After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
The ethics laws are among a small number of major bills that become law with the new year. Others include rules requiring all new day care employees to undergo more exhaustive background checks, as well as a requirement that schools provide information about concussion risks to parents.
While the ethics laws set the first state limits on how much a lobbyist can spend, there remain considerable loopholes and questions about how the laws will be enforced. The state ethics commission, which has been dealing with various investigations and federal subpoenas, is tasked with interpreting the new laws and creating rules for compliance. That process could take weeks or months.