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Columbia Missourian

Missouri judge strikes down new ethics law

By The Associated Press
March 31, 2011 | 5:07 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A state judge has struck down a Missouri law that imposed new ethics and campaign finance requirements.

But the state attorney general's office said it will appeal Thursday's decision by Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green and urged people to continue following the ethics law in the meantime.

At issue is a law that restricts the shuffling of money among political committees and requires quicker reporting of many campaign contributions during the legislative session. Other provisions create new crimes related to bribery, obstruction of ethics investigations and lobbyist reporting of expenses on behalf of public officials.

The judge said the law violates the state constitution's requirement to contain a single subject. He also said a ban on donations by state-chartered banks to political action committees violates free speech rights.