Public Ethics Overhaul Advances in Virginia Legislature - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Public Ethics Overhaul Advances in Virginia Legislature

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An overhaul of Virginia's ethics laws governing public officials is advancing in the General Assembly.

The legislation was prompted by the conviction of Republican former Gov. Bob McDonnell last year on federal corruption charges.

A Republican-controlled House of Delegates subcommittee endorsed a measure Wednesday that would reduce the current $250 cap on gifts to public officials to $100. The bill would also eliminate the exemption in current law that places no cap on so-called intangible gifts such as meals, travel and entertainment.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Del. Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah County, does not include Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposal for an independent ethics commission that would investigate alleged violations and, if warranted, refer them for prosecution.

Instead, Gilbert's bill calls for an advisory council without such sweeping powers.

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