Governor Beshears Ethics Reform Bill Passes House

Jan. 30, 2008

FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Steve Beshear’s ethics reform package passed through the House today by a unanimous vote of 94-0 and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

“This proposal was the result of my campaign pledge to strengthen ethics laws that govern the conduct of state officials and employees,? said Beshear. “I am pleased with the House vote and await a positive outcome in the Senate.?

HB 250, sponsored by Rep. Mike Cherry, unanimously cleared the House State Government Committee last week


                     ETHICS BILL – HB 250



HB 250/CI (BR 503) – M. Cherry, J. Vincent, M. Denham, T. Riner
     AN ACT relating to executive branch ethics.
     Amend KRS 11A.010 to revise the definition of “officer” to include only salaried boards and commissions as subject to the entire ethics code; delete list of certain named boards and commissions; include in the definition of “public servant” any person who performs state service on contract in a full-time position and any person or position designated by executive order of the Governor; define “person,” “matter,” and “board member”; amend KRS 11A.020 to prohibit use of a public servant’s office or position when seeking other employment or contracting for services for oneself; prohibit the misuse of state time, equipment, personnel, facilities, or state resources for private business or campaigns; prohibit soliciting, selling to, or otherwise engaging in a financial transaction with a subordinate or a person or business whom the public servant regulates, does business with, or supervises in the public servant’s official capacity, if the economic benefit is greater than $50 in a single calendar year; amend KRS 11A.040 to allow acceptance of awards for exceptional service as long as it complies with the provisions relating to gifts in KRS 11A.045; prohibit a public servant from negotiating for future employment with a person or business with which the public servant is directly involved as part of his official duty; amend KRS 11A.045 to increase gifts limitation per source to $50 for a single calendar year; establish procedures for a public servant who wishes to accept donations from a legal defense fund; amend KRS 11A.050 to increase the filing deadline for financial disclosure statements from thirty days to ninety days after leaving state government; require disclosure if the nature of a listed business; amend KRS 11A.060, relating to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, to require the Governor to appoint some members from nominees submitted by the Attorney General and the Auditor of Public Accounts; attach the Commission to the Finance and Administration Cabinet, rather than the Office of the Governor, for administrative purposes only; amend KRS 11A.080 to clarify that commission investigations are confidential unless there is a final order of the commission; permit the commission to release evidence to the Personnel Board for its use in conducting investigations; allow the commission to publicly confirm an investigation if the violations alleged were made public by another state agency and publicly referred to the Commission by that state agency; direct that a finding by the commission of a violation of the ethics code is a reason for dismissal or other discipline under KRS Chapter 18A; also apply to any public servant not subject to KRS 18A; amend KRS 11A.130 to clarify that the provision for employment in a privatized entity refers to a privatized service rather than to an entire privatized agency; create a new section of KRS Chapter 11A; prohibit a board member from contracting with the board or commission on which he or she serves; require board members to disclose any potential conflict of interest they may have and abstain from related decisions; subject board members to the limitations on acceptance of gifts; amend KRS 11A.990 to establish that salary withheld due to failure to file a financial statement by the deadline shall be withheld from the sixteenth day of noncompliance rather than the first day; amend KRS 61.102 to include the Executive Branch Ethics Commission as one of the state agencies to which whistleblowers may report possible violations of law without the fear of reprisal; amend KRS 61.103 to provide whistleblowers one year, instead of 90 days to bring an action for relief or damages.

     HFA (1, J. Hoover) – Retain language prohibiting a public servant from negotiating for employment with a person or business that does business with or is regulated by the agency for which he works; delete language pertaining to the public servant’s direct involvement in matters regarding the prospective employer.

     HFA (2, J. Hoover) – Make technical correction.

     HFA (3, J. Hoover) – Change the provision requiring commission investigations to be confidential “unless” there is a final order of the commission to “until” there is a final order of the commission.

     HFA (4, J. Hoover) – Prohibit the “misuse,” rather than “abuse,” of state time, equipment, personnel, facilities, or other state resources for private business purposes; prohibit the “use,” rather than “abuse,” of state time, equipment, personnel, facilities, or other state resources for political campaign purposes.

     HFA (5, J. Stacy) – Amend KRS 11A.040 to increase from six months to one year the period of time an officer or statewide elected official must wait before: (1) he may contract with the state agency by which he was previously employed, or (2) he may accept employment with a person or business that does business with or is regulated by the state agency by which he was employed; amend KRS 11A.130 by removing the provision allowing an officer or employee of a state agency or service that is privatized to accept employment with the new person or business if the officer or employee was not involved in the decision to privatize or in developing the privatization contract; add new language to prohibit, for one year, an officer or statewide elected official who is employed by a state agency that privatized a service, from accepting employment or compensation from the person or business responsible for the privatized service.
     Jan 10-introduced in House
     Jan 15-to State Government (H); posted in committee
     Jan 17-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar
     Jan 18-2nd reading, to Rules
     Jan 23-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Thursday, January 24, 2008
     Jan 24-floor amendments (1) (2) and (3) filed
     Jan 29-floor amendments (4) and (5) filed



Comments are closed.