Bill puts Legislture in charge of own ethics
The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday introduced legislation to remove the Ethics Commission from control over activities by lawmakers on the floor or in committee.
SB160 would make each house of the Legislature the final arbiter of whether a lawmaker’s comments in either house of the Legislature violated any ethical standards.
Judiciary Chairman Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, said the bill codifies the ruling by Carson District Judge Bill Maddox that barred the Ethics Commission from even considering a complaint against Sen. Warren hardy, R-Las Vegas, for a vote he made in the Legislature. The complaint argued he violated ethical standards by voting on a measure that affected the Associated General Contractors of Southern Nevada, an organization he is head of.
“It’s to clarify the separation of powers doctrine expressed in Judge Maddox’s ruling,” Care said.
It doesn’t let lawmakers off the hook for campaign expense and other disclosure reports and doesn’t give them any special freedom from violations committed in campaigning.
“Only when they’re here,” he said. “On the floor or in committee.”
The bill puts control over any complaints about a lawmaker’s conduct inside the Legislature with the house that lawmaker is a member of.
SB160 will be reviewed by the Judiciary Committee.