The ethics package that ended in political bickering last week was revised and passed by the Senate 35-0 Wednesday night.
It’s unclear whether this bill will pass in the House, where some legislators would like to see retroactive pension revocation, so it would affect officials like John Rowland, the former governor who resigned amid a corruption scandal.
“Hopefully, this reform legislation will prove we are serious about regaining the public trust, and about insisting that all public officials adhere to high ethical standards,” said Sen. Judith Freedman, R-Westport, said in a press release. “Senate Democrats refused to give up, and today I am thrilled that members of both parties have come together to reach this historic agreement on real ethics reform,” Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said in a press release.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell also applauded the passage of the bill, saying in a press release, ““Final passage of these long-sought and much-needed reforms will complete the process of installing safeguards to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the public trust.”
“I am pleased to have played a role in making this compromise a reality,” she added.
Besides reducing or revoking a pension the bill makes failure to report witnessing a bribe a crime, requires public agencies to post the minutes of a public meeting on the agency’s Web site within seven days of the meeting, makes it illegal for the chiefs of staff of the legislative caucuses and all public officials to solicit campaign contributions from their respective staff members, and bar the chiefs of staff of the governor and lieutenant governor from soliciting campaign contributions from commissioners and deputy commissioners, and requires ethics training for all new legislators.