Codey SOS - Ethics
Under the leadership of Speaker Sires, we have already started the process. We strengthened financial disclosure requirements ... and we eliminated no-bid contracts. We stopped double-dipping on health care benefits ... and we toughened the conflict of interest laws. We banned nepotism ... and we increased penalties for ethics and campaign finance violations. We made significant progress ... but together we can and must do more this year.
Governor McGreevey's Executive Order on pay to play ... must become a permanent law. And I am 100% committed to getting that done in the very near future. There is nothing more important to our democracy than the trust of the citizens. And when that trust wavers, the question is not whether we should act ... but how much we can achieve.
We must start with an overhaul of the Executive Commission on Ethics. It needs more independence and its well-intentioned rules need more teeth. Thanks to legislation you passed, the Commission now has an equal number of public and governmental members.
But I am not prepared to declare victory simply because that Commission is no longer dominated by the very people it oversees. Today I am proposing that for the first time ever, a majority of the Commission be public members. In addition, the Commission will undertake random audits and develop a mandatory training program. And finally, the Commission must be granted sweeping, new enforcement powers and penalties.
Codey's entire State of the State address here.