(a) As used in this Article, the following terms mean:
(1) Commission. - The State Ethics Commission under Chapter 138A of the General Statutes.
(2) Designated individual. - A legislator, legislative employee, or public servant.
(3) Executive action. - The preparation, research, drafting, development, consideration, modification, amendment, adoption, approval, tabling, postponement, defeat, or rejection of a policy, guideline, request for proposal, procedure, regulation, or rule by a public servant purporting to act in an official capacity. This term does not include any of the following:
a. Present, prior, or possible proceedings of a contested case hearing under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, of a judicial nature, or of a quasi-judicial nature.
b. A public servant's communication with a person, or another person on that person's behalf, with respect to any of the following:
1. Applying for a permit, license, determination of eligibility, or certification.
2. Making an inquiry about or asserting a benefit, claim, right, obligation, duty, entitlement, payment, or penalty.
3. Making an inquiry about or responding to a request for proposal made under Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.
c. Internal administrative functions, including those functions exempted from the definition of "rule" in G.S. 150B-2(8a).
d. Ministerial functions.
e. A public servant's communication with a person or another person on that person's behalf with respect to public comments made at an open meeting, or submitted as written comment, on a proposed executive action in response to a request for public comment, provided the identity of the person on whose behalf the comments are made is disclosed as part of the public participation, and no reportable expenditure is made.
(4) In session. - One of the following:
a. The General Assembly is in extra session from the date the General Assembly convenes until the General Assembly:
1. Adjourns sine die.
2. Recesses or adjourns for more than 10 days.
b. The General Assembly is in regular session from the date set by law or resolution that the General Assembly convenes until the General Assembly:
1. Adjourns sine die.
2. Recesses or adjourns for more than 10 days.
(5) Legislative action. - The preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, enactment, tabling, postponement, defeat, or rejection of a bill, resolution, amendment, motion, report, nomination, appointment, or other matter, whether or not the matter is identified by an official title, general title, or other specific reference, by a legislator or legislative employee acting or purporting to act in an official capacity. It also includes the consideration of any bill by the Governor for the Governor's approval or veto under Article II, Section 22(1) of the Constitution or for the Governor to allow the bill to become law under Article II, Section 22(7) of the Constitution.
(6) Legislative employee. - Employees and officers of the General Assembly, consultants and counsel to committees of either house of the General Assembly or of legislative commissions, who are paid by State funds, and students at an accredited law school while in an externship program at the General Assembly approved by the Legislative Services Commission, but not including legislators, members of the Council of State, nonsupervisory employees of the Administrative Division's Facility Maintenance and Food Services staff, or pages.
(7) Legislator. - As defined in G.S. 138A-3 and G.S. 120C-104.
(8) Liaison personnel. - Any State employee, counsel employed under G.S. 147-17, or officer whose principal duties, in practice or as set forth in that individual's job description, include lobbying legislators or legislative employees.
(9) Lobby or Lobbying. - Any of the following:
a. Influencing or attempting to influence legislative or executive action, or both, through direct communication or activities with a designated individual or that designated individual's immediate family.
b. Developing goodwill through communications or activities, including the building of relationships, with a designated individual or that designated individual's immediate family with the intention of influencing current or future legislative or executive action, or both.
The terms "lobby" or "lobbying" do not include communications or activities as part of a business, civic, religious, fraternal, personal, or commercial relationship which is not connected to legislative or executive action, or both.
(10) Lobbyist. - An individual who engages in lobbying for payment and meets any of the following criteria:
a. Repealed by Session Laws 2007-348, s. 8(a), effective October 10, 2007.
b. Represents another person or governmental unit, but is not directly employed by that person or governmental unit.
c. Contracts for payment for lobbying.
d. Is employed by a person and a significant part of that employee's duties include lobbying. In no case shall an employee be considered a lobbyist if in no 30-day period less than five percent (5%) of that employee's actual duties include engaging in lobbying as defined in subdivision (9)a. of this section or if in no 30-day period less than five percent (5%) of that employee's actual duties include engaging in lobbying as defined in subdivision (9)b. of this section.
The term "lobbyist" shall not include individuals who are specifically exempted from this Chapter by G.S. 120C-700 or registered as liaison personnel under Article 5 of this Chapter.
(11) Lobbyist principal and principal. - The person or governmental unit on whose behalf the lobbyist lobbies and who makes payment for the lobbying. In the case where a lobbyist is paid by a law firm, consulting firm, or other entity retained by a person or governmental unit for lobbying, the principal is the person or governmental unit whose interests the lobbyist represents in lobbying. In the case of a lobbyist employed or retained by an association or other organization, the lobbyist principal is the association or other organization, not the individual members of the association or other organization.
The term "lobbyist principal" shall not include those designating registered liaison personnel under Article 5 of this Chapter.
(11a) through (11j) Reserved for future codification purposes.
(11k) Payment. - Any money, thing of value, or economic benefit conveyed to the lobbyist for lobbying, other than reimbursement of actual travel, administrative expenses, or subsistence.
(12) Reportable expenditure. - Any of the following that directly or indirectly is made to, at the request of, for the benefit of, or on the behalf of a designated individual or that individual's immediate family member:
a. Any advance, contribution, conveyance, deposit, distribution, payment, gift, retainer, fee, salary, honorarium, reimbursement, loan, pledge, or thing of value greater than ten dollars ($10.00) per designated individual per single calendar day.
b. A contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation whether or not legally enforceable.
(13) Solicitation of others. - A solicitation of members of the public to communicate directly with or contact one or more designated individuals to influence or attempt to influence legislative or executive action to further the solicitor's position on that legislative or executive action, when that request is made by any of the following methods:
a. A broadcast, cable, or satellite transmission.
b. An e-mail communication or a Web site posting.
c. A communication delivered by print media as defined in G.S. 163-278.38Z.
d. A letter or other written communication delivered by mail or by comparable delivery service.
f. A communication at a conference, meeting, or similar event.
The term "solicitation of others" does not include communications made by a person or by the person's agent to that person's stockholders, employees, board members, officers, members, subscribers, or other recipients who have affirmatively assented to receive the person's regular publications or notices.
(b) Except as otherwise defined in this section, the definitions in Article 1 of Chapter 138A of the General Statutes apply in this Chapter. (1933, c. 11, s. 1; 1975, c. 820, s. 1; 1991, c. 740, s. 1.1; 2001-424, s. 6.10(b); 2005-456, s. 1.; 2006-201, s. 18; 2007-347, s. 6(b); 2007-348, ss. 7, 8(a), (b); 2008-213, ss. 4-8, 90; 2009-129, s. 3; 2010-169, s. 17(a)-(e).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014