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The Conflicts of Interest Law, N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq., was amended in January 2006. The following is a summary of the major changes, which took effect on March 15, 2006.

Renamed the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards to the State Ethics Commission ("SEC").

Changed, as of January 17, 2006, the membership of the SEC to seven members, three from among State officers and employees and four from the public.

Requires the SEC to employ a full-time training officer and a full-time compliance officer, each of whom has specified duties.

Requires periodic training on ethics standards for State officers and employees and special State officers and employees.

Permits the SEC to impose a civil penalty of between $500 and $10,000 for violations of post-employment restrictions by former State officers and employees and special State officers and employees.

Provides the SEC with jurisdiction over former State officers and employees.

Requires an investigation of a violation committed during State service be commenced within two years of the termination of service.

Provides the SEC with authority to dismiss frivolous complaints.

Permits the SEC to order restitution, demotion, censure or reprimand for an ethics violation.

Imposes a civil penalty of $50 per day for a failure to file a financial disclosure statement.

Provides the SEC with explicit authority to promulgate regulations.

Requires the SEC to communicate with the State Auditor, State Inspector General, the State Commission of Investigation and the Office of Government Integrity.

Requires the SEC director to meet with the members of the Governor's cabinet individually when appointed, and annually as a group, for an ethics briefing.

Requires the SEC to create a toll-free-telephone number for comments, complaints and questions, and makes information and questions received confidential.

Requires financial disclosure statements to be made public on the Internet.

Requires the SEC to prepare and distribute a plain language ethics guide. Each State officer and employee and special State officer and employee must certify that he/she has received the guide, reviewed it and understands its provisions.

Provides the SEC with authority to enforce an Executive Order if the order so provides.

Increases the fine for a violation of the ethics laws that is punishable as a disorderly persons offense from $500 to $1,000.

Requires the SEC to develop a uniform ethics code by September 11, 2006, which would be the primary code supplemented by individual State agency ethics codes.

Provides that the travel reimbursement or payment limitation for travel outside of New Jersey does not apply if the reimbursement or payment is made by the federal government, an agency of another state or two or more states or any political subdivision of another state.

Moves the Anti-Nepotism Law to the Conflicts of Interest Law and adds a prohibition on a State officer or employee or a special State officer or employee supervising or exercising authority with regard to personnel actions over a relative. Relative is defined as your spouse or your or your spouse's parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother or half sister, whether the relative is related to you or your spouse by blood, marriage or adoption.

Makes the provisions of the Conflicts of Interest Law applicable to staff of a Governor-elect compensated with public funds and requires them to undergo ethics training and, if directed by the Governor-elect, to file financial disclosure statements and ethics compliance certifications.

Prohibits the receipt of any gifts from governmental affairs agents by State officers or employees in the Executive branch.

Requires the State Treasurer to post on the Internet a business ethics guide prepared in accordance with Executive Order No.189 (Kean, 1988) and requires those who seek to submit a bid, or negotiate for a State contract, to provide a certification that the bidder has read, understood and complied with the guide.