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Politics & Government

Idaho And Michigan Only States Without Disclosure Law

Kevin Rank
Idaho legislators have gathered at the statehouse for the 2012 session now for 81 days.

Idaho is now one of only two states that don't require personal financial disclosure by state lawmakers and other elected or appointed officials.

The Spokesman-Review reports Vermont legislators signed into law last month a series of ethics reforms including financial disclosure rules. That leaves just Idaho and Michigan as the states lacking a similar law.

The Idaho Legislature has appointed a working group of lawmakers to study possible changes to the state's campaign finance reporting rules and ethics, however.

The Center for Public Integrity gave Idaho a D-minus in the center's State Integrity Investigation report two years ago, noting that Idaho currently has no financial disclosure requirements or so-called "revolving door" laws. Such laws typically require a waiting period before former legislators can come back to work at the legislature as lobbyists.

Idaho also has only a few ethics laws and no entity to effectively enforce them, though lawmakers are often offered an ethics lesson at the start of every legislative session.

Vermont's new legislation requires candidates and officeholders to disclose all income sources over $5,000, though not the specific amounts. Spouses are also subject to the disclosures. Vermont's other requirements include rules that candidates must disclose companies in which they or a spouse own more than 10 percent and that statewide candidates must release federal tax returns.