Conflicts of interest in the legislatures | Arkansas Blog

Conflicts of interest in the legislatures


The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.

Spoiler alert: No one in Arkansas was highlighted, though the legislature is full of members who look after business interests from legislative seats. Some legislators serve precisely to make money, sometimes from "consulting" businesses in which their legislative position makes them attractive for providing expert advice on dealing with state government.

The project highlights some egregious conflicts of interest, notes the general weakness of ethics laws and provides some useful information for all.

In the case of Arkansas, you can with one link see the annual financial disclosure statements of all sitting Arkansas legislators without having to figure out the secretary of state's cumbersome filing system. So there's that. We know, though, that our disclosure forms are woefully inadequate and there's no checking to see if they are completely and honestly filled.

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