Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bosma Weighs New Disclosure Rules For Lawmakers

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma tells reporters that he is considering new financial disclosure rules after hearing news reports of his House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner's latest efforts to pass legislation that his lobbyist daughter is pushing in an effort to win a multi-million dollar state contract for one of her clients. The AP's Tom Lobianco has been tracking Turner's self-dealing:
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said Thursday he's considering changes to rules governing what lawmakers must disclose about their personal and financial ties, after learning about a powerful state representative's work helping a client of his lobbyist daughter.
The Indianapolis Republican said part-time lawmakers in Indiana and other states often face potential conflicts with their jobs outside the Statehouse of their family's interests, making it hard to require members to recuse themselves from issues. The answer, he said, is to seek as much public disclosure as possible.
Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, has spent the 2013 session quietly pushing a measure that would allow Insure-Rite to win a multimillion-dollar contract screening uninsured motorists for the state. The Associated Press reported Monday that the Utah-based company hired his daughter, Jessaca Turner Stults, to lobby lawmakers.
"I think anytime that you have a potential conflict, like this, of course there are concerns," Bosma said. "But again, the key is disclosure. This obviously became disclosed, so we appreciate that. We may have to consider some alteration to our disclosure rules here so that becomes more apparent to folks."
Speaking of financial disclosures, what happened to a rescheduled hearing that was suppose to take place on Councilor Brian Mahern's proposal that would tighten up financial disclosure requirements for members of the Indianapolis City-County Council to seek full disclosure of gifts council members receive, including free tickets to sporting events? The Ethics Committee postponed action on the proposal some members were clearly not comfortable supporting during the first hearing of the proposal. The committee was scheduled to meet on Thursday, but there is no archived video of the meeting on WCTY's website. Fellow blogger Pat Andrews tells us that no cancellation notice of the meeting was provided. Did the meeting take place?  

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