This afternoon, the Virginia Senate passed a bipartisan ethics reform package. The final bill, SB 1424, includes many changes originally proposed by Senate Democrats, including chief co-patrons Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Senator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax), Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), and Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun).
Among other changes, the bill strengthens Virginia’s Ethics Council, imposes more stringent limits on gifts to lawmakers, and restricts unethical gifts and contributions by those seeking grants and loans from the Commonwealth.
Speaking after the vote, Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said, “Today’s vote is an important next step towards restoring Virginians’ trust in government. The Democratic Caucus still has reservations, but feels that this reform package is necessary progress. Virginians deserve to have confidence in their elected officials — and we will continue to work towards that goal.”
Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “The passage of today’s ethics reform legislation is a step in the right direction. It remains a work in progress that will continue to evolve as it works its way through the House of Delegates. I always urge my colleagues that when in doubt, do without.”