April 6, 2011

Halfway through session, state Senate creates ethics committee

For the state Senate, forming an ethics committee halfway through session is a case of better late than never.

According to the Las Vegas Sun:

Despite being midway through the legislative session, the state Senate had not formed an Ethics Committee to accept and review complaints against its members.

That changed Tuesday afternoon, after the Las Vegas Sun asked about the committee.

Senate leadership moved quickly to name members and a chairman, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas.

Still, 57 days of the 120-day session passed with the public having no official channel through which to file a complaint against a state senator.

According to the Sun, the Senate finally created the committee after Senator Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas, introduced seven homeowner-related bills even though she is a member of several homeowners associations, raising conflict-of-interest questions.

Comparatively, the Assembly formed an ethics committee "earlier this session."

Whether the Senate Ethics Committee will actually hear any ethics complaints is another story, but at least they're taking steps towards policing themselves...even if session is nearly halfway over.