State ethics policies — May 8

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The Center provides our bi-weekly round-up of recent action on ethics policies in the states. We’re digging through the news for any potential changes out there, so you don’t have to.

In Alabama, the House Judiciary Committee recently approved ethics legislation that now goes on to the full House of Representatives. The bill would, among other things, require electronic filing for disclosure of gifts. The measure would also make records available online, and give the state ethics commission subpoena power. But with Alabama’s regular legislative session ending in just days, the initiative’s fate is uncertain.

The Illinois Reform Commission has provided the legislature with its top recommendations for ethics reform, including restrictions on campaign contributions and a revised procurement system. The commission passed along its suggestions to lawmakers this week, and with less than a month left in the legislative session, Governor Pat Quinn has urged lawmakers to step up and support the bill.

The Tennessee State Ethics Commission is one step closer to shutting its doors after the House State Government Subcommittee approved legislation this week to eliminate the commission, as a means of saving money. The duties of the ethics commission would be transferred to the Registry of Election Finance.

And, despite approval in the Idaho Senate last month, a bill that would have expanded the state’s Sunshine Law to include requirements about disclosing personal financial information has just been killed by House Speaker Lawrence Denney. He said “it’s an issue that’s not yet ripe on the House side yet.”

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