Lawmaker Plans Bill on Conflict of Interest Rules

An Anchorage lawmaker plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session that would overhaul Alaska's conflict of interest rules.

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by Associated Press

JUNEAU- An Anchorage lawmaker plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session that would overhaul Alaska's conflict of interest rules.
   
Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski's proposal would require a majority vote to allow a House or Senate member with a stated conflict to abstain from voting. Wielechowski's office says currently a single lawmaker can to force another legislator to vote, even if there's a significant conflict.
   
Besides requiring a recorded vote, Wielechowski's office says the bill also would better define what constitutes a conflict.

Legislators would have a conflict if a bill they are asked to vote on would substantially benefit their employer, someone they're trying to work for or someone from whom they have gotten at least $10,000 in income in the preceding 12 months.