Raleigh, N.C. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday to make a "dating relationship or current sexual relationship" a conflict of interest.
Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, said the bill is a result of a recent Ethics Commission advisory opinion that said sex between lobbyists and lawmakers was not "a thing of value" that needs to be reported under current rules.
House Bill 252 is co-sponsored by Reps. Leo Daughtry, R-Johnston, John Faircloth, R-Guilford, and Grier Martin, D-Wake.
Glazier said the commission was right that such a relationship was not a thing of value, but he said "it is a pure conflict of interest."
The bill would require lawmakers and executive branch officials to abstain from any decision if it involves a subject on which a lobbyist to whom they are married or dating tries to exert influence.
Glazier acknowledges there's no registry for people who are dating.
"Is it self-reporting? Yes," he said, adding that the bill would require people to be cautious.
"This creates real consequences. If you're found in violation, you have violated the ethics law," he said.