Lawmakers set to debate competing ethics reform bills

Bismarck, ND – Lawmakers are still at odds over ethics reform.

We’ve talked with several lawmakers who said one of the largest items they still need to iron out this session is the campaign ethics legislation. They have to pass a bill after voters approved measure one in the last election. This includes things like restricting lobbyists and establishing an ethics commission.

The house and senate have passed two competing bills. But they differ greatly. The house version was written by Republicans. The Senate version was written by Democrats.

“Because the people passed it, it needs to be really strong, heavy penalties. On the other hand, we’re talking about ethics. We’re not talking about crime. I think the house version is a little softer than the Senate version,” Sen. Dick Devers (R-District 32) said.

Devers voted for the Senate version of the bill. In fact, it had unanimous support. The people who drafted measure one before the election said the Senate version better reflects the measure’s original intent.

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