By Olivia Covington
An ethics bill meant to increase disclosure of legislators’ financial affairs is now law in Indiana.
Gov. Mike Pence signed House Bill 1002, which was authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, on Monday. The bill would require legislators to disclose any investments they hold that total $5,000 or more. Former Indiana law only required disclosures for investments of $10,000 or more.
HB 1002 would also require members of the General Assembly to take an ethics training course and creates an ethics within the Legislative Services Administration.
“The people of Indiana deserve an ethical and responsible government that efficiently and effectively serves their needs,” Pence said in a statement. “I am pleased to sign this important measure into law, and I applaud the bipartisan efforts by leaders in the House and Senate for their careful and studied approach toward ensuring public confidence in our state government.”
The new law also bans elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
The bill was created in response to alleged ethical breaches involving former state Rep. Eric Turner and former State Superintendent Tony Bennett.
Leaders from both parties say they’re pleased with the final draft of HB 1002.
“We have plenty of things around here on which we found grounds to disagree,” House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said. “But this is one we’re all in together,”
Olivia Covington is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.