Missouri House speaker urges colleagues to reject gifts

Missouri’s incoming House speaker says he’s urging colleagues to decline gifts from lobbyists.

Republican Steven Tilley, of Perryville, proposed legislation last year to bar lawmakers from accepting gifts and free meals from lobbyists. Tilley told reporters that this year he is urging Republican House members to reject freebies voluntarily.

Lawmakers last year approved new campaign finance and ethics but did not include a ban on accepting gifts.

Tilley says he used to accept gifts, but stopped doing so after his parents suggested his actions could look bad to someone who doesn’t know him.

Tilley says he is urging other lawmakers to learn from his mistake.

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