Regional
5:40 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Lawmaker Calls For Ethics Committee Reform If Special Session is Called

State Rep. Joni Jenkins
State Rep. Joni Jenkins
Credit Kentucky LRC

A Kentucky Representative says if a special legislative session is called for later this year, ethics reform should be on the agenda.

During the session, Rep. Joni Jenkins filed an amendment to an unrelated bill that would reconfigure the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, which has come under fire after it found former lawmaker John Arnold not guilty of sexual harassment charges. But the Senate didn’t take up that bill.

Jenkins, a Louisville Democrat, is disappointed, but she plans to take up the issue as a bill next year, or, if Gov. Steve Beshear calls for a special session, she’ll advocate to have it included on the agenda. 

“You know, you hate to spend all that money.  I would hope that perhaps if he called a special session on some other issues that they’re talking about, perhaps he would think about including this,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins’ legislation would seek to remove commission members who are frequently absent, improve the rate of filling vacant seats and require the panel to have more diversity in its members. Arnold was found not guilty by only one member of the Ethics Commission, but the ruling stood because almost half of the panel was absent for the hearing.