MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Earlier this week Governor Bentley signed into law a bill that will guarantee adequate funding of the State Ethics Commission for the foreseeable future. I applaud him and the current state legislators, many of whom promised to make this happen if elected.
The commission will be funded at one tenth of 1 percent of the state's General Fund budget, and it will take a two thirds vote of the house and senate to change this law. Even though funding could vary depending on how the General Fund budget is written, at least this bill will keep legislators from threatening to de-fund the very commission that could investigate them… a sad reality up until now.
It is a shame that we need an ethics commission at all, but we are reminded that one does need to exist by all the recent news of charges of corruption being brought against elected officials, both locally and nationally.
Our elected officials, like we who place them in office, are human, and processes need to be in place to keep them honest. A securely funded Ethics Commission will help make that happen.