Lobbying task force moves forward while reforms are held back
Despite a strong bipartisan push for action on major ethics reforms, the 2019 veto session ended without any new provisions in place, except for a new commission to study the issue. The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform is tasked with studying ethics issues in the General Assembly and providing recommendations, though it was set up by design to have partisan makeup. 12 members of the new commission will be appointed by Democrats, while only 4 will be appointed by Republicans.
Meanwhile, no action was taken on a multitude of ethics bills during the veto session, despite continued new of investigations and arrests to high ranking state political figures. Senator Barickman has sponsored several ethics bill, including one to empower the Legislative Inspector General to investigate lawmakers without first asking permission from them, as well as another bill to remove serious conflicts from the State Board of Elections.