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Transparency bill awaits governor's signature

April 13, 2012 | last updated April 17, 2012 11:32 am

A bill that closes a loophole in the state's ethics laws awaits the signature of Gov. Paul LePage after winning approval from lawmakers.

LD 1806 requires lawmakers, executive branch officials and constitutional officers to report if organizations they or their family members are associated with receive more than $10,000 a year from the state, according to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.

The bill followed an investigation by the watchdog group that showed legislators and top state officials, or their family members, received $235 million in state contracts from 2003 to 2010. Current law requires payments of $1,000 must be disclosed, but only if the goods or services were purchased directly from a legislator, official or family member, and not from a corporation or other entity affiliated with them.

Two national public interest groups last month gave Maine flunking grades in government accountability and transparency.