MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee will consider legislation next week that would change some of the state's ethics laws.

House Bill 227 (HB227), sponsored by State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), passed the House by a 79-9 margin on April 2. Senate leadership assigned the bill to a committee on Thursday, and it could be heard as early as next Tuesday.

"It has a sponsor. It's going to be moving forward. Alabama needs strong ethics laws and this process is one the House has worked on, we're now working on and have been working on in the Senate," Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) told reporters on Thursday. "The idea that we're going to be continuing to work on and debate the ethics legislation to make sure that Alabama has the strongest ethics laws possible and that they're clear and well-defined is something that's going to be important."

State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) said, "I anticipate that it will probably pass, but it's going to be modified."

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Ethics Commission Director Tom Albritton both opposed the version that passed the House earlier in the session. Albritton said during a March public hearing, "This rewrite provides less restrictions on giving, not more which is a problem."

Marshall told 1819 News in March the bill "further empowers an Ethics Commission run amok."

Givhan said both offices are "never going to fully embrace it because there's such a schism between their viewpoints."

"I don't anticipate either side to embrace it. There are improvements that both of them like or prefer. I don't think it's going to be a situation where they both embrace it by any means. There is a little bit of a turf war there," Givhan said.

There are three days left in the 2024 legislative session. If amended, the bill would have to pass a Senate committee, the full Senate, and the House again before the session ends to have a chance of being signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

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