Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Republicans Resist Ethics Reform

When it comes to ethics reform in Tennessee’s government the politicians just can’t get along. The Republicans want new legislators to undergo four hours of ethics training. The Democrats countered with 40 hours, which of course upset the Republicans. Four hours is all you need when Gregory money is funding you. By the way, the financial disclosure laws for Tennessee's lawmakers rank 44th out of the nation's 50 states, according to the political watchdog organization Center for Public Integrity.
The following came from Republican Leader Tre Hargett’s Capitol Hill Week in Review for March 17, 2005.

During a meeting of the House State Government Subcommittee, Republican legislators defended two separate bills designed to hold legislators to ethical standards both at the beginning and the end of their careers. One bill, HB267, called for a four-hour ethics training course to be conducted by the state legislature for all newly-elected members. The training would allow for uniform introduction to the rules, regulations and standards of the House. This would especially be helpful during sessions immediately subsequent to the current one, which is seeing high numbers of ethics legislation pass through its committee system. However, the spirit of HB267 to provide a concise introduction to the ethics of the body was obstructed by Democrat-sponsored amendments to require a forty-hour training period without the typical daily financial allowances granted to traveling legislators. The committee passed the bill as amended for consideration in next week's meeting of the full House Committee on State and Local Government.

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