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Democrats move ethics bill to Mo. House floor

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Democrats in the Missouri House have taken an unusual step to keep alive an ethics bill that would restore limits on campaign contributions.

A House committee recently voted to send the bill back to another committee in order to remove the provision to cap contributions. But today, three Republicans joined 56 Democrats on the House floor in authorizing a discharge petition, which removes the bill from the committee process and sends it directly to the floor for debate.

Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart) was among those backing the petition.

"It's vital that we have some meaningful ethics reform...it's time that we give this bill a fair hearing on the House floor and let the people of this state know who's in favor of ethical behavior in this building and who's not," Roorda said.

But Republican leaders are balking at the move. House Speaker Ron Richard (R, Joplin) calls it a "political stunt" designed to grab headlines, and says Democrats have effectively killed the bill.