GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2005

S                                                                                                                                                     3

SENATE BILL 612*

Judiciary I Committee Substitute Adopted 3/31/05

Finance Committee Substitute Adopted 4/11/05

 

 

 

Short Title:     Amend Lobbying Laws.

(Public)

Sponsors:

 

Referred to:

 

March 17, 2005

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to amend the lobbying laws by increasing the information required to be reported on LEGISLATIVE lobbying activities and by requiring registration and reporting of lobbying activities of executive branch agencies and employees.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Article 9A of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes reads as rewritten:

"Article 9A.

"Legislative Branch Lobbying.

" 120-47.1.  Definitions.

For the purposes of this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1)       The terms "contribution," "compensation" and "expenditure" mean any advance, conveyance, deposit, payment, gift, retainer, fee, salary, honorarium, reimbursement, loan, pledge or anything of value and any contract, agreement, promise or other obligation whether or not legally enforceable, but those terms do not include prizes, awards, or compensation not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) in a calendar year.enforceable.

(1a)     The term "covered person" means a legislator, the Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor.

(1b)     The term "developing legislative goodwill" means the attempt to obtain the goodwill of a covered person by communications or activities with that covered person with the intention of ultimately influencing legislative action.

(1c)     The term "executive lobbyist" means a lobbyist registered pursuant to Article 4C of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes.

(2),      (3) Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 740, s. 1.1.

(3a)     The term "immediate family member" means spouse, unemancipated children living in the individual's household, or persons claimed by the individual or the individual's spouse as dependents for tax purposes living in the individual's household.

(4)       The term "legislative action" means 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 by the legislature or by a member or employee of the legislature 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.

(4a)     The term "legislative employee" means employees and officers of the General Assembly.

(4b)     The term "legislative liaison personnel" means any State officer or employee whose principal duties in practice practice, or as set forth in that person's job description description, involve lobbying the General Assembly.

(4c)     The term "legislative lobbyist" means any lobbyist for or against legislative action.

(4d)     The term "legislator" means a member of the General Assembly or a person elected or appointed a member of the General Assembly prior to taking office.

(5)       The term "lobbying" means:means any of the following:

a.         Influencing or attempting to influence legislative action or developing legislative goodwill, through direct oral or written communication with a member of the General Assembly; orcovered person or a legislative employee.

b.         Solicitation of others by lobbyists or lobbyist's principals to influence legislative action.

(6)       The term "lobbyist" means an individual who:who meets any of the following criteria:

a.         Is employed and receives compensation, or who contracts for economic consideration, for the purpose of lobbying; orlobbying.

b.         Represents another person and receives compensation for the purpose of lobbying.

c.         Is legislative liaison personnel.

The term "lobbyist" shall not include those individuals who are specifically exempted from this Article by G.S. 120-47.8. For the purpose of determining whether an individual is a lobbyist under this subdivision, reimbursement of actual travel and subsistence expenses shall not be considered compensation; provided, however, that reimbursement in the ordinary course of business of these expenses shall be considered compensation if a significant part of the individual's duties involve lobbying before the General Assembly.

(7)       The terms "lobbyist's principal" and "principal" mean the entity inperson on whose behalf the legislative lobbyist influences or attempts to influence legislative action.lobbies.

(8)       The term "person" means any individual, firm, partnership, committee, association, corporation, business entity, or any other organization or group of persons.

(9)       The General Assembly is in "regular session" from the date set by law or resolution that the General Assembly convenes until the General Assembly either:

a.         Adjourns sine die; or

b.         Recesses or adjourns for more than 10 days.

" 120-47.2.  Registration procedure.

(a)       A legislative lobbyist shall file a registration statement with the Secretary of State before engaging in any lobbying.lobbying, in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State, including electronically. A separate registration statement is required for each lobbyist's principal. The registration shall indicate whether it is registration as a legislative lobbyist, executive lobbyist, or both, and a separate registration fee shall be paid for each separate type of registration.

(b)       The form of the registration shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall include the registrant's full name, firm, and complete address;address and telephone number; the registrant's place of business; the full name andname, complete address and telephone number of each person by whom the registrant is employed or retained; and a general description of the matters on which the registrant expects to act as a legislative lobbyist.

(c)       Each legislative lobbyist shall register againfile an amended registration form with the Secretary of State no later than 10 days after any change in the information supplied in his the legislative lobbyist's last registration under subsection (b). Each supplementary registration shall include a complete statement of the information that has changed.

(d)       Within 20 days after the convening of each session of the General Assembly, the Secretary of State shall furnish each member of the General Assembly and the State Legislative Library a list of all persons who have registered as executive or legislative lobbyists and whom they represent. Within 20 days after the beginning of the term of a Governor, the Secretary of State shall furnish the Governor, each other member of the Council of State, the head of each principal department of the Executive Branch, and the State Legislative Library a list of all persons who have registered as executive or legislative lobbyists and whom they represent. A supplemental list of legislative lobbyists shall be furnished periodically each 20 days thereafter as the session progresses. A supplemental list of executive lobbyists shall be furnished periodically each 60 days thereafter.

(e)       Each registration statement of a legislative lobbyist required under this Article shall be effective from the date of filing until January 1 of the following odd-numbered year. The legislative lobbyist shall file a new registration statement after that date, and the applicable fee shall be due and payable.

" 120-47.3.  Registration fee.

(a)       Every lobbyist's principal shall pay to the Secretary of State a fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) that is due and payable by either the legislative lobbyist or the lobbyist's principal at the time of registration.

(b)       A separate registration, together with a separate registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) is required for each lobbyist's principal for which a person acts as a legislative lobbyist.

(c)       Fees so collected shall be deposited in the General Fund of the State.

(d)       The Secretary of State may prescribe that fees required under this section be paid electronically.

" 120-47.4.  Written authority from lobbyist's principal to be filed.

Each legislative lobbyist shall file with the Secretary of State within 10 days after his the legislative lobbyist's registration a written authorization to act as such, signed by the lobbyist's principal.

" 120-47.5.  Contingency lobbying fees and election influence prohibited.

(a)       No person shall act as a legislative lobbyist for compensation that is dependent upon the result or outcome of any legislative action.which is dependent in any manner upon the passage or defeat of any proposed legislation or upon any other contingency connected with any action of the General Assembly, the House, the Senate or any committee thereof.

(b)       No person shall attempt to influence the action of any member of the General Assembly by the promise of financial support of the member's candidacy, or by threat of financial contribution or expenditure in opposition to the member's candidacy in any future election.

" 120-47.5A.  Certain expenditures prohibited.

(a)       A lobbyist's principal and any legislative lobbyist acting on behalf of the lobbyist's principal shall not collectively spend more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) in a calendar year on lobbying expenditures specified in subsection (c) of this section for each covered person or legislative employee and that person's immediate family, collectively.

(b)       A legislative lobbyist shall not spend more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) in a calendar year on items specified in subsection (c) of this section for each covered person or legislative employee and that person's immediate family, collectively, that are not paid or reimbursed by a lobbyist's principal. The limits of this subsection shall apply in addition to and regardless of the number of lobbyist's principals by whom the legislative lobbyist is compensated.

(c)       Lobbying expenditures include any of the following when made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, and that benefit one covered person or legislative employee, or that person's immediate family:

(1)       Gifts, meals, event tickets, transportation, speaking fees, and other expenses.

(2)       Loans, other than commercially available loans made on terms not more favorable than generally available to the public in the normal course of business.

(3)       Contributions, other than lawful campaign contributions.

Expenses benefiting more than one recipient shall be prorated among the recipients.

(d)       The prohibitions on lobbying expenditures set forth in this section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)       Gifts from a person who is the spouse, child, stepchild, parent, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild of the covered person or legislative employee, or who is a member of the covered person or legislative employee's household, and dependent upon the covered person or legislative employee.

(2)       The cost of attendance or participation provided by the sponsoring entity of lodging, and of food and beverages consumed, at events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental, trade association, or community organization.

" 120-47.6.  Statements of lobbyist's lobbying expenses required.

(a)       Each lobbyist shall file an expense report with the Secretary of State with respect to each principal within 60 days after the last day of the regular session. This expense report shall include all expenditures made between January 1 and the last day of the regular session. The lobbyist shall file a supplemental report including all expenditures made after the last day of the regular session, but during the calendar year, by February 28 of the following year. semiannual expense reports under oath with the Secretary of State, in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State including electronically, with respect to each lobbyist's principal within 45 days after the end of the reporting periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each year. The expense report shall include all expenditures during the prior six-month reporting period. The legislative lobbyist shall file both expense reports whether or not expenditures are made.

(b)       Each expense report shall set forth the following information:

(1)       date of each expenditure, to whom paid, the name of any legislator who benefitted from each expenditure, and the amount of each expenditure made during the previous reporting period in connection with lobbying, in each of the following categories: (1) transportation, (2) lodging, (3) entertainment, (4) food, (5) any item having a cash equivalent value of more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and (6) contributions made, paid, incurred or promised, directly or indirectly. It shall not be necessary to report expenditures of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or less, nor shall it be necessary to report any expenditures made in connection with the attendance of a legislator at any fund-raising function or event sponsored by a nonprofit organization qualified under 26 U.S.C. 501(c). When more than 10 members of the General Assembly benefitted or were invited to benefit from an expenditure, the lobbyist shall not be required to report the name of any legislator, but shall be required to report the number of legislators or, with particularity, the basis for their selection. The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each expenditure made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, that benefited any covered person, legislative employee, or that person's immediate family member, and the name of each such person who benefited.

(2)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each contractual arrangement or direct business relationship between a legislative lobbyist or lobbyist's principal and a covered person, legislative employee, or that person's immediate family member, in effect during the reporting period or previous 12 months.

(c)       All reports shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall be open to public inspection.inspection upon filing.

(d)       When a legislative lobbyist fails to file a lobbying expense report as required herein,in this section, the Secretary of State shall send a certified or registered letter advising the legislative lobbyist of the delinquency and the penalties provided by law. Within 20 days of the receipt of the letter, the legislative lobbyist shall deliver or post by United States mail to the Secretary of State the required report and an additional late filing fee in an amount equal to the late filing fee under G.S. 163-278.34(a)(2).

(e)       Filing of the required report and payment of the additional fee within the time extended shall constitute compliance with this section. Failure to file an expense report in one of the manners prescribed herein in this section shall result in revocation of any and all registrations of a legislative lobbyist under this Article. No legislative lobbyist may register or reregister under this Article until he the legislative lobbyist has fully complied with this section.

(f)        Appeal of a decision by the Secretary of State under this section shall be in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(g)       The oath required under this section shall attest to the truthfulness and completeness of the report.

" 120-47.7.  Statements of lobbyist's principal lobbying expenses required.

(a)       Each lobbyist's principal shall file an expense report with the Secretary of State within 60 days after the last day of the regular session. This expense report shall include all expenditures made between January 1 and the last day of the regular session. The 'principal shall file a supplemental expense report, including all expenditures made after the last day of the regular session, but during the calendar year, by February 28 of the following year. semiannual expense reports under oath with the Secretary of State within 45 days after the end of the reporting periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each year. The expense report shall include all expenditures made during the prior six-month reporting period. The lobbyist's principal shall file both expense reports whether or not expenditures are made during a reporting period.

(b)       Each expense report shall set forth the name and address of each lobbyist employed, appointed, or retained by the lobbyist's principal, the date of each expenditure made, to whom paid, name of any legislator who benefitted from each expenditure, and amount of each expenditure made during the previous reporting period in connection with lobbying, in each of the following categories: (1) transportation, (2) lodging, (3) entertainment, (4) food, (5) any item having a cash equivalent value of more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00), (6) contributions made, paid, incurred or promised, directly or indirectly, and (7) compensation to lobbyists in connection with their lobbying activities. It shall not be necessary to report expenditures of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or less, nor shall it be necessary to report any expenditures made in connection with the attendance of a legislator at any fund-raising function or event sponsored by a nonprofit organization qualified under 26 U.S.C. 501(c). When more than 10 members of the General Assembly benefitted or were invited to benefit from an expenditure, the principal shall not be required to report the name of any legislator, but shall be required to report the number of legislators or the basis for their selection. In the category of compensation to lobbyists the principal shall estimate and report the compensation paid or promised directly or indirectly, to all lobbyists based on the estimated time, effort and expense in connection with lobbying activities on behalf of the principal. If a lobbyist is a full-time employee of the principal, or is compensated by means of an annual fee or retainer, the principal shall estimate and report the portion of all such lobbyists' salaries or retainers that compensate the lobbyists for lobbying. following information:

(1)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each expenditure made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, which benefited any covered person, legislative employee, or that person's immediate family member, and the name of each such person who benefited.

(2)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving value, and the type of item or activity of each contractual arrangement or direct business relationship between a legislative lobbyist or lobbyist's principal and a covered person, legislative employee, or that person's immediate family member, in effect during the period or previous 12 months.

(3)       The compensation paid or promised to all legislative lobbyists based on estimated time and expense spent lobbying directly or indirectly on behalf of the lobbyist's principal, including developing goodwill with covered persons, and legislative employees. If a legislative lobbyist is a full-time employee of the lobbyist's principal, or is compensated by means of an annual fee or retainer, the lobbyist's principal shall estimate and report the portion of the salary or retainer that compensates for direct and indirect lobbying. The lobbyist's principal's expense report shall include an itemized description of all expenditures reimbursed or paid to legislative lobbyists for direct and indirect lobbying that are not reported on the legislative lobbyists' reports.

(c)       All reports shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and open to public inspection.inspection upon filing.

(d)       When a lobbyist's principal fails to file a lobbying expense report as required herein,in this section, the Secretary of State shall send a certified or registered letter advising the lobbyist's principal of the delinquency and the penalties provided by law. Within 20 days of the receipt of the letter, the lobbyist's principal shall deliver or post by United States mail to the Secretary of State the required report and a late filing fee in an amount equal to the late filing fee under G.S. 163-278.34(a)(2).

(e)       Filing of the required report and payment of the late fee within the time extended shall constitute compliance with this section. Failure to file an expense report in one of the manners prescribed in this section shall result in revocation of any and all registrations of a lobbyist's principal under this Article. No lobbyist's principal may register or reregister under this Article until the lobbyist's principal has fully complied with this section.

(f)        Appeal of a decision by the Secretary of State under this section shall be in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(g)       The oath required under this section shall attest to the truthfulness and completeness of the report.

" 120-47.7A.  Powers and duties of the Secretary of State.

(a)       The Secretary of State shall perform systematic audits of reports required to be filed under G.S. 120-47.6 and G.S. 120-47.7 on a regular basis.

(b)       The Secretary of State may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the approval to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum as necessary to conduct investigations of violations of this Article. The court shall authorize subpoenas under this subsection when the court determines they are necessary for the enforcement of this Article. Subpoenas issued pursuant to this subsection shall be enforceable by the court through the court's contempt powers.

(c)       Complaints of violations of this Article and all other records accumulated in conjunction with the investigation of these complaints shall be considered records of criminal investigations under G.S. 132-1.4 and shall not become public records until a determination is made by the appropriate prosecutorial authority that no criminal charges will be brought against the person against whom the complaint was filed.

" 120-47.7B.  Prohibitions.

(a)       No member or former member of the General Assembly may be employed as an executive or legislative lobbyist by a lobbyist's principal to lobby as defined in this Article or Article 4C of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes during any biennial legislative session to which the member or former member of the General Assembly has been elected or appointed.

(b)       No person serving as Governor or as a member of the Council of State may be employed as an executive or legislative lobbyist by a lobbyist's principal to lobby as defined in this Article or Article 4C of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes during the time of the current biennial legislative session during which the person served in office.

(c)       No individual registered as a legislative lobbyist shall serve as a campaign manager or a campaign treasurer under Chapter 163 of the General Statutes for a campaign for election as a member of the General Assembly.

" 120-47.8.  Persons exempted from provisions of Article.

The Except as otherwise provided in this Article, the provisions of this Article shall not be construed to apply to any of the following:

(1)       An individual, not acting as a legislative lobbyist, solely engaged in expressing a personal opinion on legislative matters to his the individual's own legislative delegation or other members of the General Assembly.

(2)       A person appearing before a legislative committee at the invitation or request of the committee or a member thereof and who engages in no further activities as a legislative lobbyist in connection with that or any other legislative matter.action.

(3)       a.         A duly elected or appointed official or employee of the State, the United States, a county, municipality, school district or other governmental agency, when appearing solely in connection with matters pertaining to his the office and public duties.

b.         Notwithstanding the persons exempted in this Article, the Governor, Council of State, and all appointed heads of State departments, agencies and institutions, shall designate all authorized official legislative liaison personnel and shall file and maintain current lists of designated legislative liaison personnel with the Secretary of State and shall likewise file with the Secretary of State a full and accurate accounting of all money expended on lobbying, other than the salaries of regular full-time employees, at the same times lobbyists are required to file expense reports under G.S. 120-47.6.State.

(4)       A person performing professional services in drafting bills or in advising and rendering opinions to clients, or to legislators covered persons on behalf of clients, as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation where the professional services are not otherwise, directly or indirectly, connected with legislative action.

(5)       A person who owns, publishes or is employed by any news medium while engaged in the acquisition or dissemination of news on behalf of the news medium.

(6)       Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 740, s. 1.1.

(7)       Members of the General Assembly.

(8)       A person responding to inquiries from a member of the General Assembly or a legislative employee, and who engages in no further activities as a legislative lobbyist in connection with that or any other legislative matter.

(9)       An individual giving facts or recommendations pertaining to legislative matters actions to his the individual's own legislative delegation only.

(10)     An employee who represents the employer's interests in legislative action for no more than six hours during a reporting period, provided that neither the employee nor the employer makes any expenditure directly or indirectly that would be prohibited under G.S. 120-47.5A, or any expenditure reportable under G.S. 120-47.6 or G.S. 120-47.7, if the person were not exempt under this section.

" 120-47.9.  Punishment for violation.

(a)       Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, no legislative lobbyist who is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this Article shall in any way act as a legislative or executive lobbyist for a period of two years following his conviction.

(b)       In addition to the criminal penalties set forth in this section, the Secretary of State may levy civil fines for false or incomplete reporting up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation.

" 120-47.10.  Enforcement of Article by Attorney General.

The Secretary of State shall report apparent violations of this Article to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall, upon complaint made to him the Attorney General of violations of this Article, make an appropriate investigation thereof, and he the Attorney General shall forward a copy of the investigation to the district attorney of the prosecutorial district as defined in G.S. 7A-60 of which Wake County is a part, who shall prosecute any person who violates any provisions of this Article.

" 120-47.11.  Rules and forms.

The Secretary of State shall make, amend, and rescindadopt any rules, orders, forms, and definitions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Article.

" 120-47.12.  Limitations on agency legislative liaisons.

(a)       No principal State department may use State funds to contract with persons who are not employed by the State to lobby the General Assembly.

(b)       No more than two persons in each principal State department and constituent institution of The University of North Carolina may be registered to lobby the General Assembly or designated as legislative liaisons liaison personnel pursuant to this Article.

(c)       All persons designated as legislative liaison personnel pursuant to this Article and the State department or constituent institution of The University of North Carolina who employs the legislative liaison personnel shall report all expenditures made for lobbying purposes in the same manner as required for legislative lobbyists under G.S. 120-47.6 and lobbyist's principals under G.S. 120-47.7."

SECTION 2.  Chapter 147 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Article to read:

"Article 4C.

"Executive Branch Lobbying.

" 147-54.31.  Definitions.

For the purposes of this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1)       The terms "contribution," "compensation," and "expenditure" mean any advance, conveyance, deposit, payment, gift, retainer, fee, salary, honorarium, reimbursement, loan, pledge, or anything of value and any contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation whether or not legally enforceable.

(2)       The term "developing executive branch goodwill" means the attempt to obtain the goodwill of an executive branch officer or employee by communications or activities with that executive branch officer or employee with the intention of ultimately influencing executive action.

(3)       The term "executive action" means the preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, adoption, tabling, postponement, defeat, or rejection of a rule, regulation, executive order, policy, resolution, contract, request for proposal, amendment, motion, report, nomination, or appointment by the executive branch or by a member or employee of the executive branch acting or purporting to act in an official capacity. This term shall not include any action by an attorney in connection with litigation or an administrative hearing under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, involving a State official or State agency.

(4)       The term "executive branch officer or employee" means the Governor, any member of the Council of State, State official, member of a State board, commission, council or authority, State employee, or any other person elected or appointed to a Council of State position prior to taking office, who participates in decision making regarding executive action but does not include persons chiefly engaged in clerical, secretarial, or ministerial duties.

(5)       The term "executive lobbyist" means any lobbyist for or against executive action.

(6)       The term "immediate family member" means spouse, unemancipated children living in the individual's household, or persons claimed by the individual or the individual's spouse as dependents for tax purposes, living in the household.

(7)       The term "legislative lobbyist" means a lobbyist registered pursuant to Article 9A of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes.

(8)       The term "lobbying" means any of the following:

a.         Influencing or attempting to influence executive action or developing executive branch goodwill through direct oral or written communication with an officer or employee of the executive branch authorized to take such action, including members of boards, commissions, councils, or other collective bodies.

b.         Solicitation of others by lobbyists to influence executive action.

(9)       The term "lobbyist" means an individual who:

a.         Is employed and receives compensation, or who contracts for economic consideration, for the purpose of lobbying; or

b.         Represents another person and receives compensation for the purpose of lobbying.

The term "lobbyist" shall not include those individuals who are specifically exempted from this Article by G.S. 147-54.40. For the purpose of determining whether an individual is a lobbyist under this subdivision, reimbursement of actual travel and subsistence expenses shall not be considered compensation; provided, however, that reimbursement in the ordinary course of business of these expenses shall be considered compensation if a significant part of the individual's duties involves lobbying before the Executive Branch.

(10)     The terms "lobbyist's principal" and "principal" mean the person on whose behalf the executive lobbyist lobbies.

(11)     The term "person" means any individual, firm, partnership, committee, association, corporation, business entity, or any other organization or group of persons.

" 147-54.32.  Registration procedure.

(a)       An executive lobbyist shall file a registration statement with the Secretary of State before engaging in any lobbying, in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State, including electronically. A separate registration statement is required for each lobbyist's principal. The registration shall indicate whether it is for executive action, legislative action, or both, and a separate registration fee shall be paid for each separate type of registration.

(b)       The form of the registration shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall include the registrant's full name, firm, complete address, and telephone number; the registrant's place of business; the full name, complete address, and telephone number of each person by whom the registrant is employed or retained; and a general description of the matters on which the registrant expects to act as a lobbyist.

(c)       Each executive lobbyist shall file an amended registration form with the Secretary of State no later than 10 days after any change in the information supplied in the executive lobbyist's last registration under subsection (b) of this section. Each supplementary registration shall include a complete statement of the information that has changed.

(d)       Each registration statement of an executive lobbyist required under this Article shall be effective from the date of filing until January 1 of the following year. The executive lobbyist shall file a new registration statement effective on or before January 1 for the subsequent year and annually thereafter. The applicable fee shall be due and payable upon the filing of each registration statement.

" 147-54.33.  Registration fee.

(a)       Every lobbyist's principal shall pay to the Secretary of State a fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) that is due and payable by either the executive lobbyist or the lobbyist's principal at the time of registration.

(b)       A separate registration, together with a separate registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00), is required for each lobbyist's principal for which a person acts as an executive lobbyist.

(c)       Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the General Fund of the State.

(d)       The Secretary of State may prescribe that fees required under this section be paid electronically.

" 147-54.34.  Written authority from lobbyist's principal to be filed.

Each executive lobbyist shall file with the Secretary of State within 10 days after the executive lobbyist's registration a written authorization to act as such, signed by the lobbyist's principal.

" 147-54.35.  Contingency lobbying fees and election influence prohibited.

(a)       No person shall act as an executive lobbyist for compensation that is dependent upon the result or outcome of any executive action.

(b)       No person shall attempt to influence the action of an executive branch officer or employee by the promise of financial support of the executive branch officer's or employee's candidacy, or by threat of financial contribution or expenditure in opposition to the executive branch officer's or employee's candidacy in any future election.

" 147-54.36.  Certain expenditures prohibited.

(a)       A lobbyist's principal  and any executive lobbyist acting on behalf of the principal shall not collectively spend more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) in a calendar year on lobbying expenditures specified in subsection (c) of this section for each executive branch officer or employee and that person's immediate family, collectively.

(b)       An executive lobbyist shall not spend more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) in a calendar year on items specified in subsection (c) of this section for each executive branch officer or employee and that person's immediate family, collectively, that are not paid or reimbursed by a lobbyist's principal. The limits of this subsection shall apply in addition to and regardless of the number of lobbyist's principals by whom the executive lobbyist is compensated.

(c)       Lobbying expenditures include any of the following when made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, and that benefit one executive branch officer or employee, or that person's immediate family:

(1)       Gifts, meals, event tickets, transportation, speaking fees, and other expenses.

(2)       Loans, other than commercially available loans made on terms not more favorable than generally available to the public in the normal course of business.

(3)       Contributions, other than lawful campaign contributions.

Expenses benefiting more than one recipient shall be prorated among the recipients.

(d)       The prohibitions on lobbying expenditures set forth in this section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)       Gifts from a person who is the spouse, parent, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild of the executive branch officer or employee, or who is a member of the executive branch officer or employee's household, and dependent upon the executive branch officer or employee.

(2)       The cost of attendance or participation provided by the sponsoring entity, of lodging, and of food and beverages consumed, at events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental, trade association, or community organization.

" 147-54.37.  Statements of lobbyist's lobbying expenses required.

(a)       Each executive lobbyist shall file semiannual expense reports under oath with the Secretary of State, in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State including electronically, with respect to each lobbyist's principal within 45 days after the end of the reporting periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each year. The expense report shall include all expenditures during the prior six-month reporting period. The executive lobbyist shall file an expense report whether or not expenditures are made.

(b)       Each expense report shall set forth the following information:

(1)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each expenditure made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, including developing executive branch goodwill, which benefited any executive branch officer or employee, or that person's immediate family member, and the name of each such person who benefited.

(2)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving value, and the type of item or activity of each contractual arrangement or direct business relationship between an executive lobbyist or lobbyist's principal and an executive branch officer or employee, or that person's immediate family member, in effect during the period or previous 12 months.

(c)       All reports shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall be open to public inspection upon filing.

(d)       When an executive lobbyist fails to file a lobbying expense report as required herein, the Secretary of State shall send a certified or registered letter advising the executive lobbyist of the delinquency and the penalties provided by law. Within 20 days of the receipt of the letter, the executive lobbyist shall deliver or post by United States mail to the Secretary of State the required report and an additional late filing fee in an amount equal to the late filing fee under G.S. 163-278.34(a)(2).

(e)       Filing of the required report and payment of the additional fee within the time extended shall constitute compliance with this section. Failure to file an expense report in one of the manners prescribed herein shall result in revocation of any and all registrations of an executive lobbyist under this Article. No executive lobbyist may register or reregister under this Article until the executive lobbyist has fully complied with this section. Appeal of a decision by the Secretary of State shall be in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(f)        Appeal of a decision by the Secretary of State under this section shall be in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(g)       The oath required under this section shall attest to the truthfulness and completeness of the report.

" 147-54.38.  Statements of lobbyist's principal lobbying expenses required.

(a)       Each executive lobbyist's principal shall file semiannual expense reports under oath with the Secretary of State within 45 days after the end of the reporting periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each year. The expense report shall include all expenditures made during the prior six-month reporting period. The lobbyist's principal shall file an expense report whether or not expenditures are made during a reporting period.

(b)       Each expense report shall set forth the following information:

(1)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each expenditure made directly or indirectly to support lobbying, including developing executive branch goodwill, which benefited any executive branch officer or employee, or that person's immediate family member, and the name of each such person who benefited.

(2)       The fair market value, date, the name and address of the person receiving payment, and the type of item or activity of each contractual arrangement or direct business relationship between an executive legislative lobbyist or lobbyist's principal and an executive branch officer or employee, or that person's immediate family member, in effect during the period or previous 12 months.

(3)       The compensation paid or promised to all executive lobbyists based on estimated time and expense spent lobbying directly or indirectly on behalf of the principal, including developing goodwill with executive branch officers or employees. If an executive lobbyist is a full-time employee of the lobbyist's principal, or is compensated by means of an annual fee or retainer, the lobbyist's principal shall estimate and report the portion of the salary or retainer that compensates for direct and indirect lobbying. The principal's expense report shall include an itemized description of all expenditures reimbursed or paid to executive lobbyists for direct and indirect lobbying that are not reported on the executive lobbyist's reports.

(c)       All reports shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and open to public inspection upon filing.

(d)       When a lobbyist's principal fails to file a lobbying expense report as required in this section, the Secretary of State shall send a certified or registered letter advising the lobbyist's principal of the delinquency and the penalties provided by law. Within 20 days of the receipt of the letter, the lobbyist's principal shall deliver or post by United States mail to the Secretary of State the required report and a late filing fee in an amount equal to the late filing fee under G.S. 163-278.34(a)(2).

(e)       Filing of the required report and payment of the late fee within the time extended shall constitute compliance with this section.

(f)        Appeal of a decision by the Secretary of State under this section shall be in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(g)       The oath required under this section shall attest to the truthfulness and completeness of the report.

" 147-54.39.  Powers and duties of the Secretary of State.

(a)       The Secretary of State shall perform systematic audits of reports required to be filed under G.S. 147-54.37 and G.S. 147-54.38 on a regular basis.

(b)       The Secretary of State may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the approval to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum as necessary to conduct investigations of violations of this Article. The court shall authorize subpoenas under this subsection when the court determines they are necessary for the enforcement of this Article. Subpoenas issued pursuant to this subsection shall be enforceable by the court through the court's contempt powers.

(c)       Complaints of violations of this Article and all other records accumulated in conjunction with the investigation of these complaints shall be considered records of criminal investigations under G.S. 132-1.4 and shall not become public records until a determination is made by the appropriate prosecutorial authority that no criminal charges will be brought against the person against whom the complaint was filed.

" 147-54.40.  Persons exempted from provisions of Article.

The provisions of this Article shall not be construed to apply to any of the following:

(1)       An individual, not acting as an executive lobbyist, solely engaged in expressing a personal opinion on an executive action.

(2)       A person appearing before a committee, commission, board, council, or other collective body at the invitation or request of the collective body or a member thereof and who engages in no further activities as an executive lobbyist in connection with that or any other executive action.

(3)       A duly elected or appointed official or employee of the State, the United States, a county, municipality, school district, or other governmental agency, when appearing solely in connection with matters pertaining to his office and public duties.

(4)       A person performing professional services in drafting bills, rules, regulations, executive orders, policies, resolutions, contracts, or requests for proposal, or in advising and rendering opinions to clients, or executive branch officials on behalf of clients, as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending executive action where the professional services are not otherwise, directly or indirectly, connected with executive action.

(5)       A person who owns, publishes, or is employed by any news medium while engaged in the acquisition or dissemination of news on behalf of the news medium.

(6)       A person responding to inquiries from an executive branch officer or employee and who engages in no further activities as an executive lobbyist in connection with that or any other executive branch matter.

(7)       A person appearing before an executive branch agency or department on behalf of another person, on an individual application for a license or permit, or a disciplinary action on a license or permit.

(8)       An employee who represents the employer's interests in executive action for no more than six hours during a six-month reporting period, provided that neither the employee nor the employer make any expenditure directly or indirectly that would be prohibited under G.S. 147-54.36, or any expenditure reportable under G.S. 147-54.37 or G.S. 147-54.38, if the person were not exempt under this section.

" 147-54.41.  Punishment for violation.

(a)       Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, no executive lobbyist who is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this Article shall in any way act as an executive or legislative lobbyist for a period of two years following conviction.

(b)       In addition to the criminal penalties set forth in this section, the Secretary of State may levy civil fines for false or incomplete reporting up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation.

" 147-54.42.  Enforcement of Article by Attorney General.

The Secretary of State shall report apparent violations of this Article to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall, upon complaint made to the Attorney General of violations of this Article, make an appropriate investigation thereof, and the Attorney General shall forward a copy of the investigation to the district attorney of the prosecutorial district as defined in G.S. 7A-60, of which Wake County is a part, who shall prosecute any person who violates any provisions of this Article.

" 147-54.43.  Rules and forms.

The Secretary of State shall adopt any rules, orders, forms, and definitions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Article."

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective January 1, 2006.