The State Ethics Commission does not administer Subtitle 5 (Conflicts of Interest) of the Ethics Law with respect to members of the General Assembly. That role has been assigned by the Ethics Law to the Joint Ethics Committee, assisted by the Ethics Advisor to the General Assembly. The State Ethics Commission does administer Subtitle 6 (Financial Disclosure) of the Ethics Law with respect to members of the General Assembly.
The State Ethics Commission administers a financial disclosure program that requires more than 16,000 State employees, elected officials, candidates for State elected offices, other categories of officials including State agency managers, regulators and purchasing staff, and some appointed members of boards and commissions to file annual financial disclosure statements. The financial disclosure forms require the filer to identify real estate interests, equity interests, and other relationships such as employment, debts and gifts so that the public can be assured that the impartiality and independent judgment of those officials and employees will be maintained. Legislators file a special form unique to the General Assembly, which is an expanded version of the form filed by the majority of State employees.
The general reporting deadline is April 30th each year. New filers must file within 30 days of starting a position requiring financial disclosure. Persons leaving a position requiring disclosure must file a termination statement within 60 days of leaving that position. Click here to access the Commission’s system.
The public can view on the Internet filed financial disclosure forms submitted on or after January 1, 2019, by a State official (which includes legislators), a candidate for office as a State official, or a Secretary of a principal department in the Executive Branch. All other financial disclosure statements are available to the public for examination and copying at the Commission’s Office. An individual who desires to view a financial disclosure statement must identify him or herself and provide his or her address. On the request of the individual whose statement was examined or copied, both for those whose statements are viewed on the Internet and those whose statements are viewed in the Commission’s Office, the Commission will forward a copy of that record to that individual. For all filers, the Commission is required to redact home address information from all statements filed after January 1, 2019.
Amendments to Financial Disclosure Statements
If you discover an error or omission in a previously remitted Financial Disclosure Statement, you need to file an amendment to correct the issue(s).
The Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics has stated that a substantial change means a change from the previous disclosure statement by reason of marriage, change of employment, or acquisition or disposition of real property.
Section 5-602(C) of the Public Ethics Law requires a member to file a preliminary disclosure on or before the seventh day of the regular legislative session if there has been a substantial change in the previous calendar year compared to the most recently filed Financial Disclosure Statement. If there have been no substantial changes, then a preliminary disclosure is not required.
If you file your regular annual disclosure form on or before the seventh day of the Session, there is no need to file a preliminary disclosure. Preliminary disclosure forms are filed through the same site you file your annual financial disclosure statements.