Ethics proposal shot down in ND House

Mar 17, 2015

The state House has turned down a proposed Constitutional amendment that – if voters would approve – would create a state ethics commission.

If it were okayed at the ballot box, the 2017 Legislature would have written the rules for the commission.

Opponents say the state doesn't need it.

"Some states have what has been referred to as a 'culture of corruption,'" said Rep. Scott Louser (R-Minot). "In our state we have a culture of openness and accessibility. North Dakotans will not always agree with the decisions may by us as a Legislative body, or we as individuals. But research shows that our citizens are overwhelmingly satisfied with the work we do."

But the measure’s sponsor – Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) – says there is a perception of ethical problems in state government.

"What are we doing that addresses the perception of ethical misconduct?" Mock said in his floor speech. "The fact that we don't have a commission or a committee means that we cannot clear any action that could be perceived as unethical."

The measure failed on a 68 to 25 vote.