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Budget panel: Give ethics board the ax

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm | 1 Comment »
February 26, 2010 3:37 pm

The House Ways and Means Committee voted this afternoon to eliminate funding for the Executive Ethics Board.

Find out more about the proposal here.

A couple of comments from before the voice vote:

Rep. Jeannie Darneille, in support: “I believe we are in the toughest of economic times, and I cannot justify to my voters spending $492,000 to maintain this kind of scrutiny of 11 state employees.” The board fined 11 people last year.

Rep. Gary Alexander, in opposition: “To me this is an important area. We need to maintain ethics oversight, as much in the executive side of the government as we do in the legislative side … I’m concerned that this sends the wrong message.”

It’s possible some aspect of the ethics board could be salvaged. Chairwoman Kelli Linville suggested Darneille should work with Republicans before the bill goes to the House floor to “make sure we can still hold everybody to the same level of accountability.”

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