Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Lawmakers act on ethics reform bills
- 2013 - 845 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
- December 2008 - 146 articles
- November 2008 - 147 articles
- October 2008 - 232 articles
- September 2008 - 189 articles
- August 2008 - 126 articles
- July 2008 - 147 articles
- June 2008 - 111 articles
- May 2008 - 147 articles
- April 2008 - 141 articles
- March 2008 - 125 articles
- February 2008 - 135 articles
- February 29th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 28th, 2008 (Thursday) - 12 articles
- February 27th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- February 26th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 4 articles
- February 25th, 2008 (Monday) - 3 articles
- February 22nd, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 21st, 2008 (Thursday) - 15 articles
- February 20th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- February 19th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- February 18th, 2008 (Monday) - 3 articles
- February 15th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 14th, 2008 (Thursday) - 13 articles
- February 13th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- February 12th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- February 8th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 7th, 2008 (Thursday) - 7 articles
- February 6th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- February 5th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- February 4th, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- February 1st, 2008 (Friday) - 5 articles
- January 2008 - 111 articles
|Lawmakers act on ethics reform bills|
The first few days of the special legislative session on ethics reform saw lawmakers move swiftly to adopt a number of measures Gov. Bobby Jindal called on legislators to consider.
Among the items approved by House and Senate committees were bills requiring legislators to fully disclose all sources of income while serving in office.
State Sen. Mike Walsworth said he expected most, if not all, of Jindal's ethics reform initiatives to pass the Legislature.
"We'll do some tweaking here and there and small compromises, but by and large, the concepts and principles will stay in tact and we may even come home a little early," said Walsworth, R-West Monroe.
Walsworth expects legislators to approve Jindal's proposals because it is what the citizens of Louisiana have said they want.
"We know that this is where the people want us to go and we're going to get there, and that'll be just fine," Walsworth said.
State Rep. Noble Ellington said he was impressed with the progress legislators made on Monday, especially considering committees in both chambers of the Legislature tackled a complex disclosure rule that will require most state and local government officials to reveal all sources of income.
"We did some fairly decent things Monday with the ethics bills," said Ellington, D-Winnsboro. "But we had some on our side (House) and the Senate had some on theirs, but we did the disclosure thing and made a few amendments."
"I think it's going to come out okay," Ellington added.
Ellington downplayed the impact disclosure rules would have on legislators.
"Those rules require us to just tell what you make and where you make it, not just in the government but everywhere," Ellington said. "That seems to be the direction in which we're headed."
During committee meetings on Monday, lawmakers expanded the disclosure rules to cover the governor's office, members of the governor's cabinet and other administration officials.
Ellington said he expects the disclosure rules will be expanded again to include members of state-appointed commissions and boards.
"They are the ones that spend a lot of money and that seems to be where we are headed, which I think is good," Ellington said. "It ought to be pretty much all inclusive."
Lawmakers also approved the controversial Senate Bill 1, which bans legislators from holding state contracts, or doing business with the state.
State Sen. Francis Thompson called the move overdue and said the proposal to ban lawmakers from doing business with the state was a necessary move.
"I am one of those that believes lawyers and others that are legislators can't be both," Thompson said. "You've got to either represent the state or represent the folks you're getting paid by."
Thompson said SB 1 still had to overcome an obstacle. That obstacle deals with legislators representing clients who file lawsuits against the state. Legislation exists to prohibit lawmakers from doing it.
"I just think it's a conflict of interest because they have an inside track," Thompson said. "If you are a state representative or state senator, you should represent the state and not be suing the state."
State senators also approved Senate Bill 4, a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to pass exceptions to ethics rules. Under SB4, any exceptions would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Ultimately, voters throughout the state would have to approve SB 4 for it to become law.
State Sen. Neil Riser said SB4 is a good measure for the Legislature, as long as lawmakers pay close attention to details of any exemptions they are asked to consider.
"Because it requires a two-thirds majority to pass, you want to go through those exceptions and make sure they are actually what they say they are," said Riser, R-Columbia. "Once you vote on them, they're there and are going to be there."
Reps. Frank Hoffmann and Kay Katz could not be reached for comment.