- Atty. Gen. Hardy Myers, Chair
- Lt. Debbi Baker
- Chuck Bennett
- Rep. Vicki Berger
- Steve Bryant
- Keith Garza
- Sen. Betsy Johnson
- John Junkin
- Carla Kelley
- Justice Hans Linde
- Greg Mowe
- Margaret Olney
- Larry Rew
- MardiLyn Saathoff
- John Schoon
- Bruce Bishop
- John DiLorenzo
- Susan Grabe
- Jim Green
- Don Crabtree
- Genoa Ingram
- Jim Markee
- Harvey Matthews
- Andi Miller
- Mike McCauley
- Lee Peterson
- Paul Snider
- Janice Thompson
- David Buchanan
- Liz Frenkiel
- Ginny Lang
- Frank Nelson
- Joe O'Leary
- Phil Schradle
- Grover Simmons
- Marjorie Taylor
- David Kenagy, Oregon Law Commission
- Wendy Johnson, Oregon Law Commission
- Samuel Sears, Staff Attorney, Oregon Law Commission
- Gerald G. Watson, Staff Attorney, Oregon Law Commission
- Lisa Ehlers, Oregon Law Commission
- Ted Reutlinger, Senior Deputy Legislative Counsel
Oregon's government ethics laws are very broad, covering all state and local government elected and unelected officials, employees, officers, and volunteers. The laws have not been reviewed comprehensively since their passages by the voters in 1974.
In November 2003, after vetoing HB 3328, a bill concerned with government ethics, Governor Kulongoski requested that the Oregon Law Commission "review Oregon's government ethics laws in ORS Chapter 244" (the 'Code of Ethics') and "prepare a comprehensive revision for recommendation to the next regular legislative session". Link: Letter from Governor Kulongoski. The Oregon Law Commission accepted the charge, with certain conditions, notably that its work would be completed for the 2007 legislative session. The Commission, acting upon staff recommendations, directed the staff to conduct an extensive comparative analysis of state major substantive issues concerning government ethics and to prepare a detailed report of its findings to the Commission. The Staff Report was presented to the Oregon Law Commission on January 18, 2005. During the 2005 Legislative session, based upon continuing concerns about government ethics issues, the Legislative Assembly designated additional funding of the Oregon Law Commission for the specific purpose of conducting an even more comprehensive ethics review and preparing recommended legislation. This expanded charge calls for the Oregon Law Commission to also consider related issues involving lobbying, campaign finance, and funding the administration of Oregon's government ethics laws.
In November 2005, Oregon Law Commission Chair Lane Shetterly and Oregon Law Commissioner Attorney General Hardy Myers announced the appointment of members and advisors to the Law Commission Government Ethics Work Group. The work group will be chaired by Myers. Membership of the work group includes expertise from all levels of government and the business community. In addition, the Commission appointed 12 advisors with specific expertise in government ethics to assist the work group.
Over the next year, the work group will meet regularly to review Oregon's government ethics law, including providing opportunities for public testimony. The first meeting was held November 22, 2005 from 2:004:30 p.m. in the Oregon State Capitol. The work group will make recommendations for law improvement to the 2007 Legislative Assembly.
"Lobbying of government officials looks quite different today than it did 30 years ago. Cellular phones, pagers, and frequent flyer miles did not exist when Oregon's laws were written," said Senator Kate Brown, Senate majority leader and vice-chair of the Oregon Law Commission. "A comprehensive review is necessary and long overdue."
The work group will review ethics laws related to receiving financial gain, which includes gifts, honoraria and subsequent employment; restrictions on and reporting of conflicts of interest; and the structures and processes for administration and enforcement of government ethics laws, including penalties and remedies for ethics violations.
In addition, the work group will give attention to lobbying and campaign finance laws to the extent that standards for lobbying and the use of campaign contributions relate to the ethical conduct of state and local government officials.
Memos & Legislative Drafts
- Final Summary of HB 2595 and SB 10 (DOC) (Summary of the final versions of HB 2595 and SB 10, produced by the staff of the Oregon Law Commission)
- Report on Government Ethics (DOC) (Approved by the Oregon Law Commission on February 8, 2007)
- Power Point Presentation (PPT) as of January 5, 2007. This updated version of the Power Point Presentation includes the amendments proposed by the Oregon Law Commission at their December 20, 2006 meeting.
- Original Power Point Presentation (PPT). Please note the slides represent only a summary of the Government Ethics Work Group's recommendations - the 13 LC drafts should be consulted for details. The presentation slides represent the Oregon Law Commission staff's work product and not the Work Group's; that is, the Work Group has not reviewed the slides. These presentations are not intended to provide legal advice. Also note that proposed changes to existing law are generally in red or green italicized font.
- Gift Comparison Chart (DOC). Describes similarities and differences between current law, newly adopted house rules, and proposed revisions to the gift statutes.
- Funding Amount Memo (DOC)
- Background and History of Government Ethics Work Group (DOC)
- Summary Meeting Reports
- Summary Report for Public Hearings
Government Ethics Standards Sub-Work Group #1
- Campaign Finance: LC 186 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Conflicts of Interest: LC 593 (PDF) & MEMO (DOC)
- Conflicts - Personalized or Prejudgment Bias: LC 591 (PDF)
- Employment/Subsequent Employment: LC 1083 (PDF) & MEMO (DOC)
- Gifts, Honoraria, Financial Gain: LC 1137 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Nepotism: LC 1138 (PDF) & MEMO (DOC)
- Lobbying: LC 1225 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Reporting Requirements-Substantive: LC 1226 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Funding: LC 1989 (PDF)
Administration of Government Ethics Sub-Work Group #2
- Organization; Structure; Rulemaking; Advisory Opinions: LC 592 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Adjudication Procedures; Education and Training: LC 1084 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Reporting Requirements: LC 1215 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Funding: LC 1227 (PDF) & MEMO (DOC)
- Sanctions: LC 1228 (PDF) & MEMO (PDF)
- Legal Expense Trust Fund: LC 1726 (PDF)
- Remedies: LC 1999 (PDF)
House & Senate Bills
- Subsequent Employment (LC 1083): HB 2594 (PDF)
- Sanctions, Remedies (LC 592, 1989, 1228, 1999):HB 2595 (PDF)
- Adjudication Process, Legal Defense Fund (LC 1084, 1727): HB 2596 (PDF)
- Campaign Contribution Use (LC 186): HB 2597 (PDF)
- Gifts, Honoraria, Financial Gain (LC 1137): HB 2598 (PDF)
- Conflicts (LC 593): SB 494 (PDF)
- Nepotism (LC 1138): SB 495 (PDF)
- Lobbying Reporting (LC 1225, 1215): SB 496 (PDF)
- Public Official Reporting Requirements (LC 1226, 1215): SB 497 (PDF)
- Prejudgment Bias Disqualification (LC 591): SB 498 (PDF)
Documents Concerning Government Ethics in Oregon
- ORS Chapter 244
- ORS Chapter 171 (see §171.725-171.785)
- Oregon Government Standards & Practices Commission-Admin. Rules (see ch. 199 of OAR)
- Letter from Governor Kulongoski to the Oregon Law Commission (PDF)
- Code of Ethics Project: Staff Report of January 18, 2005 (PDF). Revised November 22, 2005 for presentation to Government Ethics Work Group.
- Code of Ethics Project: Appendices - Staff Report of January 18, 2005 (PDF)
- Ethics Law Overview Powerpoint November 22, 2005 (PDF)
- Ethics Sub-Work Group 2 - Part 1 Report for 2-1-06 meeting (PDF)
Selected Ethics Organizations & Websites
A number of organizations either deal specifically with governmental and legislative ethical issues. Most of these organizations maintain websites. The most relevant of those organizations include:
- Center for Ethics in Government. This is a project of the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation for State Legislatures and is located at NCSL’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
- The Center for Governmental Studies. Nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) public charity, which studies and helps implement innovative approaches to improving social problems and the processes of self-government.
- The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL). A membership organization, whose members are mostly government agencies. COGEL publishes a quarterly periodical, Guardian.
- Ethics Resource Center (ERC). Nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization. Covers business and global ethics in addition to governmental ethics.
- U.S. Office of Government Ethics. A federal agency responsible for overall direction of executive branch ethics policies.
Additional Materials of Interest
National Conference of State Legislatures, The State of State Legislative Ethics. 2002. Monograph. Extensive comparative analysis of state ethics laws, particularly legislative ethics.
Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), A Model Law for Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Lobbying Regulation. 1995. A detailed Model Act in statutory form, containing explanatory comments throughout the text.
Alan Rosenthal, Drawing the Line: legislative Ethics in the States. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.