Chamber Head Expects Challenges Over New Ethics Amendment

Dec 8, 2014

Panelists in Monday's discussion on the state's new ethics law.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The head of the state's largest business lobbying group says he expects court challenges aimed at clarifying questions surrounding a new constitutional amendment that imposes new ethics restrictions on lawmakers and loosens term limits.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the new amendment Monday, Arkansas state Chamber of Commerce President Randy Zook said lobbyists are seeking clarification about rules regarding gifts and entertainment. The new amendment bans most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, loosens term limits, bans corporate campaign contributions and sets up an independent commission to approve elected officials' salaries.

The two lawmakers behind the amendment said the enabling legislation will help clarify the rules and give the Ethics Commission authority to enforce the new restrictions. Voters approved the amendment in November.