Governor Hogan Hand Carries Ethics Reform Bill to General Assembly

A Baltimore Sun article (2017-01-19) reported that Governor Lawrence “Larry” Hogan personally hand carried an ethics reform bill to each chamber of the Maryland General Assembly. Hogan’s bill is in response to a recent scandal involving state legislators, a former Prince George’s County council member, and several Prince George’s County liquor board officials that have resulted in federal charges for bribery and related corruption activities. From the article:

Standing on the steps of the State House, Hogan announced proposals to more clearly prohibit lawmakers from voting on legislation that would help them financially, giving the state ethics commission oversight on lawmakers’ actions, setting a broader “cooling off” period for state workers before they can become lobbyists, reforming the system of appointing liquor board members and starting online live-streaming of sessions of the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

Hogan, a Republican, said he’s following up on his promises of “cleaning up the mess of Annapolis and restoring integrity to our state capital.”

“We are now also painfully aware that current and former members of our own legislature, along with local government officials and others, have been abusing the public trust and using their offices for self-enrichment and criminal activity,” Hogan said. “This type of conduct is disgraceful and must no longer be tolerated in our great state.” …

The government watchdog group Common Cause has been pushing variations of several of Hogan’s proposals for years. The group’s executive director, Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, said she welcomed the governor’s support.