Proposed COF/Ethics Provision “Fix” Approved

Senate Bill 750 was passed in the final days of the General Assembly session, following efforts by VEDP and its partners to correct unintended consequences resulting from the 2015 ethics legislation.

The omnibus ethics legislation passed in 2015, prohibiting the owners, officers and directors of a company applying and/or receiving a COF grant from making a contribution to the Governor’s political campaign. This provision presented numerous unintended practical and logistical problems for prospective companies and VEDP.

SB750 eliminates the 2015 provision and replaces it with a more workable process that does not create any burden or confusion for prospective companies. Under this legislation, the Governor’s political committee will be required to notify the state ethics council of any company that made a political contribution to the Governor within 18 months of receiving a COF grant. This already-public information will simply be on file with the ethics council and accessible by the public.

SB750 will go into effect July 1, 2016; VEDP staff will follow current processes until further notice.