Law Allows Better Look At Lobbyist Spending

A new state law now gives the public and the media better insight into the amount of money and effort certain groups use to sway sentiment at the Legislature.

Corporations, trade associations and other groups who hire lobbyists at the General Assembly must report if they spend at least three-thousand dollars trying to urge the public to contact lawmakers into supporting or opposing a bill. Before, the groups -didn't- have to disclose that on their lobbying reports.

The North Carolina Association of Realtors is among the first groups that has reported significant such spending. The association this past week told state regulators it has spent a quarter million dollars on this kind of solicitation during the first quarter of the year. The group is leading a multimedia campaign against bills that would require a tax on land and building sales.