Update on House Bill 1211

I formerly mentioned that the Ethics Subcommittee in my Court of Justice Committee was working diligently to pass House Bill 1211, of which I was a chief co-patron. This bill calls for a significant update and reform of Virginia’s ethics, transparency, and disclosure laws.

On Tuesday, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 98-1 to pass this bill. This success is an example of a huge non-partisan effort on behalf of the House.

“Months of painstaking work by a bipartisan group of lawmakers has produced the meaningful and substantive package of reforms the House passed today,” said Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) “I want to thank Majority Leader Kirk Cox, Minority Leader David Toscano, Delegate Todd Gilbert, Delegate Jennifer McClellan as well as the members of the House Committee on Courts of Justice for their hard work on this legislation. This bill will strengthen accountability, promote greater transparency and help preserve trust in government. It remains true to the transparency-first approach for which Virginia is known, but significantly strengthens several important accountability measures.”

This bill will impose a $250 gift cap and creates a statewide ethics advisory council to make sure leaders in Virginia maintain transparency. This new, modernized disclosure system also mandates a training requirement for all elected officials.

You can view the entire bill and follow along as it crosses over to the Senate at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=141&typ=bil&val=hb1211.

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