Final order issued on ruling that lobbyists can give to legislators

U.S. Senior District Judge William Bertelsman issued a final order last week on his June ruling stating that Kentucky’s legislative ethics prohibition on gifts and contributions from lobbyists is unconstitutional.

In response to the final order, the Kentucky Chamber announced plans to file an amicus brief along with other business groups urging the appeal of the ruling.

The ruling, originally issued in June 2017 without the final order, overturns Kentucky’s quarter-century ban on gifts and contributions to legislators from lobbyists and comes as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2015 by state Sen. John Shickel and others.

Kentucky’s current ethics laws were enacted after an FBI investigation in the early 1990s, known as BOPTROT, that led to the indictment of several legislators for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for influencing legislation.

The Kentucky Chamber plans to file the amicus brief and organize other associations which lobby the Kentucky General Assembly to take similar action, and will fight to maintain the state’s current ethics system.

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