Monday, March 05, 2007

Ethics 2007

Legislative Ethics HB 109

Pictured - First ethics subcommittee meeting

The issue of ethics in government remains on the top of legislative activity this week. We are in the process of moving HB 109 out of State Affairs and into Judiciary next week. It is important that public trust in the three branches of government be restored. We are diligently working to clarify ethics laws so that there will be a ‘bright line’ for both executive and legislative branches as well as lobbyists and other governmental entities.

I believe that it is important that ethics rules are clear and understandable. I am working to ensure that the rules that result will be clear, and comprehensive, yet not so restrictive that it could result in a person being labeled as ‘unethical’ for a process problem.

To this end, my colleagues and I have embarked on a deliberative process in which we are tightening up rules and clarifying language while continually looking ahead for the possible ‘unforeseen consequences’ of the rules. I strongly support a citizen legislature, but recognize that this requires members to have careers outside of the legislative arena. The challenge is to provide transparency for the public, yet allow for us to live and work in our communities as citizens. I welcome your comments and questions as we continue to move this legislation through the house.

Pictured - State Affairs Committee reviewing HB 109