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Legislative Disclosures

House Bill 10: Legislative Disclosures / Outside Income

"An Act prohibiting legislators and certain former legislators from accepting or agreeing to accept compensation for certain work; relating to disclosures under the Legislative Ethics Act; and providing for an effective date." HB 10 is designed to ensure public trust in Alaska's representative democracy by strengthening ethics laws to reflect the principles of the state's Standards of Conduct for public officials by:

  • limiting potential conflicts of interest for legislators by prohibiting them from accepting "outside" payment for work associated with legislative, political or administrative actions;
  • requiring greater detail in legislators' financial disclosures by including a description of services performed and approximate number of hours spent for contract work; and
  • clarifying existing statutes to match a recent ruling by the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics requiring legislators and legislative employees leaving service to also file a disclosure.

At least 18 states restrict legislators from representing others before state agencies in some cases, according to the Center for Ethics in Government, a non-partisan organization with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Center also reports that all but three states require legislators to file personal financial disclosures. "Conflict of interest may be the most common ethical dilemma faced by state legislators," according to the Center for Ethics in Government. "In fact, ethics commissions and committees have reported the largest number of requests for advice and counseling revolve around conflict of interest issues." Clear ethics laws prohibiting compensation for "outside" work and requiring more detailed financial disclosures ensure a greater level of public trust in government, which helps administrators, legislators and "outside" interests who work with them, better serve the needs of the people and state of Alaska. "A fair and open government requires that legislators and legislative employees conduct the public's business in a manner that preserves the integrity of the legislative process and avoids conflicts of interest or even the appearance of conflicts of interest," states the Alaska Legislative Ethics Code.


House Bill 10: Legislative Disclosures/Outside Income Sectional Analysis

Section 1: Amends the ethics code to allow specific provisions in the code to apply to a former legislator or legislative employee.

Section 2: Prohibits a legislator or a designee from accepting outside work for compensation that is associated with legislative, political or administrative action for the duration of their term in office and for one year thereafter. Legislative, political and administrative actions are defined in A.S. 24.60.990. This section does not prohibit a legislator from performing duties in their capacity as a legislator such as advocating for a constituent or serving on the board of a non-profit organization.

Section 3: Clarifies the existing legislative ethics disclosure requirements to require legislators leaving office and legislative employees leaving employment to file disclosures. This ensures that the statute accurately reflects the reporting requirements specified in the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics Advisory Opinion 06-03.

Section 4: Requires greater detail in the reporting of legislator's outside income and clarifies what constitutes income. First, it ensures that dividends received from a limited liability corporation are properly reported as income. Then, in addition to the amount received, the income disclosures must include a description of the work performed and an approximate number of hours spent performing the services. This will give APOC additional tools in enforcing A.S. 24.60.085. Finally, subsection 2(c) removes ambiguous language from the existing statute.

Section 5: Applies the law to those who left legislative office or employment last year.

Section 6: Retroactivity clause.

Section 7: Effective date is July 1, 2007.

Paid For by Berta Gardner for State Senate, 1405 Matterhorn Way, Anchorage AK 99508

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