State Ethics Reform Necessary

November 8th, 2009 by

NC Senate Fails to Consider Important Ethics Legislation

During the 2009 Session I was a primary co-sponsor of three bipartisan bills aimed at reforming our State ethics laws. House Bill 944, “Disclosure by Appointees,” sponsored by Reps. Glazier (D-Cumberland), Ross (D-Wake), Stam (R-Wake) and Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), requires disclosure of campaign contribution activity by those appointed to critical positions in state government. House Bill 961, “Pay to Play Regulation” was co-sponsored by Reps. Glazier, Stam, Ross and Goodwin (D-Richmond). This legislation is aimed at preventing conflicts of interest involving political contributions by critical state contractors. House Bill 1136, “Executive Branch Revolving Door,” sponsored by Reps. Ross and Stam, would prohibit certain Executive Branch employees from registering as lobbyists for six months after leaving employment with the State.

All three bills passed the House of Representatives with almost unanimous approval. HB 944 was received by the Senate on May 7, 2009. HB 961 and HB 1136 were received by the Senate on May 14, 2009. However, not one of these bills was considered by the Senate prior to adjournment last August. Recent allegations involving former Governor Mike Easley and Mary Easley, as well as other top Democratic officials, indicate the critical need for ethics law reform.

These bills will be pending in the Senate when the legislature reconvenes next May. I call upon the Senate leadership to make their consideration a priority.