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Repeal lawmaker ethics loophole


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 20, 2012

~~<p>State legislators were urged to be careful in making changes to the state ethics code applying to members of state task forces to constrain their dealings. Instead, the lawmakers approved a key change that broadens their own exemptions from ethics restrictions. Sen. Josh Green, for one, already appears to have benefited by the exemption, which should be repealed quickly in the upcoming session.</p>
<p>It's unclear how the legislators' provision was inserted in the bill intended to apply to members of Legislature-created task forces, a measure to prohibit state employees from using their positions to gain unfair advantages for themselves or others. Allowing anybody such exemption to the restriction &quot;would not only set a bad tone, it could well start things down a slippery slope,&quot; JoAnn Maruoka of the League of Women Voters warned legislators in February. We agree. Imagine, then, Maruoka's and our collective surprise to learn later that the bill also exempted legislators from the ethical prohibition.</p>
~~

State legislators were urged to be careful in making changes to the state ethics code applying to members of state task forces to constrain their dealings. Instead, the lawmakers approved a key change that broadens their own exemptions from ethics restrictions. Sen. Josh Green, for one, already appears to have benefited by the exemption, which should be repealed quickly in the upcoming session.

It's unclear how the legislators' provision was inserted in the bill intended to apply to members of Legislature-created task forces, a measure to prohibit state employees from using their positions to gain unfair advantages for themselves or others. Allowing anybody such exemption to the restriction "would not only set a bad tone, it could well start things down a slippery slope," JoAnn Maruoka of the League of Women Voters warned legislators in February. We agree. Imagine, then, Maruoka's and our collective surprise to learn later that the bill also exempted legislators from the ethical prohibition. Login for more...



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