Maryland General Assembly Passes Ethics Reform Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers have approved a measure tightening state ethics laws.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who proposed the bill, praised the legislature on Saturday for working in a bipartisan fashion. The Republican governor says he looks forward to signing the bill.

The measure increases financial disclosure requirements for state elected officials, state public officials and lobbyists. It also expands the definition of a conflict of interest.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, added a provision Friday to increase the penalty for bribery to up to $10,000 in fines and 12 years in prison.

The change came on the same day federal officials announced a wire fraud charge against Sen. Nathaniel Oaks of Baltimore for allegedly accepting illegal payments in exchange for using his position to benefit someone on business matters.

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