Missouri Government

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Missouri’s legislative branch is officially back to work. State lawmakers were sworn in for the 2019 legislative session Wednesday—and the opening session featured several individuals from Greene County in positions of leadership.

The House formally elected Elijah Haahr, a Republican from Springfield, and he took the gavel moments later. In his first speech, Haahr said his top effort would be economic growth. He cited a need for cutting-edge public education, and said the state must “provide opportunities to those in a broken criminal justice system.”

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As it stands, Missouri law permits lawmakers to accept gifts like trips, meals and tickets to ball games from lobbyists. And there’s no limit on how much a lobbyist can spend on an elected official.  Governor Eric Greitens has said he’d like to ban lobbyist gifts, but with only a month left in this year’s legislative session, that’s unlikely to happen this year. While that debate continues, we thought it would be helpful to offer a refresher on Missouri law regarding what defines a lobbyist.  

Executive lobbyists

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has identified the five most common Sunshine Law violations found in Missouri government. The list was compiled from audit reports issued between January 2014 and June 2015.

The top 5 violations are:

1. Closed meeting topics- Some issues discussed in closed meetings were not allowed by law.

2. Reasons for closed meetings- The reasons for closing a meeting and related votes were not adequately documented.

3. Meeting minutes- Minutes were not prepared for open meetings.