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Bipartisan Group Propose Limits on Personal Gifts


A bipartisan group of Virginia House delegates wants to place a $250 limit on gifts from lobbyists and others who do business with the Commonwealth.

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Jan. 7, 2014

A bipartisan group of Virginia House delegates wants to place a $250 limit on gifts from lobbyists and others who do business with the Commonwealth.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers announced Tuesday an agreement on a comprehensive package of reforms to the state’s ethics, transparency and disclosure laws. The agreement is the result of months-long discussions between members of both parties and includes over a dozen reforms in four major categories.

Legislators also want to establish a commission to advise and train elected officials about ethics and conflict-of-interest laws.

Lawmakers say the proposals will help restore the public's faith in government after a gift scandal involving outgoing Governor Bob McDonnell.

"We hope the changes outlined today will help restore any public trust lost due to recent events," said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights).

Gov. McDonnell came under federal investigation after he and his family accepted thousands of dollars' worth of gifts from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. McDonnell has apologized for his actions but has denied breaking any laws. He has not been charged with a crime.

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe has proposed limiting gifts to elected officials and their families at $100.

The bipartisan agreement is currently being drafted into legislative form and will be filed in the coming weeks.


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