We're proud to announce the release of a citizen petition and website focused on Vermont ethics reforms.
“The time has come. Public support for these reforms is growing and this petition will quantify that support in a way that the Legislature will hear loud and clear” says Cyrus Patten, the Campaign’s Executive Director.
The group pointed to Vermont’s poor ranking on ethics issues, building on their 2013 proposal for comprehensive ethics reforms. For example, Vermont received a failing grade from the Center for Pubic Integrity for legislative accountability. Vermont also received a failing grade for ethics enforcement capabilities.
“We need not look to national rankings to see we have a problem. It’s perfectly legal for a legislator to accept gifts from everyone except registered lobbyists. There is no prohibition on using public funds for personal gain. And we have no revolving door provision, meaning a legislator could conceivably trade their vote for a job as a lobbyist” said Patten.
Campaign for Vermont stressed that the vast majority of elected state and local officials are trustworthy, dedicated and passionate individuals who want to do the right thing. But they recognize the need to set common ethical standards.
According to Patten, “Vermont is ahead on so many important issues, we shouldn’t continue to lag behind on transparency and ethics matters. We have heard from our network of over 20,000 Vermonters that this is important to them. Now there’s a way for people to register that support in a public way.”
Add your name to the 200+ people that have already signed the petition asking the Legislature to take up the issue of ethics reforms.