Josh McKoon: The Man behind Ethics Reform - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Josh McKoon: The Man behind Ethics Reform

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By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA -  When the Georgia Senate meets on Monday, it will have a chance to look over and vote on a rules package.

In that package, a new bill on ethics reform.

"The proposal would limit gifts to $100. There are some exceptions, that would include travel to conferences where a Senator would need to be by virtue of their position," Senator Josh McKoon says.

McKoon is the man behind the bill. More than two years in the making, he says he is hopeful the bill will pass.

"It's not just personally satisfying, but also responding directly to voters that voted in the primary asking for this," McKoon says.

The majority of both Georgia Republicans and Democrats voted to end unlimited lobbyist spending in this summer's primaries.

When it comes to integrity, Georgia gets an "F."  Out of 50 states, Georgia ranked 50th on corruption risk, according to one watchdog group.

Ethics reform was one tall order for a rookie senator--McKoon is only in his second term. And taking a stand has cost him a few political relationships along the way.

"I think there are some short term pains anytime you go into something that is sort of bucking the system, but I think the value of what we're doing is worth it, which is trying to show the voters that we are worthy of their trust," McKoon says.

An attorney right here in Columbus, McKoon says he is no stranger to ethics.

"If I took a judge to dinner or I invited a judge on a hunting trip to South Georgia, I would be facing Bar discipline. I would probably not be a lawyer for very much longer," McKoon says.

McKoon says he also wants to see the state pass the Johnia Berry Act this legislative session, which requires DNA testing upon felony arrest.

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