Complete review of state ethics laws could be ahead

At least one lawmaker supports a complete overhaul of the ethics laws

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Beacon Hill lawmakers are considering a complete review of the state’s ethics laws.

The House and Senate this week gave initial approval to creating a task force to look into ethics laws that apply to state, county and local governments. Under this bill, a 13-member task force would determine whether the state’s ethics and “conflict of interest” laws need to be stronger.

This comes after two separate incidents involving Beacon Hill lawmakers. Milton state Senator Brian Joyce is under federal investigation. Hingham state Representative Garrett Bradley was criticized after his law firm reimbursed their partners for political donations, a system that the firm maintains is legal.

At least one lawmaker told 22News she supports a complete overhaul of the state’s ethics laws.

State Rep. Denise Provost (D), of Somerville said “It’s something that our constituents care about and I don’t see why we shouldn’t revisit it regularly.”

The task force still needs final approval from both the House and Senate, and then Governor Charlie Baker’s signature before they can get to work.