RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants lobbyists to disclose what they spend on gifts to lawmakers' families. The governor amended an ethics bill Monday that passed the General Assembly in the wake of a gifts scandal that led to corruption charges against former Gov. Bob McDonnell.
McAuliffe's proposed changes, which the General Assembly still has to approve, would require lobbyists to report what they spend on gifts and entertainment events for both lawmakers and their families. The bill initially proposed by the General Assembly only required lobbyists to report what they spent on lawmakers directly.
The governor did not make any other substantive changes to the ethics bill, which critics have said would still allow the type of behavior that ensnarled McDonnell in controversy.
Statement from the Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe
Governor McAuliffe has made 22 amendments to the compromise ethics package that was passed out of the General Assembly this session. As the statement below indicates, the amendments were developed in consultation with the Speaker’s office to address drafting errors, add family members to several sections, change the enactment date and correct several other administrative issues. The full amendments will be available when the bill is posted on LIS.
The Governor’s statement with respect to the bill is below:
“When I took office, I pledged to build my administration upon a higher standard of transparency and accountability with a $100 gift ban on myself, my family and members of the Executive Branch. At the beginning of the legislative session, I urged members of the General Assembly to work together to send the strongest reforms possible to my desk by the end of the legislative session.
“This legislation could do far more to assure Virginians that their leaders are putting the public good first. The amendments I am making today, which my staff developed in consultation with the Speaker’s office, correct errors in the bill and make the overall product stronger. This reform package is the product of a bipartisan compromise in the General Assembly and I agreed to approve its substance at the urging of legislative leaders of both parties. This bill should serve as a platform for future reforms that further strengthen the ethics regime that guides Virginia government. I hope it will also serve as a reminder to all of us in Richmond that we are capable of working together to get things done, but only when we are willing to sit down at a table together and reach a compromise that moves the Commonwealth forward.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.