Missouri House leader calls for patience with new ethics legislation

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | 8:07 a.m. CST; updated 9:19 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 21, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House leader said waiting until after this year's elections before trying to pass new ethics legislation could produce a higher-quality bill.

The state Supreme Court last week threw out much of Missouri's most recent ethics law because of how it was approved. Gov. Jay Nixon has called for new ethics legislation.

House Majority Leader Tim Jones said he would support a new measure advancing in the chamber but that trying to pass it in an election year could prove difficult. Jones, a Republican from Eureka, sponsored the earlier legislation.

The Supreme Court's ruling invalidated a requirement to publicly report contributions of more than $500 within 48 hours of when the Legislature is in session. The law also had allowed the Missouri Ethics Commission to investigate without first receiving complaints.

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