Key Senate votes / Session 1
January 18, 2007
The measure is designed to provide greater transparency in the legislative process and is commonly known as the “ethics reform” bill. <br> <br> The bill amends Senate rules in an effort to make more transparent legislative earmarks. It also aims to make clearer the relationship of lobbyists and lawmakers by changing rules governing meals and travel that lobbyists provide to lawmakers and their staff. The bill also makes some restrictions on post-employment for members and staff. <br> <br> For example, the bill amends a current rule so that if a member’s spouse or immediate family member is a registered lobbyist or works for a lobbyist, that the lawmaker’s staff is not allowed to have any official contact with the lawmaker’s spouse or immediate family member. <br> <br> Among other things, the measure requires all Senate bills or conference reports to include a list of earmarks in the measure, to list the lawmaker who introduced the earmark, and to explain why the earmark is essential. <br> <br> It also requires public disclosure of a senator’s intent to object to proceeding to a measure or matter. <br> <br> The bill also requires that conference reports be posted on the Internet for at least 48 hours before the Senate considers the report.