WATCH: MO bill would consider sex as a 'gift'

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 09:36:59-05

Lobbyists are required by Missouri law to report any expenditures spent on a lawmaker or their family to the ethics commission. This includes things like dinner and gifts.

A new bill pushed by Republican State Representative Bart Korman would add sex to that list.

House Bill 2059 states:

The term gift shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff.

To read HB2059 in full, click here

Unlike other gifts requiring reporting, sex would not need a monetary value added in the monthly report.

“Thats been the local discussion, how to price that or how to put a performance on it and I try to address it as a zero price tag to eliminate that discussion if at all possible,” said Rep. Korman.

Korman says the motivation behind authoring the bill is two fold.

The idea started as a reaction to two sex scandals during the last legislative session at the capital that lead to two congressman resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment, including the speaker of the house.


Korman decided to act on the idea after new speaker of the house Todd Richardson called for ethics reform on Wednesday, the first day of the new legislative session.

“From a citizen aspect, if you’re an elected official having a relationship with a lobbyist to that degree, I think that they should know. A citizen should know if that’s going on,” said Korman.

While the reported sex would be public record, pre-existing relationships before either party was in their respective positions wouldn’t be part of the required report.

“There’s married relationships and situations in this building, so those are mostly known. and so everybody knows that. Situations where they’re not known are the situations I'm trying to address,” said Korman.

HB2059 would have to pass through a committee before it can be voted on and approved by the house then the senate if it were to become law.

Korman has requested that the bill be referred to the house governmental oversight and accountability committee.

Korman says the speaker of the house has the discretion of which committee to send HB2059 to.

He says the speaker could kill the legislation by not sending it anywhere until the last day of the legislative season.

“[The House} talked about improving the integrity, accountability and transparency of the process and so I think this bill does some of that,” said Korman.


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