Panel of Missouri House GOP leaders gets lobbyist meals

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | 10:52 a.m. CDT; updated 12:30 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — A new panel of Republican leaders in the Missouri House has received lobbyist meals, but it's hard to tell exactly which lawmakers have benefited.

The House has created new "issue development" committees that, in practice, function like every other House panel. Some of the new groups study topics such as oral health and Missouri's wetlands. But one new panel consists only of House GOP leadership, and it is the only committee that has received meals from lobbyists.

The Missouri Ethics Commission website shows the leadership panel got $3,000 of food and drinks from lobbyists in February. But unlike when gifts are provided to individual lawmakers, lobbyist disclosure rules don't require them to itemize which specific lawmakers benefit when gifts are made to committees.

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