MONTGOMERY — Legislators are considering changing Alabama's ethics laws in the legislative session next year.

State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne) said during a House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday that 300,000 people currently fall under Alabama's ethics laws directly, and over 1 million are indirectly subject to the laws.

The committee will meet monthly for the rest of the year to decide on any ethics changes to possibly be filed as legislation.

"Let's put transparency in this. Let's air it all out," Simpson said.

The commission reviewed a 2019 report by the Code of Ethics Clarification and Reform Commission formed by the legislature. The commission was made up of 22 members, including state government officials, District Attorneys, the Attorney General and the Ethics Commission Director. 

"The report from this commission that came out talked about the number of times that vague language is used," Simpson said. "We recognize that there are problems in our ethics laws. Over a million people which is around a quarter of our state fall under these ethics laws. We can't just duck our head in the sand and say, 'Hey, there's a problem. We don't want to address it anymore because we may get bad press or bad publicity from it.' We really need to kind of take the bull by the horns and send the message out to people that hey there's a problem with our ethics laws. It's time to address it. It's time to see what we can do to come up with some clarity through this." 

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