A bill prompted by a series of recent political scandals has become law in Massachusetts.
Gov. Deval Patrick signed ethics legislation at a Statehouse ceremony on Wednesday, joined by legislative leaders.
Among other things, the new law will ban the giving of gifts of any value to lawmakers, increase the penalties for bribery and double the penalty for violating lobbying laws.
Patrick had demanded passage of the ethics bill along with transportation and pension reform measures before agreeing to a 25 percent sales tax increase in the state budget that takes effect Wednesday.
The governor has already signed the transportation and pension bills into law.
This program aired on July 1, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.