Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Senate Committee to mull ethics code overhaul.

On Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 1 p.m., the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee will consider and receive public comment on S729, which seeks to make sweeping changes to New Jersey's Local Government Ethics Law and School Ethics Act.

The most substantial change that the bill (S729 is on-line here) seeks is to abolish the School Ethics Commission, take local government ethics enforcement away from the Local Finance Board and to assign jurisdiction of both school and local government ethics to State Ethics Commission (SEC).  The measure will also allow the SEC to promulgate a statewide ethics code, permit county and local ethics board to adopt codes that supplement the state code and increase the maximum penalty for ethics violations for $500 to $10,000.

S729 is sponsored by Republicans Thomas H. Kean, Jr. and Jennifer Beck.  An identical version in the General Assembly, A1195, is sponsored by Republican David W. Wolfe.

The public may attend the hearing and offer testimony.  The hearing will be held in Committee Room 7 on the second floor of the State House Annex in Trenton.