The Arkansas Senate has rescheduled a press conference introducing an ethics bill package.
Senators Jim Hendren, Bart Hester, Keith Ingram and others will present the bill package on Monday, February 4, at 9:30 a.m., in the Old Supreme Court Room in the state Capitol.
The bill package is a move to tighten up the ethics regulations for lawmakers after a series of ethics violations and criminal probes. Most recently, former Sen. Gilbert Baker was indicted on charges of conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud, charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the state Senate will likely introduce proposals to make lawmakers who are convicted of felonies that are connected to their office ineligible to receive government retirement benefits. In addition, there will likely be increased ethics fine for lawmakers and other public officials for violations.
In 2018, the Arkansas Senate overhauled its ethics rules, which created an eight-member committee to handle ethics complaints. The new ethics regulations also require senators to receive more ethics training and to provide detailed financial statements to prevent conflict of interest.