Alaska Legislature passes conflict of interest measure

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Legislature has passed an update to conflict of interest rules that could have implications for a similar ballot measure.

The bill would require approval for legislative travel outside the United States. It would prohibit lobbyists from buying legislators alcohol and restrict food purchases.

Legislators currently are eligible for a daily allowance during session. But under the bill, if a budget isn't passed within the 121-day constitutional limit for a regular session, the allowance would be cut off from that point until a budget passes.

The measure contains language similar to the initiative. It was supported by two of the initiative's backers, Reps. Jason Grenn and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

If the bill is deemed to be substantially similar to the initiative, the initiative would be bumped from the ballot.

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