This bill, titled "An Act Concerning Conflicts of Interest Due to an Employer Other Than the State Under the State Code of Ethics," aims to amend current law regarding conflicts of interest for public officials and state employees. The bill would redefine the term "business with which the public official or state employee is associated" and clarify the circumstances under which a conflict of interest exists. It establishes requirements for elected state officials who have conflicts of interest regarding a matter that concerns a direct monetary gain or loss for their other employer or their spouse's employer. These officials would be required to excuse themselves from the matter or prepare a written statement explaining the conflict and why they can still participate fairly and objectively. The bill also requires these officials to submit a copy of the statement to the Office of State Ethics and include it in the journal or minutes of the state agency to which they have been elected. Overall, this bill aims to strengthen and clarify the rules and regulations surrounding conflicts of interest for public officials and state employees.
This bill expands the definition of a substantial conflict of interest to include actions that result in a direct monetary gain or loss for an outside employer or spouse's employer. It prohibits individuals with this conflict from taking official action, but allows elected state officials to either recuse themselves or file a statement explaining why they can act despite the conflict. The bill also expands the definition of a potential conflict of interest to include actions that would affect a financial interest of an outside employer or spouse's employer, other than one of a minimal nature or that is not distinct from that of the general public. Officials and employees with a potential conflict must either recuse themselves or file a statement explaining why they can act despite the conflict. The bill also includes technical and conforming changes. The effective date of the bill is October 1, 2023.Statutes affected:
Raised Bill: 1-85, 1-86
GAE Joint Favorable: 1-85
File No. 478: 1-85, 1-86