BY JIM DOOLEY-A much-discussed measure that would have eased ethical restrictions on state legislators and employees appears dead after being deferred today by a House committee.
The bill, SB671,underwent several revisions in the Senate and House after it was first introduced as a measure to tighten gift disclosure requirements on lobbyists and lawmakers.
The latest revision, made earlier this month by the House Judiciary Committee, would have allowed state employees to accept free tickets to charitable events regardless of their value, even including events held out of state or out of the country.
Judiciary Committee chairman Gilbert Keith-Agaran, D-9th (Kahului, Wailuku, Puunene, Spreckelsville, Paia), announced without discussion that the measure was being deferred.
Revisions to the original bill were made after newly-appointed state Ethics Commission executive director Leslie Kondo told lawmakers in February that they could not accept free passes to an event sponsored by the influential local non-profit Hawaii Institute on Public Affairs.
Organizers of the event protested and the ethics bill was revised by the Senate, although Kondo said that his advice on the issue was consistent with earlier
Opinions from the Ethics Commission.