SB 668: A NEW ETHICS COMMISSION BILL ARISES!

In the wake of the inability to get HB 4 and the short-lived Senate Rules Committee (SRC) Substitute for SB 619 and HB 4 out of the Rules Committee, Sen. Mimi Stewart used a dummy bill – a blank bill introduced and set aside for use in introducing legislation after the deadline for bill introduction has passed – to introduce Senate Education Committee (SEC) Substitute for SB 668 in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) on Tuesday, March 12th.

Two days before this legislative session ends, SB 668 is scheduled to be heard today, Thursday, March 14th, in the House Judiciary Committee (HJC)!

After the bill was introduced in SJC, and still within that Tuesday meeting, the bill was amended, somewhat considerably.  It passed out of Judiciary by a vote of 11-0, and was debated and voted upon in the Senate, until after midnight that night, but not before the bill was amended seven more times on the Senate floor!  Following those amendments, and hours of debate – including the sharing of information that the legislature needed to pass a bill by the end of next legislative session, in 2020, per the constitutional amendment…but also statements that the legislature needed to pass a bill this session, per overwhelming public support – the Senate passed SB 668, by a vote of 40-0.

Whew – got all that?!  (It’s been a whirlwind to follow and to be a part of!)

We eagerly await the hearing and (hopefully) the continued movement of SB 668, out of the HJC and onto the House floor! (You can watch those proceedings by going here, and clicking on the “In Progress” link associated with the HJC, when it appears.)