House speaker Davy Carter reminds members of new ethics law | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

House speaker Davy Carter reminds members of new ethics law

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

click to enlarge FRIENDLY REMINDER: House Speaker Davy Carter sent legislators a reminder that the new ethics amendment approved Tuesday bars taking gifts, including individual meals and drinks, from lobbyists.
  • FRIENDLY REMINDER: House Speaker Davy Carter sent legislators a reminder that the new ethics amendment approved Tuesday bars taking gifts, including individual meals and drinks, from lobbyists.
House Speaker Davy Carter has sent a memo to House members reminding them that Arkansas has a new ethics law embedded in the Arkansas Constitution that, among other things, prevents them from accepting anything of value from lobbyists. Voters approved it yesterday as Issue 3 on the ballot.

The immediate key provision, which I reminded a tableful of politicos at the Capital Hotel bar about today at lunch, means no more wining and dining by lobbyists. No spliting and stacking of bills to turn the previously porous entertainment rules into swillathons. Now, meals and drinks can't be accepted as gifts except at "planned" events to which governmental bodies or the whole legislature were invted. I fear the lobbyists are already looking for loopholes on this — the big throwdowns for speaker and Senate president will be just the beginning. But lunch at the Capital or Doe's on your friendly lobbyist attendant is now a no-no. And no paying off of campaign debts with corporate contributions either, guys and gals.

Carter's memo follows:

Yesterday, HJR 1009 of 2013 (submitted on the ballot as Issue 3) was adopted by Arkansas voters. Please be aware that this new amendment becomes effective today (November 5, 2014). Thus, this new amendment to the Arkansas Constitution contains several ethics provisions which immediately impact certain elected officials, including members of the General Assembly. I wanted to make you aware of certain new prohibitions under the amendment. These are summaries of the respective provisions - if you would like additional information, please review the specific language of HJR 1009 or contact Graham Sloan with the Arkansas Ethics Commission at 1‑800‑422-7773.

(1) Campaign Contributions

· Under HJR 1009, a candidate for public office or a person acting on the candidate's behalf is prohibited from accepted a campaign contribution from other than:

o An individual:

o A defined political party;

o A county political party committee;

o A legislative caucus committee; or

o An approved political action committee.

· Entities other than those listed above are likewise prohibited from making a campaign contribution.

· A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.



(2) Gifts from Lobbyists

Under HJR 1009, members of the General Assembly shall not knowingly or willingly solicit or accept a gift from a lobbyist, a person acting on behalf of a lobbyist, or a person employing or contracting with a lobbyist.

o Person" includes a business, individual, union, association, firm, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons.

The term "gift" is defined more narrowly than current ethics laws — the term means any payment, entertainment, advance, services, or anything of value unless consideration of equal or greater value is given.

Exceptions:
o Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars, or periodicals informing a person elected or appointed to an office of his or her official duties;

o Gifts that are not used and which, within thirty (30) days after receipt, are returned to the donor;

o Gifts from the spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, or first cousin of a person elected or appointed to a constitutional office, unless the family member is acting on behalf of a person otherwise prohibited from making the gift;

o Anything of value that is readily available to the general public at no cost;

o Food or drink available at a planned activity to which a specific governmental body (committee or legislative body) is invited;

o Payments by regional or national organizations for travel to regional or national conferences at which the State of Arkansas is requested to be represented by a person or persons elected or appointed to a constitutional office;

o Campaign contributions; and

o Any devise or inheritance.

· A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(3) Lobbyist Registration

Under HJR 1009, all persons elected or reelected to the General Assembly on or after November 4, 2014 may not register as a lobbyist until two (2) years after the expiration of the term of office to which he or she was elected.

A violation of this section is a Class D felony.

If you have any questions, please call Gabe Holmstrom at 501-682-7771.

Davy Carter

Speaker

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Open line and Civil War update

    More Confederacy defenders were on hand in Bentonville against imagined threats to a one of hte Confederate statues put up long after the Civil War to spin a narrative about the noble Lost Cause.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • Three dead in WLR

    Three dead in suspected double murder-suicide in West Little Rock.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • One dead in shooting at Buffalo National River

    KTHV reports a man was fatally shot Saturday at the Buffalo National River in Searcy County in what is being called an officer-involved shooting. No other details at the moment.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

  • Open line and Civil War update

    More Confederacy defenders were on hand in Bentonville against imagined threats to a one of hte Confederate statues put up long after the Civil War to spin a narrative about the noble Lost Cause.
  • Three dead in WLR

    Three dead in suspected double murder-suicide in West Little Rock.
  • When Johnny Reb comes marching to Hot Springs

    They are assembling for and against white supremacist symbols in Hot Springs today. Photographs by Brian Chilson of the Arkansas Times.
  • One dead in shooting at Buffalo National River

    KTHV reports a man was fatally shot Saturday at the Buffalo National River in Searcy County in what is being called an officer-involved shooting. No other details at the moment.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation