May 21, 2014 •
Oklahoma Governor Signs Lobbying and Campaign Finance Legislation
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed three ethics bills into law on Monday, May 19. The new laws coincide with proposed Ethics Commission Rules affecting the regulation of lobbyists and campaign finance.
The Rules, promulgated by the Ethics Commission in January, were submitted to the governor and both houses of the legislature on February 4, 2014. If the legislature does not reject them in their entirety prior to adjournment sine die, the Rules will become effective at staggered intervals between December 1, 2014 and February 1, 2015.
The three bills recently signed into law will become effective January 1, 2015 to facilitate the change in ethics rules. Senate Bill 1744 modifies campaign finance definitions, removes statutory contribution limits, and instead, references the limits established by the state Ethics Commission. The measure also prohibits contributions from corporations, labor unions, LLCs, and partnerships except as allowed by law or in the Ethics Commission Rules.
Senate Bill 1745 gives the Ethics Commission jurisdiction over municipal races and establishes enforcement mechanisms to coincide with local campaign finance laws.
Lastly, Senate Bill 1746 deletes statutory lobbyist registration and reporting requirements and, instead, references Ethics Commission Rules. The newly signed legislation moves the state one step closer to much needed ethics reform.
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