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Kentucky's Ethics Laws Stand- United States Supreme Court denies petition

Thanks to the Kentucky General Assembly's bipartisan action, Kentucky has a "no cup of coffee" rule that prevents individual legislators from receiving food and beverages and other gifts from lobbyists and their employers. Additionally, lobbyists cannot contribute to legislators' or legislative candidates' campaigns for office, and employers and PACs cannot give to legislative campaigns during the regular legislative sessions. The ethics law, enacted as a response to the BOPTROT scandal in the early 1990's, was strengthened by the General Assembly in 2014.

In early December of this year, the United States Supreme Court declined to review a federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision which upheld Kentucky's strong legislative ethics laws against a constitutional challenge. This means that the gift and contribution provisions continue to be in force and applicable to the actions of legislators and lobbying interests in Kentucky. The Supreme Court's decision not to review the case is a victory for the General Assembly's strong approach to regulating legislative ethics.


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