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PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

Oregon Senate Ethics Package - "Keeping the Fox Out of the Henhouse"

March 27, 2007


Ethics reforms have been a top priority in the Oregon legislature this session, and a sweeping new reform package is on its way to consideration by the full Senate. The package includes limits on gifts and gives the public access to online ethics reports. But its key component is independent funding for the state's ethics commission. Janice Thompson with the Money in Politics Research Action Project says independent funding would give more teeth to ethics enforcement.

"The legislative control on the purse strings of the agency that in turn polices legislators creates an inherent conflict of interest."

Senate Bill 10 is now on its way to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, then to the Senate floor. Critics believe setting up independent funding for the ethics committee would be more trouble than it's worth.

Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown notes the last time Oregon implemented ethics legislation was in the post-Watergate era, and it's time for some sweeping changes.

"The legislature really needed to come up with higher ethical standards under which we will conduct ourselves. Our credibility is really in question."

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR