Push To Change Kansas' Ethics Enforcement Coming

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some conservative Republicans' frustrations with the Kansas ethics commission are likely to prompt legislators to consider overhauling the watchdog agency this year.

Lawmakers could even consider stripping the agency of its enforcement duties.

Carol Williams, the commission's executive director, expressed concern Tuesday about a proposal to have county prosecutors and the attorney general's office pursue potential fines against officials who violate ethics and campaign finance laws.

But House Elections Committee Scott Schwab said interest is strong among his colleagues in examining the commission and considering changes. The conservative Olathe lawmaker said two ideas are taking away the commission's enforcement duties and imposing term limits on commission members.

Some Republicans have complained since the mid-1990s that the commission is more aggressive in investigating and fining conservatives than moderates or liberals.

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