State Ethics Reform (Watch)

State Ethics Reform (Watch)

HB 7007 (House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee; Sullivan) prohibits the use of an elected official’s (including municipal) name, image or symbols of office in a public service announcement while the official is a candidate for reelection or election to another public office, if such announcement is paid for with public funds or donated media. The term “public service announcement” is defined as any message that “promotes or announces an issue of public importance, concern, or welfare.” In addition, the bill amends various provisions relating to public officer and employee conduct regarding solicitation and negotiating of conflicting relationships. Specifically, the bill would prohibit any public officer or employee from soliciting any employment or contractual relationship from entities with which they are prohibited from entering into conflicting relationships under the state Code of Ethics. The bill also amends various provisions relating to executive branch lobbyist registration. It clarifies that the current lobbyist registration process for the executive branch does not require an officer or employee of a political subdivision, including a municipality, to register if the officer or employee is acting in the normal course of his or her duties.  (O’Hara)