Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ethics Reform Bill Passes the House

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. says the passing of the Speaker’s ethics reform bill combined with the GOP amendments adopted during today’s House debate will go a long way in the effort to restore the public’s trust. Jones says the adoption of various Republican amendments is a sign that the Majority Party is willing to work in a bipartisanship way as the Legislature works to improve its standing with the general public.

“It’s important now, more than ever that the members of the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle work together for the good of the Commonwealth and its constituents,” said Representative Jones. “People are fed up with the finger pointing on Beacon Hill and the ethical improprieties committed by a few that tarnish the efforts of most.”

Representative Jones and his Republican colleagues offered a whole host of amendments tackling the issues of campaigning and fundraising as well as offering stricter guidelines relative to lobbying.

The following is a list of what GOP amendments were adopted during today’s House debate:

1) Require individuals to report bribes, corrupt gifts and monies gained from illegal activities for state income tax purposes.

2) Prohibit convicted felons from registering as lobbyists in the Commonwealth.

3) Candidates may not use their campaign accounts to pay off ethics violation fines.

“I am pleased with the progress made during today’s debate. I hope that these new laws and those already on the books will be properly enforced in the future. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and getting the state’s economy moving in the right direction needs to be the top priority. We as a legislative body and the people of Massachusetts deserve better and ethical improprieties are not only intolerable but an incredible distraction from important business on Beacon Hill.”