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Revised D.C. Ethics Bill Passed

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The D.C. Council has approved an ethics reform bill by a vote of 12-1 on Tuesday.
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The D.C. Council has approved an ethics reform bill by a vote of 12-1 on Tuesday.

Update, 2:30 p.m.: The D.C. council passed a revised ethics bill Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 12-1. Among the changes is language allowing for the expulsion of councilmembers in cases that 'substantially threaten the public trust.' Such an expulsion would require the votes of 11 councilmembers.

According to a tweet from Ward 6 councilmember Tommy Wells, he declined to vote for the measure because the council declined to take serious action on transparency. He also objected to the lack of changes to constituent service funds and the process of bundling campaign contributions.

Original Story: After a year filled with scandals, the D.C. Council is scheduled to take its second and final vote on ethics reform legislation today.

There are still questions surrounding the legislation. During the first vote earlier this month, council members rejected efforts to ban so-called constituent service funds and tighten the campaign finance laws regarding corporations and city contractors.

Those amendments are expected to come up again, and other changes could be in the works as well, including measures dictating how easy -- or difficult -- it will be for council members to be expelled or recalled by voters.

The ethics proposal will create a new independent Board of Ethics and mandate stricter disclosure requirements. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has promised to pass the legislation before the new year.


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