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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another year without ethics reform

Ethics legislation has died for the 2009 regular session even though both Republicans and Democrats ran on ethics reform in 2006.
House committees passed some measures, but House Speaker Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia, said he was told there would be two outcomes if the House brought up the ethics bill supported by Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mac Gipson, R-Prattville, would be a substantial overhaul of the state's ethics law, limiting gifts to lawmakers and giving subpoena power to the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Hammett said the bill would have been filibustered much of the day Thursday in the House, stopping progress on other bills late in the session, and, if it was passed in the House, it would die in the Senate.
Hammett, D-Andalusia, said there was also no traction on a bill banning the transfer of money between political action committees, which can hide the original source of contributions.
The House passed the PAC ban bill early in the session, but Senate President Pro Tem Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, did not assign the bill to committee for two months.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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