Missouri Supreme Court strikes down most of ethics law

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | 3:53 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down much of a wide-ranging ethics law passed by state lawmakers in 2010.

The 69-page legislation included sections changing campaign finance laws, giving greater power to the Missouri Ethics Commission and creating new crimes related to bribery and obstruction of ethics investigations. It also included sections on government procurement and granting lawmakers a key to the state Capitol dome, which is an exclusive tourist destination.

The high court said Tuesday the bill violated a requirement of the Missouri Constitution that legislation not be amended to change its original purpose. The procurement portion will remain in effect because the Supreme Court concluded that was the original purpose of the legislation.

The decision upholds a trial judge's ruling last spring.

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