Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill to stop universities from hiring individuals appointed by the governor to their boards of visitors within two years of the expiration of such members’ terms.

The ethics bill, filed by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, came in response to the hiring last year of former James Madison University board member Bill Bolling to a $140,000 job reporting directly to university President Jon Alger.

Records obtained via the Freedom of Information Act showed Bolling helped create the position and helped write his own job description, requesting a contract of at least three years to boost his state pension. The records showed Bolling initially approached Alger about a job while Bolling — a Republican former state senator

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