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Ethics Commission FY 2019 Budget Request.
The Commission requests an increase from $0.18/citizen to the funding average of comparably sized states providing the same services as the Ethics Commission, an amount of $0.86/citizen, or $3,354,000. This increase will rectify historic underfunding and establish the funding level at the level required by Oklahoma citizens when establishing the Commission.
New Open Government Department. The Commission also requests sufficient funding to provide for an “Open Government Department” within the Commission to facilitate and streamline access to records and meetings. This Open Government Department will also provide an avenue for administrative recourse, rather than private civil action or criminal charges, through the Commission. The Commission only requests funding for the Open Government Department as the current Constitutional jurisdiction of the agency is sufficient to engage in Rulemaking to provide this service. Any funding provided to the Commission for this process should be offset by savings at other agencies. The Commission requests funding at $0.30/citizen, or, $1,170,000 to provide this service. Click here for a copy of the Commission’s FY 19 Budget Request.
At its meeting on August 14, 2015, the Ethics Commission unanimously adopted the following resolution:
In light of the recent United States Supreme Court decisions in Reed v. Town of Gilbert and Walker v. Texas Div. Sons of Confederate Veterans---both decided in June of this year---that the Commission reexamine Commission Rules 2.6 and 2.7 and suspend enforcement of those Rules until they are amended to ensure their constitutionality and that the Commission notify the public of its suspension of the enforcement of those rules.
District 34 State Senator Rick Brinkley will forfeit the balance of his campaign fund---a total of $81,265.14---to the state general revenue fund in settlement of Case No. 2015-09. The settlement agreement was authorized by the Ethics Commission at its meeting on August 14, 2015. The Commission opened an investigation on June 12, 2015, into allegations that Brinkley violated Ethics Rules in his 2014 campaign. The settlement agreement terminates the Commission investigation. The Commission receives none of the forfeited funds.
A new Ethics Rule that requires reports to be filed for certain conferences, seminars, meetings or other events is now in effect. The reporting requirement applies to events sponsored in whole or in part by a state officer, a state employee or a state agency for which a state officer or employee solicits funds, goods or services to assist with the expenses associated with the event. “Sponsors” means to permit the use of the name of the state officer or employee or state agency to be used in promoting the event.
In such cases, Ethics Rule 2.118(B) provides that a special committee must be created. The committee must register and file a single report of contributions received and expenditures made within 180 days after the event is held. “Contributions” do not include ordinary tickets or admissions to the event.
If no funds, goods or services are solicited by a state officer or employee to assist with expenses associated with the event, there is no registration or reporting requirement.
To view the registration form for these special committees, go to the ”Ethics Laws, Guides & Forms” tab on this page, click on “Forms,” then click on “special committees.” Registration and reporting must be done on-line on the Commission’s new Guardian software. If you have questions, call (405) 521-3451 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Voice for Responsible Government, an Oklahoma corporation, paid a $3,000 late filing fee on July 30, 2015, for failing to timely file three Electioneering Communications and Independent Expenditures Reports required for the Republican Party primary election in State Representative District 85. The special election was conducted on July 14, 2015, and A Voice for Responsible Government should have filed Reports on July 10, July 13 and July 14, 2015, under applicable Ethics Commission Rules. The Reports were filed on July 21, 2015, and A Voice for Responsible Government was ordered to pay the maximum late filing fee of $1,000 for each Report. The schedule for late filing fees provides for the assessment of late filing fees at the rate of $200 per day for five days.