A bill by House Speaker Jeremy Gillam
(R-Judsonia) that would create a variety of exemptions and loopholes in the state's 2014 ethics amendment
was voted down by the senate this morning, 9-12 (the bill was amended this week
to make the loopholes a bit less egregious, but it still significantly weakens ethics law
Most of the opposition to HB 1401 came from Democrats, but they were joined by three Republicans — including Sen. Jim Hendren
(R-Gravette), the majority leader. Thirteen Republican senators did not cast a vote on the measure.
The vote by which HB 1401 failed was expunged following the bill's failure, so it may well return.