Bipartisan Agreement Reached on Ethics Reform

December 14, 2006

Madison - At a Capitol press conference this morning, Governor Jim Doyle and top legislative leaders from both parties and both houses of the Legislature announced an agreement in principle on ethics enforcement reform legislation that will be acted upon in a special session of the Legislature in early January.

The governor and the Legislature’s new leadership started negotiations on ethics reform immediately after the election, and invited input from reform groups throughout the many weeks of meetings on the issue.

While the Democracy Campaign withholds final judgment on the plan until after being able to carefully review its many provisions once it has been drafted in bill form, the proposal appears to contain the major components of effective ethics reform that the Democracy Campaign has long advocated for.

It is a very good sign that the governor and legislative leaders from both parties have been willing to roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of hammering out an agreement on ethics reform. And it is an equally important and positive sign that they all have committed to acting on this reform legislation in a special session early next month.

The many hours of bipartisan talks that culminated in today’s announcement bode well not only for action on ethics enforcement reform, but also for the conversation that must take place on other issues that sorely need to be addressed such as campaign finance reform.