Bills are quickly being introduced and its time to start looking for those likely to be on the public interest agenda.
The State Ethics Commission’s package of bills has been introduced. There’s a bill to strengthen conflict of interest provisions by extending them to certain relatives not presently included.
There’s a bill prohibiting nepotism.
Nepotism. No legislator or employee shall name, appoint, or hire to public office or employment any relative who is the legislator’s or employee’s spouse, parent, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, grandparent, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, 10 stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.”
There’s a bill to clarify financial disclosure requirements for members of state task forces, and to require public disclosures by members of major boards and commissions. Another bill would eliminate the requirement that violations of the lobbying law be determined to be “willful” before any penalties can be imposed.
These should at least get public hearings. Will they? Unknown, for now. Their treatment might tell us more about the new leadership in House and Senate.
There are more modest proposals from Campaign Spending Commission.
Amends the campaign finance law by: (1) defining “matching payment period”; (2) correcting statutory references; (3) changing report filing deadlines; (4) specifying noncandidate committee reporting requirements for contributions made; (5) requiring the identification of the candidate supported or opposed by an independent expenditure; and (6) increasing the amount of allowable expenditures made by a publicly financed candidate for the office of prosecuting attorney.
You can check the packages of bills from various interest groups by going to the “reports & lists” section of the capitol website, then selecting “measure by package” from the list at the left.