The House Government Operations Committee returned to two draft ethics bills on Wednesday. Jaye Pershing Johnson (General Counsel, Governor's Office) was up first, speaking to the good working relationship the Administration has with Ethics Commission. The Administration has no opposition to draft except to note that the Sheriffs already have a financial disclosure requirement. They believe these requirements should be equal and apply to all. Pershing Johnson had one caution however, which was that historically requirements for financial disclosures have a tendency to discourage folks from serving if the burden of disclosure is too great. She suggested that the Legislature might want to avoid giving the appearance of ‘weaponizing’ the Commission.
NOTE: Brady had submitted a letter to the Committee which we had read when preparing our last newsletter. In my mind, the letter did not clearly present the League’s position on a statewide ethics bill. In listening to this week's presentation, it became very clear what his position is.Read more
The House Government Operations Committee heard from the chair of the Public Safety Task Force (Commissioner Morrison, Department of Public Safety) on Tuesday. The Task Force was established under Act 78 to create a statewide communication system for first responders and law enforcement. She introduced her co-chair Barbara Neal, the Executive Director of the enhanced e911 board. Neal talked about the members of the task force and the work accomplished to date. They have held 30 meetings since the task force’s inception, but the Commissioner noted that there are some who think they have nothing to show for it.Read more
A number of amendments were reviewed by the House Government Operations Committee and then reviewed on the House floor later in the day. These included attempts to reduce health care coverage to just during the legislative session, looking at creating an independent commission to oversee legislative compensation, study appropriate salaries instead of new salaries instead of setting them now, and shortening the legislative session to 12 week (typically around 19 now).Read more