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February 22, 2024

Story, Parenti Bill to Strengthen Government Ethics Passes Committee

DENVER, CO - The House Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee today passed legislation to strengthen accountability for public officials and employees in Colorado school districts and special districts. HB24-1073 passed by a vote of 8-3.

“Government ethics rules are critical in preventing corruption in our government and ensuring the public’s trust while holding elected government officials accountable when they violate Colorado’s ethical standards,” said Rep. Tammy Story, D-Conifer. “We have established ethical codes of conduct that local government officials and employees are expected to abide by. Our legislation would specify that school districts and special districts are also held to this code of conduct so the Independent Ethics Commission can investigate complaints made by Coloradans and hold bad actors accountable.” 

“The people of Colorado expect government officials at all levels to behave ethically and act in the best interest of the people of our state, but inconsistencies in Colorado law prevent investigation and enforcement of ethical standards,” said Rep. Jennifer Parenti, D-Erie. “School and special districts operate in every part of our state, employ thousands of people and control billions of dollars of taxpayer revenues.  This bill is an important step in reminding all of us, at all levels of government, that we are first and foremost servant leaders and we must all be held to account when we betray the public trust or use our positions for personal gain."

The Independent Ethics Commission was created in 2006 to investigate complaints and enforce rules of conduct for public officials and employees. HB24-1073 would expand the authority of the Independent Ethics Commission to include school district and special district officials and employees who report directly to them, such as school superintendents. This bill would allow the Independent Ethics Commission to investigate and enforce complaints of ethics violations by public officials and employees in these districts, improving accountability.

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