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Legislation Would Make Government More Transparent

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – Two Republican lawmakers say they will sponsor legislation in the upcoming session to require all elected city, county and state officials and candidates for office to disclose personal connections with any government agency or relatives who work for the government.

Huntsville Representative Mike Ball said the bill would require that the disclosures be posted on the Internet. He said recent reports of legislators with jobs and contracts with the state's two-year college system show the need for the legislation. A similar bill will be sponsored in the Senate by Decatur state Senator Arthur Orr.

Ball and Orr said the legislation is aimed at making government more transparent. Orr said the disclosure bill would not stop people with connections to the two-year college system or other government agencies from serving in the Legislature or other public positions.

The package of bills by Orr and Ball also includes a measure that would ban the transfer of campaign contributions from one political action committee to another and also ban candidates from transferring contributions from their own campaigns to other candidates.

A bill by Guntersville Representative Jeff McLaughlin to stop such transfers has passed the House by a wide margin for seven sessions in a row, but has died each time in the Senate.

The 2008 legislative session starts on February 5th.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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