Promoting Strong Enforcement of Ethics Laws at the State and Local Levels

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At a Glance

The health of our democracy depends on accountable, inclusive and transparent processes at all levels of government. CLC works with lawmakers, ethics commissions and other nonprofit groups in cities and states to provide guidance and propose solutions for stronger ethics at the state and local levels.

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Voters across the political spectrum consistently rate “corruption in the political system” as one of the top three problems facing our country today. To combat the collapse of transparency in the financing of our elections, local and state legislative bodies need to enact and enforce strong disclosure laws.

Earlier this year, a corruption...

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About this Action

Public officials at all levels of government are responsible for crafting, administering and enforcing laws that impact the lives of those they serve. For more than 50 years, ethics commissions have served a vital role in democracy by upholding transparency principles and administering various laws and rules intended to preserve the public’s trust in government.

At their best, ethics laws and rules at the state and local level help increase transparency and hold those in public service accountable when they undermine the public’s trust and fail to behave ethically. When public officials are well-informed of the laws that govern their public service and when the public has full access to information about their public officials, government can be held accountable, and the public’s trust grows.

However, over time, gaps and loopholes in ethics laws can be exposed, revealing vulnerabilities in a government’s transparency and accountability measures. Often, it is a team effort to brainstorm, develop, vet and implement more effective rules when the ones on the books become outdated or are no longer working as intended.

CLC provides well-researched and tested ethics solutions to meet a community’s needs. Our guidance helps ensure that local reform measures are effective and will stand up in the courts.

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