Minnesota Legislators Introduce Several Ethics Bills

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The Minnesota Legislature recently introduced several ethics-related bills during the 91st legislative session.

Senate File 2041 requires public officials to disclose a lobbyist, principal, or other interested person by whom the individual is compensated in excess of $50 in any month for providing services as an independent contractor or consultant.

Additionally, the bill requires both lobbyists and principals to disclose political contributions. If passed, Senate File 2041 will become effective the day following enactment.

Senate File 2039 seeks to prohibit legislators, constitutional officers, commissioners, deputy commissions, assistant commissioners, or heads of any state department or agency from lobbying for seven years after leaving the aforementioned offices or positions.

House File 2391 seeks to prohibit former legislators and certain legislative employees from lobbying the legislature for two years after leaving legislative office or separation from employment.

Senate File 2035 creates a conflict of interest when a legislator or constitutional officer accepts a contribution of more than $500 from a lobbyist, principal, political committee, or political fund with regard to an action coming before the officer when the contributing individual or association has a greater financial interest of greater consequence to the contributor than the general interest of other residents or taxpayers of the state.

If a conflict arises, the covered official must disclose the conflict.