Saturday, January 24, 2009


A Temporary House Committee on Ethics holds a public hearing Monday on Gov. Deval Patrick's ethics and lobbying reform bill. Committee chairman Rep. James Fagan told the News Service Thursday that Patrick should not expect the Legislature to rubber stamp his legislation but the bill includes a "large number of common sense, very doable ideas." Patrick filed his bill Jan. 7 and called for legislative action on it within 30 days. While the bill is technically before a temporary House ethics panel featuring only House members - the Legislature hasn't yet established its permanent joint committees - Fagan said senators are welcome to join the hearing. Fagan said that in advance of Monday's hearing, he's reached out to parties that have been active in the debate recently, including Patrick legal counsel Ben Clements, Secretary of State William Galvin, Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, and State Ethics Commission Executive Director Karen Nober. Patrick's bill gives the attorney general new investigative and enforcement tools, expands the definition of lobbying, applies revolving door provisions to the executive branch, and increases penalties for violations of ethics and lobbying laws.

(Monday, 1 pm, Room A-1)

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