Ethics Reform Advances

Below is a Senate Majority Press Release 6-12-07:


Senate Bill 10 contains five-point plan for comprehensive ethics reform

SALEM- The Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government today passed Senate Bill 10, legislation that implements a five-point plan for ethics reform for Oregon public officials. The plan calls for dedicated funding for the Government Standards and Practice Commission (GSPC), stronger reporting requirements for legislators and lobbyists, increased civil penalties for violations, a “revolving door” limit on legislators becoming lobbyists and stricter gift limitations.

“We are moving forward on comprehensive ethics reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown (DPortland), sponsor of the bill. “This will be the most significant ethics reform we have seen since Watergate.”

Senate Bill 10 will include funding for the GSPC through an assessment on all public bodies based on the number of officials in the body. Penalties will increase from $1,000 to $5,000 for violations. Legislators would be prohibited from becoming lobbyists until after one regular legislative session. Reporting of Statements of Economic Interest would be required quarterly instead of yearly, and gifts would be limited to $50 annually from someone with a legislative or administrative interest.

“The people expect us to close the loopholes that allow expensive dinners and lobbyist paid travel,” said Senator Brown. “That is what Senate Bill 10 will deliver.”

Senate Bill 10 will now move to the full Ways and Means Committee before going to the Senate floor.