The State Ethics Commission was created in 1975 with responsibilities for financial disclosure, campaign disclosure, and ethical rules of conduct. To enforce the statute, the Commission could issue advisory opinions as well as conduct investigations and hearings into complaints.
In 1990 and 1991, Operation Lost Trust gave impetus for a new statute, the Ethics Reform Act of 1991. That Act expanded the size of the Commission and gave it additional responsibilities to include lobbyist registration and disclosure, financial disclosure, campaign practices, and ethical rules of conduct. The statute provided that the Commission could issue advisory opinions as well as conduct investigations and hearings into complaints. The penalty provisions of the statute were increased.
Agency Mission Statement
The State Ethics Commission is an agency of state government responsible for the enforcement of the Ethics Reform Act of 1991 to restore public trust in government. The mission of the State Ethics Commission is to carry out this mandate by ensuring compliance with the state's laws on financial disclosure, lobbyist/lobbyist's principal disclosure and campaign disclosure; regulating lobbyists and lobbying organizations; issuing advisory opinions interpreting the statute; educating public officeholders and the public on the requirements of the state's ethics laws; conducting criminal and administrative investigations of violations of the state's ethics laws; and prosecuting violators either administratively or criminally.