What the bills would do

July 10, 2010 

Both the House and Senate versions of the ethics bill would:

Make it a crime for statewide elected officials to get contributions from people who do business with the state by coercion or promises of preferential treatment. State officials and employees would be banned from soliciting favors, services and job offers.

Make it a felony to give more than $10,000 worth of contributions in the name of another. Also make it a felony for a corporation to give more than $10,000 in contributions. Currently those offenses are misdemeanors.

Require the State Board of Elections to create a database to allow campaign finance searches by location, occupation, employer, contributor or recipient.

Require that an ethics statement be filed the year after an official leaves office.

Require lobbyists to register only if they are paid for their work.

Make the salary history and each promotion of a state employee a public record. Currently only the most recent change is public.

Require public records disputes to be sent to a mediator before a lawsuit can be filed.

Allow for the recovery of legal fees by people who successfully sue the state over the improper withholding of public records.

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