TRENTON – Two measures sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg, which would work to help increase transparency and accountability in government were approved today by the Senate State Government Committee.
“These bills would work to help make government officials more accountable to the people who elected them,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “Accountability needs to start immediately, and it is important for residents to know of any potential conflicts their elected representatives might have because of their source of income.”
One bill, S-103, would amend the “Local Government Ethics Law,” to require local government officials to turn in financial disclosure forms within 30 days of taking office. Under current law, all local government officials have until April 30 to submit their disclosure forms. Certain municipalities hold their elections in May, which means that the winners of these elections could avoid having to file the disclosure forms for several months, Senator Weinberg said.
A second bill, S-115, would require lobbyists to disclose the details of all government contracts to the State Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). ELEC would then be required to post the information on its website, to make it accessible to the public.
“Transparency in government is essential, if the public is expected to be part of the legislative process. These bills are steps in the right direction towards increased accountability and accessibility to information for all,” said Senator Weinberg.
Both measures now head to the full Senate for approval.