Ethics Commission proposals sent to Governor

December 3, 2014

The Commission to Ensure Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government submitted its final interim report to Governor Terry McAuliffe by the December 1 deadline. The most significant proposal is the recommendation to empower a newly established seven-member Ethics Review Commission to oversee ethics issues related to executive and legislative branch officials, local government officials and members of boards and commissions. The recommendation states that the enabling legislation should require the Governor to appoint one former county official and one former city official, to the commission, after consultation with local government associations.

The proposed Ethics Review Commission would oversee and enforce additional recommendations related to gifts and loans, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and post-public service restrictions. These recommendations include a new proposed rule to ban all gifts (tangible and intangible) to executive and legislative branch officials, local government officials and members of boards and commissions, and their spouses and dependents exceeding $250 in aggregate, over a calendar year, from any one source, and require officials to disclose any gift exceeding $100. The recommendations describe standard exemptions that will be provided for government reimbursed travel and a waiver process for gifted travel directly related to public duties.

The 10-member commission, appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in September, is co-chaired by former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and former U.S. Representative Rick Boucher. Fairfax County Chair Sharon Bulova also serves on the commission. VACo sent a letter to Supervisor Bulova prior to the commission’s final meeting outlining county concerns and issues. The commission recognized several of VACo’s points during the meeting and incorporated several of these concerns into the recommendations. Read the letter.

VACo President Penny Gross is leading a VACo task force that is analyzing the recommendations and will to work with the Governor and General Assembly to address additional county concerns.

VACo Contact: Dean Lynch

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