Bill Filed to Rework, Clarify State Ethics Laws

Feb 27, 2018

Credit AP

Alabama’s ethics law for public employees and state officials could see some changes soon.

State Senate President Del Marsh filed a bill late last week including several measures aimed at clarifying or in some cases strengthening the ethics law. However, the bill would also allow state legislators to create legal defense funds and would provide a lobbying exemption for “economic development professionals”, provisions that give current ethics officials pause.

In the past two years, former Governor Robert Bentley, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and other former lawmakers have either been convicted of or have pleaded guilty to ethics violations.

A spokesman for Marsh says he introduced the bill on behalf of Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall. Prosecutors reportedly helped write the bill to close loopholes that were exposed during those ethics cases.

Mike Hubbard has appealed his ethics conviction to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.