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Oregon Legislature Playing Ball with Ethics Reform

June 11, 2007


Salem, OR - Since opening day of this session, the Oregon Legislature has made ethics reform a top priority. As the session winds down, reform supporters are hoping they'll end on the same note. Campaign finance watchdogs say a budget boost for the state ethics commission was the first step, and they're rooting for two more laws: one would increase penalties for ethics violations, and the other would require online campaign finance reporting and gift limits from lobbyists. Janice Thompson with Democracy Reform Oregon says if the final votes on those bills come through, lawmakers will send a loud message.

"If the legislature really passes them, it sends a strong message that they're serious about ethics reform. But it's critical that they not get lost in the shuffle during the end of the legislative session."

Thompson hopes the legislature considers additional restrictions for campaign funds in the next session.

More information on the ethics bills is online at www.democracyrefrom.org.

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - OR