2011-06-16 - WRITTEN OPINIONS

2011-06-16. WRITTEN OPINIONS

GARY O. BARTLETT

Executive Director

MAILING ADDRESS:

P.O. BOX 27255

RALEIGH, NC 27611-7255

June 16, 2011

Mr. Jason Kay, General Counsel

Office of Speaker Thorn Tillis

NC House of Representatives

16 W. Jones Street, Room 2304

Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-1096

Re: Request for Advisory Opinion

Dear Mr. Kay:

I write in response to your request for an advisory opinion pursuant to N .C. Gen. Stat. § 163278.23. By email on June 16, 2011, you requested guidance regarding the acceptance of contributions by legislators during time the Genera! Assembly has adjourned or recessed. More specifically, you asked when a legislator may accept contributions when the General Assembly has adjourned or recessed for a time- certain that is more than 10 days.

North Carolina law prohibits a "limited contributee" from accepting or soliciting contributions from "limited contributors" while the General Assembly is in "regular session."1 As you know, legislators cannot receive contributions from lobbyists at any time. However, outside of regular sessions of the Genera! Assembly, "limited contributees" may accept contributions from other "limited contributors.'"

The General Assembly is in "regular session" from the date set by law or resolution that the Genera! Assembly convenes until the General Assembly either adjourns sine die or recesses or adjourns for more than 10 days." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.13B(3).

If the General Assembly adjourns or recesses for a lime certain that is more than 10 days, legislators and other "limited contributees" could accept contributions immediately alter the General Assembly has adjourned or recessed. If a time certain that is more- than 10 days is not

[1] "Limited contributee" means a member of or candidate for the Council of State, a member of or candidate tor the General Assembly." N.C. Gen, Stat. § 163-278.13B (a(2). "Limited contributor" means a lobbyist registered under Chapter 120C of the General Statutes, that lobbyist's agent, that lobbyist's principal ax defined in G.S. 120C-100(11)or a political committee that employs or contracts with or whose parent entity employs or contracts with a lobbyist registered under Chapter 120C of the General Statutes." N.C. Gen. Stat, § 163-278.13B(a)(1).

designated at the time of adjournment or recess, legislators and other "limited contributees" must wait until day 11 after the General Assembly adjourns or recesses to accept contributions from "limited contributors" other than lobbyists.

If the General Assembly adjourns or recesses for a time certain that is more than 10 days and a legislator or other "limited contribute" accepts a contribution on the same day of adjournment or recess, that legislator or other "limited contributee" should obtain a statement from the permitted "limited contributor" specifying that the contribution is being made after the General Assembly has adjourned or recessed. This statement should include a declaration signed by the legislator or other "limited contributee" that the contribution was received after the General Assembly had adjourned or recessed.

This opinion is based upon the information provided in your June 16, 2011, request for advisory opinion. If any information in that request should change, you should consult with our office to ensure that this opinion would still be binding Finally, this opinion will be tiled with the Codifier of Rules to be published unedited in the North Carolina Register and the North Carolina Administrative Code.

If you have any further questions, please contact me or Kim Strach, Deputy Director-Campaign Finance.

Sincerely.

@#21#@

Gary O. Bartlett

Executive Director

cc: Julian Mann, Codifier of Rules

The following state regulations pages link to this page.