- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Lawmakers have tweaked an ethics reform initiative proposed for Rhode Island’s November ballot.

Judiciary committees in the state Senate and House amended the legislation Tuesday after critics said it fell short.

The legislation seeks voter approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow the state’s Ethics Commission to investigate and sanction lawmakers for conflicts of interest.

It would restore powers taken from the commission in a 2009 court ruling.

The committees passed the legislation to the full House and Senate after dropping a provision that would have created a blackout on ethics complaints before an election. Critics opposed putting an election-season moratorium in the Constitution.

Lawmakers had been concerned about frivolous, politically motivated complaints, but the Ethics Commission is now looking at creating its own administrative moratorium.

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