Friday, May 19, 2006

Strengthening Legislative and Executive Branch Ethics

House members approved legislation this week that strengthen the ethics laws that legislators, the Governor, Council of State members, other executive branch officials, leaders of the University of North Carolina system and community colleges, and all voting members of all state boards and commissions must follow. The House Select Committee on Ethics and Governmental Reform, on which I sit, recommended these changes to improve our state’s ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance laws. The measure would bar lawmakers and executive branch officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists and their principals, make it a felony to lie on their economic disclosure statements, and require ethics training for General Assembly members when they take office.

The two pieces of legislation now go to the Senate for consideration. The House Judiciary Committee, on which I sit, continues to make progress on eight other pieces of legislation dealing with these issues that will be before the full House for debate in the coming weeks.

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