|From our friends at Progress Virginia, thanks as always for the great work you do trying to make Virginia a more progressive place! :)|
ProgressVA Education Fund today released a new report examining the impact of HB2070 on gifts to legislators and the loopholes in the bill. The report is available online at http://act.progressva.org/go/1212?t=2&akid=2526.1836.ooSsYI
“This bill is really one step forward and two steps back,” said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. “On the surface a new, lower gift limit is progress but the devil is in the details and the details of HB2070 allow for multiple exemptions and loopholes from gift rules.”
According to ProgressVA Education Fund’s analysis, 79% of gifts reported by legislators in 2014 would not be impacted by the bill, including 69% of gifts from lobbyists. ProgressVA Education Fund could not determine the legality of approximately 10% of lobbyist gifts without additional information.
The report identifies a significant new loophole that would exclude some travel, such as to conferences hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, from regulation and disclosure. “This loophole essentially allows the Speaker and Senate Rules Committee to exempt gifts from regulation or disclosure by approving attendance at a conference,” said Scholl. “The public's business should be conducted in the light of day.”
ProgressVA: New Virginia "Ethics" Bill "really one step forward and two steps back"
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Posted by Lowell at 3:10 PM