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Answers to some previously asked questions, from ethics champion Steven “Air” Tilley

I asked “3) How long will former legislators be barred from lobbying? a year? two years? longer?”

“A moratorium on serving as a legislative lobbyist for 180 days after a member leaves the general assembly”

HA HA HA HA. Wait, that’s not some joke before you reveal a moratorium with teeth?

That means that legislators who leave office due to term limits on January 5th(?), 2011 can lobby the legislature on July 4th, 2011. Which means that there is maybe a year break if the lobbyist doesn’t find veto session work. But if a term-limited legislator were to resign on November 2nd, 2010, he could lobby the legislature on May 1st, 2011. Just in time to work on the most important days of the 2011 session.

Not that legislators, who have already resigned early for various reasons (moving on to a new position, giving their anointed successor a leg up) would eveeeeeeeeer notice that resigning in the fall, when they have no more work to do, would get them work lobbying the legislature in May 2011. Never.

BTW, nothing about that seems to prevent a legislator lobbying one of the three other non-legislative bodies for “on the job training” before going back to their old work place.

And I asked “2) How far will gift bans really go? and how blatant will the loopholes be? Will Lobbyists be able to co-own valuable items with legislators to stretch a gift ban?”

“An end to lobbyist gifts and meals to individual members of the legislature”

Still not answered. But then again, does that mean that gifts to the entire body or more than one legislator would be allowed?

“Tilley said he approached the legislation with three criteria in mind:

1. “It must be comprehensive.”

2. “It must be fair.”

3. “It must make an impact and prove effective.””

When we see the text, we can see how Tilley’s bill does under Tilley’s criteria. We’ll also see if poking the bill with sharp sticks produces answers to pressing questions.

(h/t to Fired Up! Missouri for the Turner Report link)