Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ethics Panel waters down Bill

The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee approved six pieces of Jindal's package but not without some alteration. As expected, no problem with doing away with free tickets to athletic events. Hardly an earthshaking move.
On more solid ground, the panel approved SB1. SB1 is the bill that will prevent legislators from contracting with the state.
The ban will apply to any new contracts, but existing contracts won't be affected until 2012. At that time, the legislator involved must give up either the contract or his public office. Shreveport Senator Lydia Jackson (D), got the committee to amend the bill to exempt contracts by companies in which legislators have only "a passive ownership" by investing but not actively participating in their operations.
So to recap, if you currently have state contracts, you're okay for four more years. Get someone else to run your company, stay out of company operations and you can continue getting state contracts for years. (You have four years to get this done).
The bill will be debated by the full senate on Wednesday.
We were promised a gold standard; I don't think this one would make bronze.
We'll update more tomorrow.

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