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Kentucky Ethics Bill In Limbo

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Legislation to toughen ethical standards for high-ranking state officials was in limbo on the final day of the Kentucky General Assembly session.

State Rep. Mike Cherry said Tuesday that the bill's passage "looks unlikely at this point." But the Princeton Democrat added things could change in the climactic hours.

The proposal would require all executive branch employees to receive ethics training. It also would spell out that employees violating ethics rules can be fired.

The sticking point is over a proposal pushed by Senate Republicans to ban the governor and other statewide elected officials from accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists and state contractors.

Cherry called that an "unfair restriction" on Gov. Steve Beshear, a fellow Democrat. Cherry said he heard no such proposals from Republicans in the previous four years when Republican Ernie Fletcher was governor.

Republican Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown said Tuesday that Senate conferees have an offer on the table. That proposal would ban state lawmakers from receiving campaign contributions from those who have contracts with the legislative branch.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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