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[5] Senate Passes Charbonneauís Bill On Local Government Nepotism

STATEHOUSE (Jan 23, 2012) – State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) said today Indiana is one step closer to eliminating nepotism and conflicts of interest in government. The full Senate voted 39-11 in favor of legislation co-authored by Charbonneau that would prohibit family members from serving within any government unit if their relatives are in direct supervisory roles.

Senate Bill 170 would exempt individual workers employed prior to July 1, 2012, allowing them to continue holding both office and employment until their elected term expires. Volunteer firefighters and precinct election officers would not be affected since they are not considered employees of a government unit.

“I think there’s a serious conflict of interest when an elected official uses taxpayers’ money to pay a family member’s salary,” Charbonneau said.

The bill would require public employees elected to serve on an executive or fiscal body of the county, city, town or township that oversees their agencies to decide if they want to remain an employee of that unit or begin their term as an elected official.

SB 170 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. Hoosiers can get a full, updated copy of the legislation online by visiting www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2012&session=1&request=getBill&docno=170.