SCS/HB 445 - This act modifies several provisions relating to ethics.
LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS (SECTION 105.455)
The act provides that persons elected or appointed to be a member of the governing body of a political subdivision of the state shall not act, serve, or register as a lobbyist or solicit prospective employers or clients to represent as a lobbyist seeking to influence any action of such governing body during the time of service, provided such service occurs after August 28, 2019.
(SECTION 105.458 AND 105.473)
The act prohibits a member of the governing body of a political subdivision from accepting directly or indirectly a gift of any tangible or intangible item, service, or thing of value from a paid elected local government official lobbyist or a lobbyist principal of such lobbyist in excess of $5 per lobbyist per day. For purposes of this provision, the term gift does not include any expenditure made exclusively for the purpose of providing continuing education courses or any other type of professional development that is related to the member's primary occupation or to the member's position on the governing body. Furthermore, these provisions do not apply to any not-for-profit or professional association, recognized under federal or Missouri law, of which the local elected, appointed, or employed official is a member and by virtue of such membership the local elected, appointed, or employed official receives a benefit or service available to all members of the not-for-profit or professional association.
The act also provides that an elected local government official lobbyist may invite elected or appointed officials of a particular political subdivision to an event, provided that all officials of such political subdivision are extended an invitation. Such invitations may be extended by any means. Furthermore, no official may accept expenditures in excess of $5 at such event.
ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOBBYISTS - DEFINITION (SECTION 105.470)
The act modifies the definition of "elected local government lobbyist" for purposes of provisions of law relating to lobbying, to include any natural person employed specifically for the purpose of attempting to influence any official action, as defined in the act, by one of the following:
• A local government official in a county, city, town, or village;
• A superintendent or school board member of a school district; and
• An administrator or member of the governing body of a charter school.
and who is not an employee of the local government, school district, or charter school.
"Elected local government lobbyist" does not include any natural person who, acting in the ordinary course of employment on behalf of or for the benefit of his or her employer, either submits a bid in response to a request for proposal put out by a political subdivision, or provides services unrelated to lobbying to a political subdivision in exchange for valid consideration.
SUNSHINE LAW (SECTION 610.010, 610.021, and 610.026)
The act permits a public governmental body to close the following records:
• The Social Security numbers of any individual;
• Any record retained by the office of a member of the General Assembly that are related to a constituent of a member; and
• Any record that is retained in the office of a member of the General Assembly, or employees of the General Assembly, that contains information regarding proposed legislation or the legislative process.
These last two authorizations to close records shall not apply if the record has been offered in a public meeting of either house of the General Assembly.
When responding to a request for records, this act authorizes a public governmental body to charge a minimum fee of five dollars for any request where there are allowable fees of less than five dollars. Such five dollar fee shall be in place of any allowable fee of less than five dollars. A request for records shall be considered withdrawn if the requester fails to remit all fees within thirty days of a request for payment by the public governmental body.
These provisions contain an emergency clause.
These provisions are substantially similar to SCS/SB 132 (2019).
The act repeals a provision under the Sunshine Law that provides that certain documents prepared as part of the deliberative process that are retained by a public governmental body shall be considered a public record.