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Senate | May 5, 2016 | Committee Room | Ethics Committee

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] Call the House Committee on Ethics to order. I think we have enough folks here, we can move along now. Let me introduce the Sergeant-At-Arms, House Sergeant-At-Arms David Leighton, Bill Riley and Barry Moore. Thank you for being with us gentlemen, appreciate all the help. We also have some Pages with us this morning, and we have Spencer Patton. Spencer, glad to have you with us. You're from where? >> Asheboro. >> Asheboro, Randolph County. Timothy Cashman, over here on this side, and you are from? >> Wilmington. >> Wilmington, down at the coast. And James Britt. James, back at the back. And you're from? >> Raleigh, North Carolina. >> Glad to have you with us. Welcome all the three of you, and I hope you're having a good week. And this committee is the Ethics Committee, which is a little different from the others you've probably been seeing. But hope you'll get something out of our meeting here today, and if we can answer any questions for you let us know. We are glad to have you with us this morning, members. We had hoped we have a couple more, but that's all right, we've got enough to do our business. This is gonna be a relatively short meeting, it's a procedural thing that we have to go through in order to get something considered. So, work with us on it. Chair Goodman, would you have anything you'd like to say sir ? >> No, I don't think so. >> Our purpose here this morning is to consider whether the Committee wants to introduce a bill for the Short Session. A little bit different process than what we usually have filing a bill. The State Ethics Commission has proposed some changes to the ethics and lobbying laws, and we have representatives of the commission here this morning. And they would like to propose some changes, but there's not a current bill that they can use for the Short Session. So the proposed bill has a few minor changes, a more extensive PCS will be considered later if the Committee agrees to introduce the bill. So our process will be, first of all we'll decide whether or not to discuss the matter. Assuming we get a positive vote for that, we'll then discuss this particular sort of skeleton bill we have before us. And then if the committee agrees, we will then introduce this bill. This bill will be filed to beat the deadline, and a PCS will then be considered by whatever committee is handling the bill. We're right on that step? Okay. Any questions about that process? All of you should have in front of you a copy of the bill draft, and again, this is not going to be the entire bill that we'll end up with later on. This is to get us moving through the process. So, do I have a motion to have the bill before the committee for discussion purposes? >> I move. >> All those in favor? >> Aye. >> Any opposed? Okay, well the bill is before us. Mr. Gus Willis with Counsel Committee will explain the bill. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Section 1, adds to the gift band exception. It excludes from the definition of gift, campaign contributions that are properly received and reported under federal law. Section 2, simply re-changes the title over subsection K, and changes that to Post Hearing Dispositions, from Dispositions of Inquiry, and adds the word, the, in front of hearing. Section 3, goes into chapter 1.3, which is the lobbying laws and just clarifies, if you'll notice in subsection A it says, a lobbyist shall file a separate Registration Statement. Then throughout the rest of that portion it just says, currently it just says, registration. So it adds statement to that, so it clarifies that it's a registration statement throughout. Section 4, clarifies that the Commission of the Secretary of State may utilize the services of a hired investigator when conducting investigations. It could be the position of the Commission and the staff that, that's already the case, but this would explicitly make that clear, and it would become effective when

it becomes law. >> Any questions of Mr. Willis? I would point out that Representative Stam participated in a long discussion with a group of several others that went through the proposals that the commission is concerned about. And so we'll be working through that as well when we get the entire bill ready to go, but what you heard here will get us moving if the committee wants to act on this. So, do I have a motion that the bill be favorable for introduction? >> I move. >> Those in favor say aye, >> Aye. >> Those opposed? The motion carries, and I appreciate your assistance on this. I hate you had to take that long walk down the hall for no more involvement than this, but this is what we have to go through. So thank you very much, and we will prepare the bill for filing. [SOUND] We are adjourned.