MONTGOMERY – During a news conference at the state capitol this morning, Governor Bob Riley outlined the details of a proposal he has submitted that is “a total and complete” overhaul of the state’s ethics code.
The Alabama Code of Public Ethics, which is sponsored by Senator Ben Brooks and Representative Mac Gipson, would bring greater transparency to dealings between lobbyists and public servants, prevent conflicts of interests, and empower the state’s Ethics Commission to enforce the law.
Governor Riley first announced the ethics reform proposal during his State of the State Address earlier this month.
“This is the most sweeping overhaul of the state’s ethics code since it was adopted in 1973. This new Alabama Code of Public Ethics will be a powerful check on the self interests of public servants and the special interests,” said Governor Riley.
Legislators who joined Governor Riley at Thursday’s news conference included bill sponsors Brooks and Gipson and co-sponsors Senator Arthur Orr and Representative Richard Laird.
Among the bill’s provisions are:
- Requiring lobbyists to fully disclose to the Ethics Commission any and all gifts, meals, travel, tickets to sporting events, and other things of value provided to public servants and members of their household.
- Requiring lobbyists to fully disclose to the Ethics Commission any and all financial transactions between lobbyists and public servants and their household members.
- Requiring lobbyists who lobby the executive branch for grants and contracts to register with the Ethics Commission.
- Requiring public servants and their household members to disclose to the Ethics Commission all jobs and consulting contracts they have with any business, nonprofit or other entity that receives public funds, and all household income derived from any state or local government entity or institution.
- Requiring the Ethics Commission to post on the Internet all lobbyists spending on public servants and their household members. The disclosures will be searchable on the Internet by the name of the public servant and the lobbyist.
Subpoena power for the Ethics Commission.
The Governor's Press Office.