R.I.P. ethics rule | Arkansas Blog

R.I.P. ethics rule


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The idea to put a new lobbyist gift disclosure rule in the House rules is officially dead -- though it arrived on advanced life supports.

Statement on jump from sponsors.

A week ago, several House members thought we might be able to pass ethics reform by amending the rules of the House of Representatives to require full disclosure of all gifts from lobbyists. We had earlier thought that, in light of recent legislative efforts, we might be able to amend House rules to add ethics requirements. Our proposal would have required the vote of two-thirds of House members. We believe the public is supportive of ethics rules similar to those recently enacted by Congress, but there has not been a groundswell of citizen support. Based on our conversations with House members in the last few days, we find that winning a two-thirds vote is not realistic at this point.
We have therefore decided not to proceed with our ethics rule this coming Thursday. Several members have raised legitimate concerns that the bill is imperfect in some respects, particularly in its lack of coverage across the board and its lack of an enforcement mechanism. Other public officials have said that they intend to work for ethics legislation in the 2009 session, and we intend to work with them towards making Arkansas government transparent.  We're hopeful that meaningful ethics legislation will result from this debate and our continued efforts in 2009.



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