AN ACT TO TRANSFER THE FUNCTION OF ELECTION ADMINISTRATION TO THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION; TO TRANSFER THE FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS, LOBBYING, AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE TO THE STATE BOARD OF ETHICS, LOBBYING, AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE; TO REPEAL STATUTES CREATING THE CHILD CARE COMMISSION, THE CLEAN WATER MANAGEMENT TRUST FUND BOARD OF TRUSTEES, THE NORTH CAROLINA PARKS AND RECREATION AUTHORITY, THE PRIVATE PROTECTIVE SERVICES BOARD, THE RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AUTHORITY, AND THE STATE BUILDING COMMISSION FOR WHICH THE APPOINTED STRUCTURES WERE RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL PURSUANT TO MCCRORY V. BERGER AND COOPER V. BERGER; AND TO REPEAL THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS PUBLICATION COMMISSION.
Directs the Revisor of Statutes to recodify Articles 15 through 22 and Article 27 of GS Chapter 163A, and any other existing, related law, into new GS Chapter 147B, entitled Election Administration. Provides for the new Chapter’s structure.
Establishes the State Board of Election Administration (SBEA), consisting of five registered voters appointed by the Governor for four-year terms. Provides for member qualifications, appointment, terms, removal, oath, and reimbursement. Further provides parameters for SBEA meetings and powers, including the power to issue subpoenas, summon witnesses, and compel production of evidence as specified. Creates the position of Executive Director of the SBEA who is appointed by the SBEA for a two-year term. Provides for the payment, qualifications and duties of the Executive Director.
Repeals the following statutes creating and providing for the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement: GS 163A-1, GS 163A-2, GS 163A-3, GS 163A-4, and GS 163A-6.
Amends GS 163A-766, reducing the number of registered voters making up each county’s board of elections from four to three persons and prohibiting no more than two members from belonging to the same political party (under current law, two members are to be of the political party with the highest number of registered affiliates and two are to be of the political party with the second highest number of affiliates). Makes technical changes. Amends GS 163A-767 to make conforming changes concerning county board of elections meetings to reflect the proposed reduction in members.
Amends GS 163A-1181, permitting the SBEA to order a new election upon agreement of at least three of its members (current law requires at least five) in the specified situations under current law.
Maintains validity of any assignment of duties and function related to election administration from the Governor and General Assembly to the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Provides for the continuation of each enumerated commission, board, or other function of state government transferred to the SBEA for purposes of succession to all the rights, powers, duties, and obligations of the former. Charges the SBEA with exercising the functions of former named entities referred to by law, contract, or other document.
Allows for any business or other matter undertaken or commanded by any state program, office, or contract transferred to the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement pertaining to the functions, power, obligations, and duties set forth in the act that is pending on January 1, 2017, or after to be conducted and completed by the SBEA in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions.
Provides that the act’s reorganization and consolidation does not effect any ongoing investigation or audit related to election administration. Transfers any ongoing proceeding before the State Ethics Commission, the State Board or Elections, or the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement on or after January 1, 2017, to the SBEA. Provides that prosecutions for offenses or violations committed before January 1, 2017, are not affected by the act.
Provides for the continued effectiveness of rules adopted by the State Board of Elections and the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement as provided in GS 150B-21.7, and policies, procedures, and guidance until amended or repealed by the SBEA.
Transfers all authority, powers, duties and fuctions, records, personnel, property, and unexpended balances of funds of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement related to election administration to the SBEA. Designates the Director of the Budget to resolve any disputes arising from the transfer. Transfers the appropriations and resources of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement related to election administration to the SBEA as a Type I transfer under GS 143-6.
Requires the SBEA to report to the specified NCGA committees on or before March 1, 2019, and again on or before April 1, 2020, to recommend statutory changes necessary for implementation.
Directs the Revisor of Statues to recodify Articles 5 through 9 and Articles 23 through 26 of GS Chapter 163A, and any other existing, related law into new GS Chapter 138B, entitled Ethics, Lobbying, and Campaign Finance. Provides for the new Chapter’s structure.
Establishes the State Board of Ethics, Lobbying, and Campaign Finance (Board), consisting of eight members serving four-year terms. Provides for the appointment of four members by the Governor and four members by the General Assembly with two upon recommendation of the Speaker and two upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore. Provides for a split political makeup of the eight members and sets forth parameters for initial member terms. Further provides for member qualification, removal, vacancies, oath, and reimbursement. Sets parameters for Board meetings, staff and offices.
Amends GS 163A-156(c) and GS 163A-1440(7), concerning the institution of ethics or campaign finance proceedings, now providing that the Board must initiate an inquiry or make investigations, respectively, as previously provided upon a complaint signed and sworn under oath or affirmation (under current law, the Board can begin ethics proceedings in response to a signed complaint of any individual filed with the Board, and make investigations upon complaint under oath by any registered voter).
Amends GS 163A-1451(f), removing the notification and consultation with the district attorney requirement after the Board assesses a civil penalty or imposes a civil remedy under the statute. Instead, requires the decision of the Board be referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings for an administrative hearing under Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B.
Amends GS 163A-1445, requiring the Board to report possible violations of campaign finance regulations (Article 23 of GS Chapter 163A) to the district attorney of the prosecutorial district in which the candidate for nomination or election resides in the case of a candidate for nomination or election to the office of Governor, Lt. Governor, cabinet offices, all other state elective offices, justices and judges, and district attorney of superior court (previously, reported to the DA of the prosecutorial district in which the candidate resides).
Similarly to GS 163A-156(c) and GS 163A-1440(7), amends GS 120-103.1, requiring the Legislative Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation as previously specified upon receipt of a signed and sworn, under oath or affirmation, allegation of unethical conduct (under current law, upon receipt of a signed and sworn allegation of unethical conduct).
As title indicates, repeals the following statutes, which establish appointment structures for certain boards and commissions, effective June 30, 2019:
Designates the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to serve as the successor-in-interest for all outstanding instruments payable to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board of Trustees, and the Rural Economic Development Division to serve the same for all outstanding instruments payable to the Rural Infrastructure Authority.
Repeals Article 4A of GS Chapter 147, the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission.
Repeals Sections 3 through 21 of SL 2017-6, creating the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
Repeals Part VIII of SL 2018-2, amending the Governor’s control over the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
Grants the Revisor of Statutes authorities regarding changing references, modifying citations, and the like to reflect the act’s changes. Requires the Revisor to consult with the Bipartisan Sate Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, the new SBEA, and the new Board on this recodification.
Provides a severability clause.