Senate Bill 619, creating a State Ethics Commission, is far too secretive and non-transparent.
This bill is deficient in several areas:
It starts from the presumption that all Commission meetings and hearings related to ethics complaints will be conducted in secret.
It requires that nearly all documents related to an ethics complaint, including the complaints themselves, will be hidden from the public.
It imposes harsher fines on a complainant speaking publicly about the complaint
And it requires
There is no good explanation for why an ethics body needs such extraordinary secrecy privileges, and such secrecy undermines the confidence of the public in the process. Furthermore, the penalties and the overall lack of transparency of this proposed commission may discourage people from filing complaints with the commission.