Local Politics

Perdue signs government ethics reform bill

Posted August 2, 2010 4:00 a.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2010 6:47 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina's governor has signed into law a measure that aims to improve public trust in state government.

The legislation that Gov. Bev Perdue signed Monday is the latest response to a series of corruption and campaign finance investigations over the past decade that have rocked the Democrats who control state government.

"Today, we have a real sophisticated comprehensive package of ethics reform and transparency that I think should make the general public much more comfortable that we are holding people accountable and that the people who work for the state serve the public and they really do belong to the citizens of North Carolina," Perdue said.

The legislation toughens penalties for illegal campaign donations above $10,000 and expands personnel information that must be released to the public about state employees.

Critics say lawmakers left something out of the 29-page bill – an end to pay-to-play politics, where contractors trying to get work with the state can give money to politicians.

“They’re really reluctant to do anything that affects their own fund-raising,” political watchdog Joe Sinsheimer said.

An earlier spate of scandals produced dramatic ethics and lobbying changes in 2006.