Gov. Mike Parson will abide by an executive order signed by his predecessor last year that prohibits him from accepting any gifts from lobbyists.
The ban extends to his taxpayer-funded staff as well.
"The office will also be doing a full review of all executive orders," said Steele Shippy, Parson’s communications director, "but regardless, the gift ban policy will not change."
The announcement is an about-face for Parson, who was the only statewide elected official to take any lobbyist gifts in 2017. And during his six years in the Missouri Senate, Parson and his staff accepted more than $30,000 worth of lobbyist gifts.
On his first day in office in 2017, former Gov. Eric Greitens signed Executive Order 17-02, which banned his staff from knowingly soliciting or accepting any gift from a lobbyist. It also prohibited staff from lobbying the Greitens administration upon termination of their employment.
Upon signing the executive order, Greitens declared that the lobbyist gift prohibition and revolving-door ban were part of his campaign pledge to "clean up the culture of corruption in Jefferson City."
The ink was barely dry on the order before Greitens himself faced allegations of corruption, mostly involving his use of anonymous campaign cash routed through nonprofits to conceal its original source.
Less than 17 months later, Greitens resigned from office to avoid impeachment and to settle a felony computer tampering charge in St. Louis. He still faces possible criminal charges stemming from accusations he bound and blindfolded a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015, then took a nude photo of her without consent as blackmail to keep her quiet.
Parson took over for Greitens last week, promising to bring "honor, integrity and transparency" to the governor's office.
Both Parson and Greitens are Republicans, and they share much of the same conservative positions on the issues. Among their biggest differences ideologically are on lobbyist gifts and the revolving door for former elected officials who become lobbyists.
Parson was the only statewide elected official to accept lobbyist gifts in 2017, taking more than $4,000 during his first year as lieutenant governor. He took roughly $1,100 worth of lobbyist gifts during the first four months of 2018.
About half of his 2018 total came from Nikki Strong, a health care lobbyist, in the form of commemorative coins used for the lieutenant governor’s senior awards.
Over the last decade, lobbyists have doled out more than $7.7 million worth of gifts to elected officials in Missouri, according to the state ethics commission.
For the last three years, the Missouri House has approved a lobbyist gift ban that ultimately died in the Senate.
Signatures were submitted to the secretary of state's office earlier this year to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would, upon voter approval, ban any lobbyist gift worth more than $5.
That $5 cap, however, would apply only to state legislators.
Parson has also historically voiced opposition to legislation that would implement a waiting period before elected officials could become professional lobbyists.
Proponents of a revolving door ban say elected officials being able to leave office one day and return the next as a lobbyist erodes public trust and runs the risk of corrupting policy. It also fuels a perception, they contend, that lawmakers are casting votes to curry favor with potential future employers.
Parson voted against a revolving door ban in 2015 because he felt it took away "the rights of the people back home to hire who they want to hire in Jefferson City."