Call to Action: Ethics

Vermont is one of three states in the country with no ethics laws for public officials. Campaign for Vermont Prosperity has spent years advocating for these needed changes to demand the best from our elected officials. Vermonters deserve to know that their public officials are acting in their best interest, and not being influenced by conflicts of interest.

Here are some facts about ethics reform in Vermont:

  • In December of 2013, CFV released a report highlighting the need for ethics laws in Vermont.
  • Vermont ranks 43rd in government integrity laws according to the Better Government Association.
  • Vermont receives a grade of F from the State Integrity Investigation for both legislative accountability and ethics enforcement.
  • Forty-eight states require financial disclosure from public officials and thirty-six include spouses in disclosure requirements. Vermont does not require financial disclosures for all public officials.
  • Twenty-five states have a one year revolving door prohibition and another nine states have a two year prohibition. Vermont has no prohibition on lawmakers taking lucrative positions in private sector industries they regulated. 
  • Twenty-nine states have nepotism guidelines to avoid favoritism towards friends and family members. Vermont does not prohibit this.
  • Forty-three other states have an independent ethics commission that covers both the Executive and Legislative branches. Vermont has no independent ethics enforcement authority.

Background
Campaign for Vermont was successful in encouraging both the House and Senate to implement rules for Legislators to avoid conflicts of interest as well as disclosure requirements upon being elected. However Vermont is still lacking an independent ethics oversight authority and ethics laws that apply equally to both the Executive and Legislative branches. 

Last year the Senate passed a bill that would have created statewide ethics laws and an independent ethics commission to govern the conduct of public officials. The House never took the bill up because it was late in the session. This year, the Senate Government Operations Committee took it upon itself to get a bill out quickly and they have followed through on that promise.

The Senate is poised to vote in support of ethics legislation on February 7, 2017. However, the House committee set to receive the bill has already voiced opposition to comprehensive ethics reform...

 

Get Involved
Help us pass comprehensive ethics legislation this year by writing to the House Government Operations Committee. We have a pre-drafted letter to help get you started! Click the button below to get started (it's quick we promise).

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