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Ethics legislation to wait until 2019

March 1, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A proposed revamp of state ethics laws will wait until next year, the Alabama Senate leader said Thursday.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said lawmakers will create a commission to study proposed changes to the state ethics law, in the hopes of passing something in 2019.

Marsh said that he wants to “make sure we do this right” instead of quickly passing a bill this session.

“We are going to do it right and have strong ethics laws in the state of Alabama,” Marsh said.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall had proposed a revamp of state ethics law in the wake of several high-profile corruption cases, including the 2016 prosecution of then-House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Marshall said individuals and groups had asked for greater clarity in the state ethics law. He said there are also “holes in the law” that need to be closed.

The attorney general said one gap in existing law is that public officials do not have to disclose enough information about their sources of income.

“This work and this group will allow us to put together a package that will bring Alabama to the point where we can say we have the clearest and strongest ethics law in the country,” Marshall said.

Marsh had introduced the bill last week at Marshall’s request, before announcing on Thursday that debate would wait.

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