A conflict over ethics between Gov. Paul LePage and a member of the state’s Public Utilities Commission has been settled in the short term, but threatens to produce more controversy over the long term. Continue Reading →
Gov. Paul LePage has rejected Public Utilities Commissioner David Littell's decision to recuse himself from voting on a case involving bottled water giant Nestle Waters and the Fryeberg Water Co. Littell claims he has a conflict of interest because he previously worked at a Portland law firm that represented Nestle and the water company. Lepage says that isn't enough to disqualify him for voting on the case. Continue Reading →
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AUGUSTA -- Maine’s "F" grade in government integrity issued last year by a national group has led to a number of reforms in the state's ethics rules this year, including a bipartisan transparency bill proposed by Gov. Paul LePage that he signed into law last week.
The reforms also include two bills signed by the governor to stop the so-called “revolving door” at the statehouse, where lawmakers and executive branch officials leave government service and go directly to work as lobbyists. Continue Reading →
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State legislators and top appointed officials won’t be able to take jobs as lobbyists right after they leave the statehouse, under a bill passed unanimously by a key legislative committee on Friday. Continue Reading →
An honors student from the University of Maine stood before lawmakers Wednesday and, in a clear and confident voice, walked them through an ethics reform proposal that would require more extensive disclosure of the financial affairs of public officials and legislators. Continue Reading →
SANTA FE — On February 20, New Mexico’s House Energy and Natural Resources Committee gathered for one of its regular meetings in a drab room here at the capitol, a circular building known as the Roundhouse. Continue Reading →
A lot has happened since the State Integrity Investigation, a first-ever analysis of transparency and accountability in all 50 states, was published a year ago. (The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting provided the research that went into Maine's grade.) Here's a report from the Center for Public Integrity, which spearheaded the investigation:
"The project — a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, with cooperation from the Investigative News Network — has been quoted, praised, assailed or otherwise cited by hundreds of news outlets, good-government groups and legislators. The project was also a finalist for the prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting awarded by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Clearly, the idea of measuring accountability and transparency in state government has touched a reformist nerve — and our package is continuing to resonate across the country." To read the rest of the story, 'State Integrity Investigation' has blockbuster first year," click here. Continue Reading →
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AUGUSTA -- The state's Republican governor and a leading Democratic legislator have teamed up to try to improve the ethical standards for both elected and appointed state officials.
A bill unveiled this week by Gov. Paul LePage and Sen. Emily Cain of Orono will require greater disclosure of the financial and political interests of legislators and high-ranking executive branch officials.
The bill, L.D. 1001, proposes four changes to current law: Continue Reading →
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AUGUSTA — Urging his fellow lawmakers to set “an ethical course for all legislators,” Bethel Rep. Jarrod Crockett Wednesday introduced a bill to require a one-year waiting period between leaving the legislature and working as a lobbyist.
Crockett said his bill is a response to a 2012 national watchdog group report that gave Maine an “F” for its lack of rules and laws to deter corruption in government. Continue Reading →
If you’re paid to regulate widgets for the state of Maine, then you shouldn’t be able to take a new job working for widget makers.
That’s what Ann Luther, board member of the League of Women Voters of Maine, told legislators on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee Wednesday in a hearing on a bill that would stop the so-called “revolving door.” The bill would make it unlawful for executive branch officials to leave their state job and go directly to work for an industry they regulated.
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