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Bill could change Alabama ethics law for public employees

State Capitol of Alabama in Montgomery.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s ethics law for public employees and officials could receive some changes.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports state Senate President Del Marsh filed a bill Thursday with new provisions such as legislators’ ability to create legal defense funds and a lobbying exemption for “economic development professionals.” Marsh spokesman Will Califf said in an email Monday that the Republican introduced the bill on behalf of state Attorney General Steve Marshall.

In the last two years, former Gov. Robert Bentley, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and other former lawmakers have either been convicted or pleaded guilty to ethics charges.

Marshall’s office spokesman Mike Lewis said in an email Monday that prosecutors helped write the bill to close loopholes exposed during Hubbard’s case and others.

Hubbard has appealed his conviction to the state Court of Criminal Appeals.