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This Bulletin is an updated version of 2006-2007 Ethics and Lobbying Reform: 2008 Legislative Update which was published as Bulletin No. 120 of the Local Government Law Bulletin series. While the ethics and lobbying laws are primarily for state government officials and those who seek to influence them, there are certain provisions that apply to local government officials.
North Carolina’s judiciary is rapidly becoming a comprised branch of government as new legislation has significantly changed the branch. Several laws passed by the General Assembly have changed campaign financing laws for judges, changed the review process for determining whether a law is unconstitutional or not, and stripped the Judicial Standards Commission of most of its regulatory ability. The North Carolina Bar Association has asked the governor to veto some of the legislation and commentators worry that the new changes will make judges partisan as they are influenced by large campaign donations.
The 2006 short session of the North Carolina General Assembly concluded with the passage of the State Government Ethics Act. The act establishes ethical standards for the conduct of state officials in all three branches of government and imposes broad new regulations and restrictions on those officials.