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Missouri House moves forward on proposed lobbyist gift ban

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri House is moving forward on a top campaign promise by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to ban lobbyist gifts to elected officials.

House members voted 147-6 in favor of a proposed ban Thursday. It needs a second vote to move to the Senate.

Missouri currently allows lobbyists to give unlimited gifts to elected officials. Gifts given to lawmakers last year included free tickets to Beyonce concerts and meals at swanky steakhouses.

The House bill would prohibit that.

Most representatives voted in favor of the measure. But some Democrats criticized an exception that would allow lobbyists to cater free meals at Missouri events for lawmakers and statewide elected officials if they’re all invited.

The bill also includes exceptions for flowers and honorary plaques.