Bipartisan Ethics Commission Reform Passes House
HB 2019 speeds up investigation process, broadens commission membership.
A bill passed Friday morning in the Oregon House of Representatives will require the Oregon Government Ethics Commission speed up their preliminary investigations and expand and broaden the commission’s membership.
House Bill 2019, part of a bipartisan package of ethics reforms bills proceeding through the House and the Senate, will require the executive director of the Ethics Commission to complete a preliminary investigation within 30 days — dramatically faster than the existing 135-day timeline. This will give the public a better assurance that the commission is proceeding with investigations in a timely manner.
HB 2019 also expands the membership of the Ethics Commission from seven to nine members. Importantly, the bill broadens the nominating authority. Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate will have the authority to recommend two members each to the commission. The governor will appoint one member.
“The public has asked us to improve accountability and transparency,” said House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D-West Eugene & Junction City). “They’re not looking for more partisan political fights. Our constituents want us to come together to find bipartisan solutions to this issue.”
“House Bill 2019, along with an impeachment bill we passed last week and two other bills that will be coming forward shortly, are great examples of bipartisan work on ethics reform,” Rep. Hoyle added. “These issues are far too important to be tied up in partisan politics.”
HB 2019 passed by a unanimous vote and will head to the Senate.