|SYNOPSIS:||Existing law does not require any specific ethics training for persons serving on boards governing institutions of higher education within the State of Alabama.|
|This bill would require currently serving and future members of governing boards to complete mandatory state ethics law training.|
|This bill would also require institutions of higher education within the state that receive state appropriations or receive on behalf of and to the credit of students benefiting from state-funded awards and grants, either directly or indirectly, to develop an ethics compliance form to be completed annually by board members.|
Relating to institutions of higher education; to require currently serving and future members of governing boards to complete mandatory state ethics law training; and to provide for the adoption by each board of an ethics compliance form to be completed annually by board members.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. (a) Each institution of higher education within the State of Alabama that is governed by a board of trustees or a board of directors and that receives state appropriations or receives on behalf of and to the credit of students benefiting from state-funded awards and grants, either directly or indirectly, shall require board members to complete ethics training. The training required by this subsection shall be approved by the Alabama Ethics Commission. Board members must either attend a training program approved by the commission or participate in an online educational review of the Alabama Ethics Law provided on the official website of the commission.
(b) The training required by this section shall be completed by board members serving on the effective date of this section within six months after the effective date of this section and within 120 days after appointment for any person appointed to serve thereafter.
(c)(1) By June 1, 2016, unless otherwise established, each board shall consider a code of ethics resolution that provides for the development of an ethics compliance form. The form shall be completed annually by then current and future board members and shall include, but not be limited to, the disclosure of all of the following:
a. Business or nonprivileged professional relationships with other individual board members or any entity affiliated with a board member, to the extent known.
b. The nature of all substantial contractual, employment, and personal or familial financial interests in the institution.
c. A statement of intent to comply with respective governing board standards and other core principles and requirements of the accrediting agency.
(2) The ethics compliance form shall be signed, and attested to, by the board member as true to the best of his or her knowledge. The signature may be electronic.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that constitutionally created boards of trustees comply with the requirements of this section.
Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.