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House GOP rolls out ethics reform package

House GOP rolls out ethics reform package

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Republican lawmakers are formulating their own ethics reform package.

The Deseret News reports House Republicans rolled it out after a closed-door caucus session Wednesday.

The package includes a constitutional amendment to create a five-member, independent ethics commission. The commission would consist of three retired judges, a retired House member and a retired state senator.

House Republicans also are pushing for four other changes:

  • Monthly campaign finance reports
  • More information included on conflict of interest forms -- including ownership of stock above $5,000
  • Further disclosure of gifts, and a ban on all gifts over $10
  • Campaign donation limits -- $10,000 for statewide races and $5,000 for senators and representatives

House Majority Leader Kevin Garn, R-Layton, calls the proposal "unprecedented."

But former GOP legislator David Irvine, who helped write the Utahns for Ethical Government initiative, called the proposal inadequate. He told the Deseret News, "This is basically business as usual."

A bipartisan ethics study committee adopted the independent ethics commission earlier this year. The constitutional amendment and a commission created by the Utahns for Ethical Government initiative could be on the November ballot.

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