LITTLE ROCK — An ethics reform proposal that also would extend legislative term limits and create a panel to consider pay raises for legislators and constitutional officers was filed Wednesday.
House Joint Resolution 1009 was among 22 proposed constitutional amendments filed on the last day to introduce ballot measures offered for referral by the Legislature to the 2014 general election ballot.
HJR 1009 by Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, drew the support of Regnat Populus, a ballot question group that tried last year to get an ethics reform proposal on the November ballot but could not gather the required number of signatures.
"The intention is address ethics reform and the issues that were raised initially by Regnat Populus," Sabin said Wednesday.
While final details of Sabin’s measure have yet to be worked out, he said it would do five things, three of which were in the Regnat Populus proposal:
—Ban gifts to legislators.
—Prohibit corporations and labor unions from making political contributions.
—Establish a two-year "cooling off" period between when a lawmaker leaves office and is permitted to start lobbying. The Legislature approved a one-year ban in 2011.
Sabin said he and Sen. John Woods, R-Springdale, who filed an identical proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 18, said they planned to add two more provisions to the measure, including extending term limits for legislators to a total of 16 years, which could be divided between the House and Senate, and the creation of a panel that would decide whether Arkansas’ constitutional officers and legislators should receive raises.
Woods said seven other states have created commissions that determine salaries for legislators and constitutional officers.
Woods also filed SJR 17 on Wednesday, a separate measure proposing the panel that would decide on pay raises.
Paul Spencer, chairman of Regnat Populus, said the group supports HJR 1009 but will continue to gather signatures in an effort to get its proposal on the 2014 general election ballot. The name and ballot title was recently certified by the state attorney general’s office, a prerequisite for canvassing in the state.
The Legislature can refer up to three constitutional amendments to the ballot. If HJR 1009 is among the proposals chosen this session for referral in 2014, Spencer said his group would stop gathering signatures and help campaign for the proposal.
Other proposed constitutional amendments filed Wednesday, many of them in shell form to meet the deadline with details to be added later, included:
— HJR 1008 by Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, an amendment concerning the dedication of road-user revenue to the state highways, county roads and city streets.
— HJR 1010 by Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, which would amendment the requirements for amending the state constitution.
— HJR 1011 by Rep. Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, which would amend Amendment 80 and other constitutional provisions concerning civil litigation.
— HJR 1012 by Shepherd, concerning the Judicial Department of state government. It would amend the process for selecting justices of the state Supreme Court and amend Amendment 80 and other constitutional provisions concerning the litigation of civil claims.
— HJR 1013 by Shepherd, to clarify substantive and procedural law and rights under Amendment 80.
— HJR 1014 by Shepherd. concerning the Judicial Department of state government, amendment the constitution concerning the process for selecting justices to the supreme court and clarify substantive and procedural law and rights under Amendment 80.
— HJR 1015 by Rep. Fred Love, D-Little Rock, which would amend Amendment 82 concerning obligations bonds for large economic development projects.
— HJR 1016 by Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, the Arkansas Public Prayer Amendment.
— HJR 1017 by Dotson, which would amend the constitution concerning extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly.
— HJR 1018 by Dotson,, concerning the application of state and federal law for the the purpose of protecting rights and privileges granted under the U.S. Constitution.
— HJR 1019 by Rep. Brian Scott, R-Fayetteville, concerning the eligibility of certain public officials to hold a civil office.
— SJR9 by Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, which would clarify an infamous crime under Article 5, section 9.
— SJR 10 by King, which would reform and revise certain tax levies.
— SJR 11 by King which would amend the constitution concerning the prosecution of election fraud.
— SJR 12 by Sen. Jakes Files, R-Fort Smith, which would amend the constitution concerning county contracts for public buildings or bridges, and amendment Article 19, Section 16 of the constitution.
— SJR 13 by Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock, which would extend the time for filing an initiative petition in cities from counties from no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days before the election to no less than 95 days and no more than 120 days..
— SJR 14 by Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, regarding standards of ethics for public servants.
— SJR 15 by Williams, concerning the powers of initiative and referendum.
— SJR 16 by Sen. Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs, to amend Article 5, Section 1 concerning initiative and referendum.