Ethics Commission

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found probable cause that Don Lally violated the revolving door provisions of the code of ethics when he accepted a state job less than four months after resigning as a state representative in March 2015.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt called the finding a preliminary step, since Lally -- barring a settlement -- will face a hearing with the Ethics Commission.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

One week after the resignation of a key lawmaker, House and Senate leaders on Tuesday put their combined support behind a proposal to strengthen the state Ethics Commission and its oversight of the legislature.

With the state Ethics Commission poised to consider likely action on a revolving door complaint against former state Rep. Don Lally, Lally has resigned from his controversial job with the Raimondo administration.

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss charter schools, the outlook on ethics reform, her future plans, promoting green jobs, leadership at the state Board of Elections, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

John Marion, executive director of the good government group Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Political Roundtable this week 

State Representative Daniel Reilly (R-Portsmouth) joins Bonus Q&A to talk about the state's infrastructure, ethics, marijuana legalization, the outlook for electing more GOP lawmakers, and other issues.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Chris Torres, state director for the Rhode Island Working Families Party, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his organization, legislative debate over the state Ethics Commission, and the findings of a new Brown University poll on the presidential race.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A stalemate over strengthening the state Ethics Commission has persisted since a 2009 court decision weakened the commission. 

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found that Rhode Island’s revolving door law does not apply to former state Rep. Tim Williamson, a part-time lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, and his candidacy for a vacant District Court judicial post.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt says Williamson’s House Judiciary Committee job is not among the government roles covered by the revolving door law.

Phil West, the longtime former director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about fallout from 38 Studios, the fight for better government, criminal-justice reform, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime former Common Cause of Rhode Island head Phil West joins Political Roundtable to discuss the fallout from the release of thousands of pages of 38 Studios court documents.

House Majority Whip Jay Edwards (D-Tiverton) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the House budget; whether lawmakers should investigate 38 Studios; the criteria for considering a Providence ballpark; and much more.

RIPR FILE

Two bills meant to discourage the misuse of campaign accounts have cleared an initial hurdle at the General Assembly.  Efforts to restore the state Ethics Commission’s oversight of the legislature continue to languish.

Legislative committees have passed a bill requiring candidates to have a separate bank account for their campaign money. Another bill would make public officeholders file an annual bank statement to back up the information in their campaign spending reports.

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