The state Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment that would prohibit elected officials and state employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
Sen. Debbe Leftwich, author of the amendment, said it was time for the Legislature to act with courage to restore the public’s trust in the legislative process. Her amendment to House Bill 2196, which creates the Oklahoma Clean Campaigns Act of 2008, was approved with broad bipartisan support.
“Special interest groups shouldn’t have more influence in state government than the average Oklahoman, and this legislation would let the people know we’re committed to working on their behalf,” said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “We spend plenty of time talking about ethics reform at the Capitol, and now it’s time for us to step forward and enact meaningful reforms. We can send a strong message to the citizens of Oklahoma by approving this legislation.”
Leftwich said her proposal would help establish a firm foundation for ethics reform on which the Legislature could continue to build.
“The average Oklahoman needs to know they haven’t been priced out of the process, and that our votes are not for sale,” Leftwich said. “Approving this legislation would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. It’s our responsibility to preserve the integrity of the legislative process.”