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Associated Press, Published January 08 2013

Minn. ethics board eyes extra lawmaker disclosures

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota ethics board is crafting recommendations for expanded economic disclosure requirements for lawmakers amid concern that the current reporting system is too weak to catch conflicts of interest.

The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board authorized the agency's staff Tuesday to draft proposed changes to existing disclosure laws. The recommendations are due by early February. If endorsed, they will head to the Legislature.

Minnesota's part-time legislators and select executive branch officials must disclose limited information about outside income and investment properties. Other states demand a more comprehensive catalog of lawmaker income and investments.

Many legislators simply list their occupation as consultant or self-employed and avoid disclosing who pays them.

Some board members called the law 'deficient,' while others said requiring too much disclosure will discourage qualified people from running.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.