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Ethics Bill Gains Preliminary House Support

By a voice vote, the House approved changes to ethics laws. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The bill would put an end to most caucuses.

When lobbyists provide meals or gifts for caucuses, expenditure reports only show the gift or meal going to the caucus, not individual lawmakers.

The legislation also requires disclosure reports to be filed electronically.

Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey is the bill sponsor.

He faced questions from Minority Floor Leader Jeff Harris about the scope of his bill.

Harris speaks first.

Democrats complained that the bill doesn't go far enough, especially in light of news reports that indicate there's a federal investigation into lobbyist practices in Jefferson City.

Democratic Leader Jeff Harris.

But the bill sponsor, Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey says this bill goes a long way toward improving transparency and will allow the public greater access to lobbyist activity.

Dempsey, who controls which bills come to the floor for debate, says there's a chance a broader ethics bill will come before the House soon.

His ethics bill needs final House approval before advancing to the Senate.