Legislators are poised to make a dramatic change in Iowa’s ethics law which forbids legislators from accepting a gift — including food — worth more than three-dollars. The House State Government Committee has approved a bill which would let legislators dip into their campaign treasury to cover the tab on meals eaten with constituents, but the meals would have to cost less than 25 dollars. Charlie Smithson, legal counsel for the Iowa Ethics board, supports the move. He says the law now cuts down on the legislator’s ability to interact with their constituents.Smithson says legislators wouldn’t have to reveal who they were eating with, nor would legislators be forced to provide a receipt to the ethics board.Smithson says legislators tell him they can’t afford to go to all the events constituents invite them to. He says they want to make it easier for legislators to interact with constituents.
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