This sounds like good legislation, but has the potential to be abused. I hope they go further and specify that appointees to these panels should be confirmed by the legislative body at the municipal level — short circuit the problems involved with the Housing Authority issue.

The State Senate voted 46-0 this morning to require local governments to create ethics panels to hear citizen complaints.

Under Senate Bill 372, the panels would have subpoena powers, and could impose up to a $1,000 fine for each violation of ethics law. They could impose the same fine against those who bring frivolous or unfounded complaints.

The bill also tightens requirements for professional lobbyists. Paid lobbyists who frequent the Capitol, but may not be advocating or opposing a particular piece of legislation, would be required to file disclosures of the money they spent on legislators.

One comment

  1. eburke says:

    This sounds like another good idea that will cost me money! Each of these 159 County Ethics Boards and over 400 City Ethics Boards will all need staff, will need offices, will need equipment and supplies. Is there a widespread problem that the voters in a city or county can’t address in the next election? I suspect that there are a few abuses in a small number of communities where people feel like they do not have access to get thier grievances addressed. However most of us can go to our Commissioners and discuss problems with them and we will hold them accountable.
    Why should the taxpayers in Hahira have to pay more because the Dekalb housing authority has ethics problems?

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