in an electronic format as prescribed by the commission.
No committee may transfer any funds to another committee if the treasurer of the committee receiving the funds, or any other person acting as an agent for the committee in receiving contributions, making expenditures, or incurring indebtedness for the committee, is the treasurer or acts as an agent in receiving contributions, making expenditures, or incurring indebtedness for the committee transferring the funds. (Section 24(f)).
No contribution of cash in an amount of more than $100 shall be made by or accepted from any single contributor for any election by any single committee. Further, the amendment prohibits all anonymous contributions.
No candidate or committee in this state shall accept contributions from any out-of-state committee unless the out-of-state committee from whom the contributions are received has filed a statement of organization or has filed the reports required by Missouri law.
Individuals or entities making independent expenditures aggregating one thousand dollars or more are required to disclose certain information specific to the type of communication in which they are engaging.
No individual or entity, including the Ethics Commission, is permitted to disclose to the public identifying information of any individual who has contributed less than $501 to a candidate, committee, or party.
Candidates are required to identify each person who has collected and transmitted contributions of $5,000 or more to the candidate's committee within the previous 2 years. (Section 25).
The amendment establishes a rebate program to be run by the Ethics Commission in which natural persons are issued rebates to cover small contributions to participating candidates and participating political parties. (Section 26(a) and Section 26(b)).
The "Political Contribution Rebates Fund" is established as a dedicated fund for the purpose of paying political contribution rebates. (Section 26(c)).
Several provisions of current law relating to the Missouri Ethics Commission are restated in this amendment, albeit with several differences. The membership of the Commission may not consist of more than 3 persons from the same political party. The Commission is permitted to appoint an executive director who shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission. Moreover, the amendment establishes procedures for taking action on a particular enforcement action. The Enforcement Unit is created with the Enforcement Counsel as the head of the Unit. The amendment further establishes powers and duties of the Unit and the Counsel.
The Commission is permitted to conduct a thorough examination and pre-election audit of the contributions and qualified campaign expenses of a committee participating in the partial public financing program.
The Commission is required to submit a biennial report to the Governor, Speaker of the House Representatives, and the Senate Pro Tem. The amendment sets out the requirements of such report.
The amendment provides procedures for rulemaking and allows any natural person to petition the Commission for rulemaking.
The amendment further establishes the duties and responsibilities of the Commission. The Ethics Commission Operations Fund is established as a dedicated fund for the purpose of providing for the operation, administration, and enforcement costs of the Ethics Commission. (Section 27).
The amendment imposes the following contribution limits:
· For the primary or general election for any statewide office no natural person shall contribute, and no candidate or committee controlled by a candidate shall accept, more than $1,500;
· For the primary or general election for state senator no natural person shall contribute, and no candidate or committee controlled by a candidate shall accept, more than $1,000;
· For the primary or general election for state representative no natural person shall contribute, and no candidate or committee controlled by a candidate shall accept, more than $500;
· Corporations, limited liability companies, labor organizations, cooperative associations, or mutual associations shall not make any contribution to any candidate or committee;
· No natural person may contribute more than $3,000 to any political party during any election cycle;
· No natural person may contribute more than $1,000 to any continuing committee during any election cycle;
· Political parties shall not accept contributions exceeding $3,000 from any natural person or entity during any two-year election cycle;
· Continuing committees may not accept more than $1,000 from any person or entity during any two-year election period;
· Continuing committees may not contribute more than $3,000 to any candidate, political party, or other entity;
· Campaign committees may not contribute to any candidate, other than to support or oppose the retention of judges under the nonpartisan court plan, nor shall it contribute to any committee registered with the commission that is not a campaign committee;
· Lobbyists may not make contributions exceeding, in aggregate, two hundred dollars to any candidate or committee during any election cycle;
· Lobbyists may not solicit or coordinate funds in connection with an election for state office;
· Members of the General Assembly may not directly or indirectly solicit contributions in connection with election to state office from any lobbyist who has had lobbying contact with the member or such member's office.
(Section 28 (b)-(i))
The amendment prohibits the solicitation of funds, fund-raising activities, or fund-raising events supporting or opposing any candidate, ballot measure, political party, or political party committee on any property or any building owned or leased by the state or any political subdivision thereof, with exceptions. (Section 29).
This proposed constitutional amendment contains a severability clause.
This amendment is identical to SJR 13 (2015) and contains provisions that are similar or identical to provisions in HB 304 (2015), HB 313 (2015), HB 327 (2015), and HB 342 (2015).