Compromise Reached On Ethics Law

State House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, bickering for months over an ethics in government amendment, on Wednesday reached a compromise over implementing the new law.

The conciliation came just two hours after Denver attorney Mark Grueskin leveled a deadline of next Wednesday for lawmakers to seek clarification from the Supreme Court over whether the legislature can more clearly define the voter-approved Amendment 41.

In a Colorado Confidential exclusive posted yesterday afternoon, Grueskin indicated that the high court would need the time to be able to fully consider a proposal before the legislative session ends in May. If lawmakers didn’t move forward, Grueskin announced, he and other Amendment 41 proponents planned to bring forward a ballot measure this November seeking to clarify the law’s muddy wording and introduce an occupational tax on lobbyists that would pay for an ethics commission. “Why wouldn’t you allow the court to weigh in and answer the question that is on everybody’s mind – whether the legislature has the legal authority to define the wording from 41?” he asked. “I haven’t heard one answer to that question.”

Late in the afternoon, House and Senate leaders from both parties convened a hastily-called press conference, at which they announced their plan for a compromise.

The agreement includes plans for: