Democratic Sen. Jon Tester gave his first floor speech Tuesday, encouraging his new colleagues to adopt ethics overhaul legislation pending in the Senate. “This is a great honor to stand in this chamber as the senator representing the great state of Montana,” Tester said. “It’s the genius of American democracy that a third-generation family grain farmer from Big Sandy, Montana can serve in the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Tester, who often talked about ethics reform in his Senate campaign against Republican Sen. Conrad Burns last year, said “scandals and questionable behavior have brought a shadow over this institution.” Burns had accepted about $150,000 in contributions from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his clients and associates, and the issue loomed large in the campaign. The ethics legislation, based on a bill that Stalled in the last Congress, would ban gifts and travel paid for by lobbyists, slow the movement of former senators to lobbying jobs, require lobbyists to provide more information on their activities and oblige senators to be more open about their special projects, or earmarks. The Senate is expected to spend up to two weeks on the legislation. “The best way to work for the American people is to ensure that they can not only see what is happening in their government, but that they can take part in their government,” Tester said. Some senators have also championed an independent office to oversee lawmakers’ conduct. Tester has said he would prefer to leave oversight responsibilities to the Senate Ethics Committee, which is already in place, but could be open to creating an office of public integrity.