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SENATE BILL NO. 395
INTRODUCED BY M. HALLIGAN
BY REQUEST OF THE SENATE ETHICS STANDING COMMITTEE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REQUIRING A LEGISLATOR TO VOTE ON ALL MATTERS IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE UNLESS THE LEGISLATOR IS ABSENT, EXCUSED, OR HAS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST UNDER WHICH THE LEGISLATION WOULD HAVE A DIRECT, SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY BENEFIT TO THE LEGISLATOR; AMENDING SECTION 2-2-112, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 2-2-112, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-2-112. Ethical requirements for legislators. (1) The requirements in this section are intended as rules for legislator conduct, and violations constitute a breach of the public trust of legislative office.
(2) A legislator has a responsibility to the legislator's constituents to participate in all matters as required in the rules of
the legislature. Except as provided in subsection (5), a legislator shall vote on all issues before the committee of the whole
unless the legislator is absent or excused. A legislator concerned with the possibility of a conflict may briefly present the
facts to the committee of that house that is assigned the determination of ethical issues. The committee shall advise the
legislator as to whether the legislator should disclose the interest prior to voting on the issue pursuant to the provisions of
subsection (5) and advise the legislator as to whether the conflict of interest is so significant that the legislator may abstain
from voting. The legislator
may, subject to legislative rule, shall vote on an issue on which the legislator has a conflict,
after disclosing the interest, unless the conflict of interest is determined to be so significant that the legislator may abstain.
(3) When a legislator is required to take official action on a legislative matter as to which the legislator has a conflict created by a personal or private interest that would directly give rise to an appearance of impropriety as to the legislator's influence, benefit, or detriment in regard to the legislative matter, the legislator shall disclose the interest creating the conflict prior to participating in the official action, as provided in subsections (2) and (5) and the rules of the legislature. In making a decision, the legislator shall consider:
(a) whether the conflict impedes the legislator's independence of judgment;
(b) the effect of the legislator's participation on public confidence in the integrity of the legislature;
(c) whether the legislator's participation is likely to have any significant effect on the disposition of the matter; and
(d) whether a pecuniary interest is involved or whether a potential occupational, personal, or family benefit could arise from the legislator's participation.
(4) A conflict situation does not arise from legislation or legislative duties affecting the membership of a profession, occupation, or class.
(5) A legislator shall disclose an interest creating a conflict, as provided in the rules of the legislature. A legislator who is a member of a profession, occupation, or class affected by legislation is not required to disclose an interest unless the class contained in the legislation is so narrow that the vote will have a direct and distinctive personal impact on the legislator. A legislator may seek a determination from the appropriate committee provided for in 2-2-135. A legislator may abstain from voting only when a conflict of interest creates the potential for a direct, significant pecuniary benefit to the legislator."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of SB 395 (SB0395.01)
Processed for the Web on February 6, 1999 (3:35PM)
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