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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Sex With Lobbyists? It’s a Gift

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - Sex between lobbyists and lawmakers or lawmakers' staff members will be defined as a gift that must be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission, if the Legislature approves a bill introduced Wednesday.

State Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill, filed HB 2059 after state lawmakers promised to reform ethics laws following a pair of scandals that rocked the capital last year.

Under Korman's bill, relationships between married people or people in relationships before election or hiring would be excluded.

And, reporting such a relationship need not have a dollar valuation attached.

Missouri is the only state in the country with no campaign contribution limits, no lobbyist gift limits and no law regulating when a lawmaker can become a lobbyist.

"If an activity like that occurred, at least citizens would know about it," Korman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Korman is chairman of the House Telecommunications Committee, which drew heavy media attention after being treated to dinner at the Jefferson City Country Club by the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association. This led to former House Speaker John Diehl to ban committees from meeting for dinner outside the Capitol.

Diehl resigned in May last year after revelations surfaced that he and a freshman college intern sent each other sexually suggestive text messages. The scandal caused the temporary suspension of the Missouri capital internship program.

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