Monday, March 30, 2009

Chipping away at ethics reform

A bill has been filed for the upcoming regular session that would create a new exclusion in the state’s Code of Governmental Ethics for board or commission members married to an individual receiving payments from the State Employees' Retirement System, Teachers' Retirement System, School Employees' Retirement System or State Police Pension and Retirement System.

State Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard of Thibodaux, who has no party affiliation, says his House Bill 101 would loosen the restrictions so more people can serve on local-level boards and commissions. “Some people are uncomfortable revealing information that is only indirectly connected to them,” says Richard, a member of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. “These are mostly volunteer positions, and we want more people to step up.”

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