Lawmakers Still Working On Tougher Ethical Standards For Governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Lawmakers have been unable to agree on
tougher ethical standards for the governor and other high-ranking
state officials.

Negotiations on Wednesday yielded no compromise between and
House and Senate conferees who have been debating legislation
intended to build public confidence in state government.

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he's hopeful an
agreement will be reached before lawmakers adjourn for the year on
April 15.

"This is an issue whose time has come," Thayer said. "There's
been a greater emphasis placed on ethics over the last couple of
years."

The administrations of the state's previous two governors were
mired by scandal. Former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who left
office in December, had been indicted for allegedly conspiring to
hire and fire rank-and-file employees based on political
considerations, though the charges were later dropped in an
agreement with prosecutors. And Fletcher's predecessor, former
two-term Gov. Paul Patton, was scandalized by a highly publicized
extramarital affair.

The legislation doesn't directly address either of those
situations. Instead, it would ban the governor and other statewide
elected officials from accepting campaign contributions from
lobbyists and state contractors, require all executive branch
employees to receive ethics training and spell out that employees
who violate ethics rules can be fired.


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