2020 Code of Alabama
Title 36 - Public Officers and Employees.
Chapter 25 - Code of Ethics for Public Officials, Employees, Etc.
Section 36-25-4.2 - State Ethics Commission - State Ethics Law Training Programs.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 36-25-4.2 (2020)

Section 36-25-4.2

State Ethics Commission - State Ethics Law training programs.

(a) At the beginning of each legislative quadrennium, the State Ethics Commission shall provide for and administer training programs on the State Ethics Law for members of the Legislature, state constitutional officers, cabinet officers, executive staff, municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, county commissioners, and lobbyists.

(1) The training program for legislators shall be held at least once at the beginning of each quadrennium for members of the Legislature. An additional training program shall be held if any changes are made to this chapter, and shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes. The time and place of the training programs shall be determined by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission and the Legislative Council. Each legislator must attend the training programs. The State Ethics Commission shall also provide a mandatory program for any legislator elected in a special election within three months of the date that the legislator assumes office.

(2) The training program for the state constitutional officers, cabinet members, and executive staff, as determined by the Governor, shall be held within the first 30 days after the Governor has been sworn into office. An additional training program shall be held if any changes are made to this chapter, and shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes. The specific date of the training program shall be established by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission with the advice of the Governor and other constitutional officers.

(3) The training program for lobbyists shall be held four times annually as designated by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission, the first of which shall be held within the first 30 days of the year. Each lobbyist must attend a training program within 90 days of registering as a lobbyist. A lobbyist who fails to attend a training program shall not be allowed to lobby the Legislature, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, public officials, or public employees. After attending one training program, a lobbyist shall not be required to attend an additional training program unless any changes are made to this chapter. Such additional mandatory training program shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes.

(4) All municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, county commissioners, and members of any local board of education in office as of January 1, 2011, shall obtain training within 120 days of that date. Thereafter, all municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, and county commissioners shall obtain training within 120 days of being sworn into office. Training shall be available online and may be conducted either online or in person. Evidence of completion of the training shall be provided to the commission via an electronic reporting system provided on the official website. The scheduling of training opportunities for municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, and county commissioners shall be established by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission with the advice and assistance of the Alabama League of Municipalities and the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. Any provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the training for county commissioners required by this subdivision shall be satisfied by the successful completion of the 10-hour course on ethical requirements of public officials provided by the Alabama Local Government Training Institute established pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 11. The Alabama Local Government Training Institute shall quarterly provide written notice to the State Ethics Commission the names of those county commissioners completing the institute's program.

(b) The curriculum of each session and faculty for the training program shall be determined by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission. The curriculum shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the current law, a discussion of actual cases and advisory opinions on which the State Ethics Commission has ruled, and a question and answer period for attendees. The faculty for the training program may include the staff of the State Ethics Commission, members of the faculties of the various law schools in the state, and other persons deemed appropriate by the Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission and shall include experts in the field of ethics law, persons affected by the ethics law, and members of the press and media.

(c) Except as provided herein, attendance at any session of the training program shall be mandatory, except in the event the person is suffering a catastrophic illness.

(d) This section shall not preclude the penalizing, prosecution, or conviction of any member of the Legislature, any public official, or public employee prior to such person attending a mandatory training program.

(e) All public employees required to file the Statement of Economic Interests required by Section 36-25-14, no later than May 1, 2011, shall participate in an online educational review of the Alabama Ethics Law provided on the official website of the commission. Employees hired after January 1, 2011, shall have 90 days to comply with this subsection. Evidence of completion of the educational review shall be provided to the commission via an electronic reporting system provided on the official website.

(Act 2010-762, 1st Sp. Sess., p. 14, §2.)

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