Bill Summary for H 710 (2011-2012)

Summary date: 

Apr 6 2011

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2011-2012 Session
House Bill 710 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 6, 2011
TO COMBINE THE FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE ETHICS COMMISSION, THE LOBBYING SECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AND THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE DIVISION OF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS INTO AN AGENCY TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE BOARD OF ETHICS, LOBBYING, AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE.
Intro. by Lewis.

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Bill summary

Adds new GS Chapter 163A entitled State Board of Ethics, Lobbying, and Campaign Finance.
Adds new GS 163A-1 to establish the State Board of Ethics, Lobbying, and Campaign Finance (Board), to consist of six registered voters. Specifies qualifications for appointment, oath of office, terms of office, conditions under which members may be removed from office, and how vacancies are filled. Prohibits certain persons from serving on the Board and prohibits certain activities by Board members.
Adds new GS 163A-2 to specify how Board meetings are called, the place where meetings are conducted, and meeting quorum and minutes requirements.
Adds new GS 163A-3 to authorize Board members to receive compensation for travel and other expenses.
Adds new GS 163A-4 to provide the Board with general supervision over the State Government Ethics Act, lobbying laws, and campaign finance regulations. Imposes on the Board the following duties: (1) publish and furnish to county and municipal boards of elections and other election officials a sufficient number of indexed copies of all lobbying, ethics, campaign finance, and election laws and rules and regulations; (2) investigate the administration of the laws subject to the Board’s enforcement according to specified procedures; (3) make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly relative to the conduct and administration of the laws it enforces as it may deem advisable; and (4) employ an executive director. Specifies that all complaints or inquiries regarding laws enforced by the Board be referred to the Board. Provides that any person seeking judicial review of any Board decision must file in the Superior Court of Wake County.
Adds new GS 163A-5 to provide that if any law subject to the Board’s enforcement is held unconstitutional or invalid and such ruling adversely affects the conduct and holding of any pending primary or election, the Board is authorized to make reasonable interim rules and regulation, subject to certain restrictions.
Adds new GS 163A-6 to specify certain powers of the Board chair.
Adds new GS 163A-7 to authorize the Board to exercise the full power and authority to maintain order and to enforce obedience to its lawful commands during its sessions and specifies consequences for failing to obey the lawful commands of the Board.
Adds new GS 163A-8 to direct the Attorney General to provide the Board with legal assistance in executing its authority. Also authorizes the Board to employ private counsel, upon the recommendation of the Attorney General and approval of the Governor.
Adds new GS 163A-9 to create certain director positions.
Adds new GS 163A-10 to specify that the Board is an independent regulatory and quasi-judicial agency.
Makes conforming changes to GS 115D-2.1, GS 116-7, GS 120-102, GS 120-103.1, GS 120-104, GS 120C-100(a), Chapter 138A of the General Statutes, GS 143-47.7, GS 143B-350, GS 143B-417, GS 147-64.6, GS 147-64.6B, GS 150B-1, GS 163-278.30, Chapter 120C of the General Statutes, and GS 163-278.
Directs the Board to adopt rules regarding the conduct of its hearings. Directs county and municipal boards of elections to refer all complaints concerning campaign finance to the Board.
Transfers (1) the State Ethics Commission; (2) the campaign finance functions of the State Board of Elections; and (3) the lobbying registration and enforcement functions of the Secretary of State to the Board.

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