Watchdogs

Published — December 13, 2001 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Indiana

A snapshot of ethics practices in Indiana

Introduction

Indiana is one of 27 states in which no outside agency oversees ethical conduct of state legislators. It is one of 18 of those states where no ethics agency oversees any aspect of disclosure. Indiana is among seven of those states — including Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina — in which an outside agency is setup to oversee other divisions of government.

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What, if any, ethics agency exists in the state?

Indiana has the Indiana State Ethics Commission, which is enabled in the Indiana Code 4-2-6. The commission does not have jurisdiction over state legislators. It oversees current or former “state officers,” meaning the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the secretary of state. It also oversees current or former employees, persons who have or had a business relationship with an agency and special state appointees.
http://www.state.in.us/ethics/

If the above agency does not oversee legislators, is legislative oversight defined in statute?

Yes. Indiana also has the House Legislative Ethics Committee and the Senate Legislative Ethics Committee, which are enabled by Indiana Code 2-2.1-3-5. Each committee is made up of six members, three from the majority party and three from the minority party that has the largest number of members.
http://www.ai.org/legislative/ic/code/title2/ar2.1/ch3.html

Are there state statutes that address ethical conduct for legislators?

Yes. Legislators have a separate ethics act that applies to them. Indiana Code 2-2.1-3, “Legislative Ethics” applies to members of the general assembly.
http://www.ai.org/legislative/ic/code/title2/ar2.1/ch3.html

Indiana Code 4-2-6, “Ethics and Conflicts of Interest” applies to the same people the state ethics commission oversees.
http://www.state.in.us/legislative/ic/code/title4/ar2/ch6.html

When were the ethics statutes enacted?

1974

Where do legislators file outside interest disclosures?

Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate. See Info Resources.
No Web site.

Where do legislators file campaign finance disclosures?

Indiana Secretary of State Elections Division
http://www.state.in.us/sos/elections/index.html

Where are lobbying disclosures filed?

Indiana Lobby Registration Commission
http://www.state.in.us/ilrc/INlaw/1999/append8.html

Note: Some information provided by the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws’ “Ethics Update” 2000. For more information or to purchase the reference, visit www.cogel.org.

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