A bill that creates incentive programs for employees of the Legislative Research Commission who find ways to save money is working its way through the Kentucky General Assembly.

But an amendment to the bill changes the focus and attempts to add criteria for hiring the LRC’s next director.

An amendment from state Rep. Tom Riner, a Louisville Democrat,  concerns the moral character of the next director of the LRC and addresses the marital fidelity of the new candidate. The National Conference of State Legislatures has been hired by the state to vet candidates to replace longtime LRC director Bobby Sherman.

Sherman retired last fall amid reports by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting that he was dating a subordinate. She was revealed to have received substantial pay raises.

Rep. Steve Riggs, a Louisville Democrat, is the bill’s original sponsor. He says he wants to find efficiencies and raise morale, and Riner’s amendment would be difficult to enforce.

“I think there’s some merit in saying when you go out and search for someone of this nature that they need to have good moral character, which is what he’s asking for,” Riggs says. “You’d say, that’s kind of, how do you prove that? It’s subjective. Well, that’s not part of it.”

Riggs says he’s working with Riner to limit the scope of his amendment.