Arkansas Ethics Commission to Administer New Lobbying and Campaign Laws - State and Federal Communications

April 20, 2015  •  

Arkansas Ethics Commission to Administer New Lobbying and Campaign Laws

Flag of ArkansasThe state Ethics Commission is discussing how to administer new lobbying and campaign laws signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Senate Bill 967 (now Act 1280) limits lobbyists to one “planned activity” per week and provides a 30-day grace period for officials to return improper gifts. Political contribution limits from individuals and PACs to a candidate have been raised from $2,000 to $2,700 per election.

Act 1280 also authorizes the commission to oversee new ethics laws contained in a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2014. The amendment prohibited lobbyist gifts and corporate contributions, but did not provide the commission authority to administer the constitutional changes.

Earlier this year lawmakers passed House Bill 1002 (now Act 47), but that law only authorized the commission to issue advisory opinions concerning the amendment.

Act 1280 further provides the commission with statutory authority to administer the changes by issuing rules and investigating complaints. Act 1280 became effective upon Hutchinson’s signature.

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