A rule proposed by the state Ethics Commission that no complaints alleging ethical or campaign violations may be filed against legislative, state or judicial candidates several months before the November general election is now is effect.
The rule is intended to prevent unsubstantiated complaints from influencing elections.
Under the proposal, no complaints could be filed in even-numbered years between the candidate filing period in April and the November general election.
The rule, approved by the Ethics Commission in January, became effective when lawmakers failed to take action against it during the session that ended May 24, the commission's executive director, Lee Slater, told commissioners during their monthly meeting Monday.
Lawmakers may only vote down Ethics Commission proposals; the governor could veto that action. The new rule allows the commission to expose frivolous complaints and identify the people who file them.
Commissioner Karen Long said earlier that complaints were filed during the last election season “to embarrass and humiliate somebody else for no good reason.”