Declaring the “Specific” Nature of a Conflict

H.3196 would amend the law requiring General Assembly members abstain from votes on governmental decisions in which they, their family, or individual with whom they are associated have an economic interest. Under current law when a legislator determines he has a conflict of interest he must prepare a written statement for the presiding member of his house describing the matter requiring actions/decisions and the nature of his potential conflict of interest. Once the statement is presented to the presiding officer he will cause the statement to be printed in the journal and require the member with a conflict be excused from voting on the matter in which the member has a conflict.

This bill would add the word specific before the phrase “nature of his potential conflict of interest”. This change may help to avoid vague statements and therefore better inform citizens and watchdogs of any conflicts legislators may have. The more information is available the more easily corruption can be exposed and corrupt actions prevented.

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