[r31] Bill addressing nepotism and conflict of interest in local government passes Senate (2/28/2012)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Start Date: 2/28/2012
End Date: 2/28/2012

STATEHOUSE –Rep. Kevin Mahan’s (R-Hartford City) legislation aimed at reducing nepotism and conflict of interest among local government employees passed out of the Senate with 30-19 vote Monday night.

Relating to nepotism, House Bill (HB) 1005 stipulates that relatives may not be employed by an agency in positions resulting in one relative supervising another. While nepotism statutes exist at the state level, HB 1005 is the first piece of legislation to address nepotism among local government employees.

“We’ve had nepotism policy at the state level for some time now, and I believe what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Rep. Mahan. “State and local employees alike should be held to the same standards when it comes to government agencies favoring employees’ relatives over other eligible candidates. It’s not appropriate at any level.”

Additionally, HB 1005 specifies that local government employees may not be elected into a legislative or fiscal body overseeing the unit for which they work.

“It is a blatant conflict of interest for local government employees to be in the position of deciding both their own and their colleagues’ salaries. Anyone can run for office, but a decision needs to be made if they do get elected into such a position.”

HB 1005 had small technical amendments during Senate discussion, so it now returns to the House for approval. If approved, it will be sent to the governor’s office for his signature to be signed into law.