ROSS UNVEILS COMPREHENSIVE ETHICS REFORM PACKAGE
Sen. Charlie Ross on Thursday released a comprehensive ethics reform plan that helps to tighten ethics laws and lets the sunshine in on state government. Ross’ agenda includes legislation that will mark a major step toward stopping officials from funneling no-bid contracts to their political cronies, making the legislative process more transparent, stopping potential conflicts of interest, and keeping potential ethics violators honest.
“I have always been a strong proponent of stricter and smarter ethics laws,” Ross said. “Public officials are elected by the people to serve the citizens’ interests, not their own interests.”
Ross has pushed a number of ethics reform bills as State Senator. Last year, he introduced a Sunshine Reform bill that would require the Attorney General, State Auditor or any other state agency to get multiple bids on major contracts with private attorneys and send each contract to an independent contract review committee. For the last two years, he has also pushed legislation that requires judges to disclose any contributions from lawyers or litigants appearing before their court.
“These pieces of legislation would have finally brought some sunshine to the judicial system in our state,” Ross added. “Now, it is time to take it one step further and bring some sunshine and accountability to all facets of government. Our comprehensive ethics plan marks the beginning of the end of the good ole boy system in Mississippi.”
The ethics reform package includes the following action items:
Private Attorney Sunshine Law
Put All State Contracts Online
Report on the Internet Every Dime that the State Spends.
Shine Light on the Legislative Debate
Prohibit Judges from Accepting Contributions from Litigants or Lawyers with Cases Before Them
Strengthen Financial Disclosure Laws
Educate Legislators, State Officials, and State Employees on State Ethics Laws
Restrict Uses for Leftover Campaign Cash
Attached you will find the complete ethics reform package. It is also available for download at http://charlieross.com/media/ethics_agenda.pdf.
Charlie Ross Press Release