Monday, January 28, 2013

House Democrats continue to work for increased government accountability

House Democrats continue to work for increased government accountability

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats are starting off the 51st legislative session with a clear focus on increasing government accountability.

“House Democrats are the advocates for accountability and transparency at the State Capitol,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), said.  “This session, as we have done in the past, we will continue to make that a priority.”

Rep. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), added that earning public trust starts with accountability.

“As legislators, we have an obligation to ensure that Arizonans know and trust that we are working for them and that we are producing results,” Quezada said. “Several House Democrats are introducing bills designed to require the Legislature to be more transparent.”

Bills to increase government accountability and transparency include:

HB 2256 – This bill includes reforms that make it a criminal offense to recklessly file false financial disclosure forms and closes all of the lobbyist gift ban loopholes. It is intended to address Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s concerns following the Fiesta Bowl scandal.  (Campbell)

HB 2410 – This legislation creates a non-partisan commission to monitor and investigate candidates and elected officials.  The commission would have the authority to offer advisory opinions, audit candidate financial accounts and impose civil penalties against those violating the law.  (Quezada)

HB 2497 - This bill requires elected officials to disclose any scholarships or benefits they received for travel, lodging or fees for conferences. It also requires that the disclosure include the names of all donors contributing. Additionally, it requires lobbyists to disclose the same information.  (Mach)

“I’ve spent a lot of time talking with people in our communities, and they are letting me know loud and clear that they want the Legislature to stop working for special interests and instead work on getting our economy back on track by creating jobs and funding education,” Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), said.  


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