Lawmakers keep talking about finally banning lobbyist gifts, including fancy dinners, tickets to sporting events and free booze. But talk is cheap. This week, legislators can take a huge step toward cleaning up their justifiably dirty images by finally passing a gift ban.
The problem is in the Senate. For the third year in a row, the House passed a ban with an overwhelming majority — 134-12 in favor of reform.
In the category of nothing-is-easy in the Missouri Capitol, lawmakers have complicated things by tinkering with a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban lobbyist gifts and make a key change to term limits.
Legislators should keep things simple. They should pass a no-frills gift ban. If they don’t, voters are expected to get a chance later this year to pass judgment on a proposed series of ethics reforms known as “Clean Missouri.”
More work to be done
The Missouri General Assembly has a number of other issues on its last-week to-do list. Lawmakers understand the stakes, and should be able to move quickly to address these lingering concerns: