August 6, 2013
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wants a special session to revamp Virginia's ethics laws for politicians. However, Governor Bob McDonnell doesn't agree.
McDonnell has said he would support changes to Virginia's existing disclosure laws to provide for greater transparency. However, the Governor believes the proper time and place for the consideration of such changes would be during the next session of the General Assembly, which begins in January.
"I am disappointed that Governor McDonnell and some others in state government do not support my call for a special session, said Cuccinelli in a press release. “I'm disappointed because I believe Virginians want solutions right now, not sometime down the road. "
On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling proposed a series of comprehensive reforms to Virginia’s ethics laws.
"Clearly, we need to make significant changes to our ethics laws, and by putting forth a series of specific proposals it is my hope that we can begin discussing these issues in earnest," said Bolling.
Some of Bolling's proposal includes prohibiting the use of campaign funds for personal expenditures, reporting of gifts to a politician's spouse, and creating a statewide Ethics Review Commission.
Leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates have also responded to Cuccinelli's call for a special session.
House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) released the following statement Tuesday:
"While we share the goals of the Attorney General, we believe it is in the best interests of the Commonwealth to consider reforms during the 2014 regular session, a short five months from now. These are very complicated and serious issues that deserve our full and undivided attention. Addressing them during a regular session will allow us to carefully consider each proposal, gather input and feedback, and move forward in a responsible manner."