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Proposed Ethics Reform Would Provide Clearer Standards

Indiana Statehouse

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, says ethics reform legislation unveiled Thursday is aimed at providing more transparency in both the legislative and executive branches of state government.

The ethics reform effort sprouted from scandals over the past year involving former Rep. Eric Turner, INDOT official Troy Woodruff and former State Superintendent Tony Bennett.  The proposed bill aims to strengthen state ethics that would cover all three of those cases.

Bosma says, in the legislative arena, the bill would provide lawmakers a much clearer standard for avoiding conflicts of interest.

“It will allow people to give of their knowledge – not require it – but allow them to give of their knowledge but to avoid both public and private advocacy of their own self interest,” Bosma says.

The legislation would also bar state officials from using public materials, facilities or funds for political purposes.

And it gives more oversight to the State Ethics Commission when government employees leave for the private sector.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, the bill’s co-author, says it provides common sense steps in improving the Statehouse.

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