Legislative Ethics Committee Releases New Guidelines
The General Assembly's legislative ethics committee is distributing new rules to lawmakers regarding staffers who date lobbyists. The committee says a legislative employee should not have a dating or sexual relationship with a registered lobbyist unless it's disclosed to the legislator he or she serves. Republican Paul Stam is the House Majority Leader and the co-chair of the ethics committee. He says the guidelines should be helpful for lawmakers.
Paul Stam continues, "Well there are 5 or 6 hundred lobbyists, and we know of two instances of issues that arose, so I wouldn't want to speak about how common it is. It would seem to me fairly rare, but it does and did happen, so we issued a guideline to put our members of the House and Senate on notice that it's up to them to notice what's going on in their office."
Earlier this year, the chief of staff and a policy adviser to the Speaker of the House both resigned after it was revealed they had relationships with lobbyists.