An Act To Improve the Administration of the Legislative Ethics Laws
Sec. 1. 1 MRSA §1013, sub-§1, ¶B, as amended by PL 2007, c. 642, §6, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 1 MRSA §1013, sub-§2, ¶B-1, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 642, §6, is amended to read:
(1) The Legislator against whom a complaint is filed must immediately be given a copy of the complaint and the name of the complainant. Before deciding whether to conduct an investigation or to hold any hearings, the commission shall afford the Legislator an opportunity to answer the complaint in writing and in person to the commission. The commission staff may gather preliminary factual information that will assist the commission in deciding whether to conduct a full investigation or to hold hearings.
(2) The commission shall consider only complaints against Legislators in office at the time of the filing of the complaint and only complaints relating to activity that occurred or was ongoing within 2 years of the complaint. Upon a majority vote of the commission, the commission shall conduct an investigation and hold hearings as it determines necessary.
(3) The commission shall issue its findings of fact together with its opinion regarding the alleged violation of legislative ethics to the legislative body of which the Legislator concerned is a member. That legislative body may take whatever action it determines appropriate, in accordance with the Constitution of Maine.
(4) If the commission determines that a Legislator has potentially violated professional standards set by a licensing board, its opinion and such other information as may be appropriate must be referred to the licensing board that oversees the Legislator's professional conduct.
Sec. 3. 1 MRSA §1013, sub-§2, ¶B-2 is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 1 MRSA §1016-C, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 880, §2, is amended to read:
§ 1016-C. Reports by legislative candidates
A candidate, as defined in Title 21-A, section 1, subsection 5, for the Legislature who is not required to file a report under section 1016-A or , 1016-B or 1016-E shall file a report containing the same information required of Legislators under sections 1016-A and , 1016-B and 1016-E no later than 5 p.m. on the first Monday in August preceding the general election unless the candidate withdraws from the election in accordance with Title 21-A, section 374-A by that date.
Sec. 5. 1 MRSA §1019, 2nd ¶, as amended by PL 1977, c. 252, §5, is further amended to read:
If the commission determines that a Legislator has willfully failed to file a statement required by this subchapter or has willfully filed a false statement, the Legislator shall be is presumed to have a conflict of interest on every question and shall be precluded or punished as provided in section 1015 1014 on every question.