Dems Introduce Three Ethics Bills

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Idaho Democrats unveiled a trio of measures this morning, all relating to ethics in the Idaho Legislature. Dems are calling their package of bills "The Restore Ethics and Accountability Intiatives."

The Conflict of Interest Act targets financial disclosures for elected officials and candidates seeking public office.

The Lobbyist Restriction Act would bar Idaho's executive officers or legislators from registering as lobbyists for one year after serving in office.

The Whistleblower Reporting and Protection Act would enable active or retired state employees to report waste and violations of rule or law without fear of retaliation.

In Wednesday's BW, we hear from seven-term Republican Sen. Joe Stegner, who recently stepped away from the Legislature to become the University of Idaho's Boise-based chief lobbyist. He spoke candidly about ethics, particularly when it came to GOP Rep. Phil Hart of Athol Springs, who has danced around a series of allegations of tax-dodging.

"I think it looks very, very damaging for him as a credible legislator," Stegner told Citydesk. "Ultimately, though, the proof is in whether the people in his district find him to be an adequate representative. Unfortunately, they do."

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