Legislative Formal Advisory Opinions

Advisory opinions are one of the cornerstones of ethics regulation in North Carolina. They allow requesters to receive prospective advice about real life situations they face in their public service, and formal opinions provide the requester with limited immunity if that advice is followed. Legislators may seek recommended formal advisory opinions from the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement (“State Board”), which are then considered by the Legislative Ethics Committee, or may request those opinion directly from the Committee. Please see  120-104 and 163A-157(b) for more information about formal advisory opinions requested by State legislators.

The State Board is required to publish formal advisory opinions issued by the Legislative Ethics Committee within 30 days of receipt from the Committee. Unless the legislator authorizes the publication of an unedited version, the Committee edits those opinions as necessary to protect the requester's identity. This section contains formal advisory opinions issued by the Legislative Ethics Committee. 

If you would like to speak with Commission staff about obtaining an opinion, please call (919) 814-36020.

2018 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-18-001 Reconsideration of New Voter Letters
September 5, 2018

2017 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-16-001

Acceptance of Expanded Gas Products Service Grant
April 6, 2017

G.S. 163-217(a); G.S. 163A-211(a); G.S. 163A-218(a)

  In accordance with G.S. 120-104(g), Senator Jackson has authorized the publication of an unedited version of this opinion.

2016 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-15-005

Concurrent Service as Member and as County or City Attorney
January 4, 2016

G.S. 163-217(a); G.S. 163A-211(a); G.S. 163A-218(a)

  In accordance with G.S. 120C-104(g), Speaker Moore authorized the publication of an unedited version of this opinion.

2015 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-15-003 Use of Legislative Resources to Send Letters of Recommendation
July 16, 2015
AO-LEC-15-004 House Bill 127 (DOT Condemnation Changes) Duty to Vote, Conflict of Interest Analysis, and Recusal Process
June 24, 2015

2014 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-14-002

Legislator Official or Legislative Action Resulting in Benefit to Member of Legislator’s Extended Family
December 10, 2014

G.S. 163A-211(a); G.S. 163A-212(c); G.S. 163-217(a)

AO-LEC-14-001 Legislator Solicitation of Funds for Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations
November 17, 2014

2013 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-13-001 Use of Constituent Information
June 3, 2013
AO-LEC-13-002

Application of Ethics Laws to Legislator's Employment at a Private Company 
January 21, 2014

G.S. 163A-211(a) & (b); G.S. 163A-212(c); G.S. 163-217(a)

2012 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-12-001 Further Guidance on the Use of Legislative Resources to Send New Voter Letters
July 2, 2012

2010 Formal Advisory Opinions

AO-LEC-10-001 Legislator Acceptance and Reporting of Trip Expenses
G.S. 163A-212(c) and G.S. (163A-189(a)(8)
September 1, 2010

2009 Formal Advisory Opinions

E-09-0002 Legislator Bidding on State Construction Contracts 
G.S. 163A-211(a), G.S. 163A-217(a), and G.S.163A-212(a)
May 21, 2009
AO-LEC-09-002 Legislator Attempting to Eliminate State Funding for Contract Employee's Position with State University 
June 4, 2009
AO-LEC-09-001 Proceeding with Legislation After Receiving an Offer from a Lobbyist to Assist Legislator's Constituent if Legislator Discontinues Work on Legislation
G.S. 163A-212(a)
April 28, 2009
AO-E-09-0001 Whether Legislators and Legislative Employees May Solicit and Obtain Monetary or In-Kind Contributions from Lobbyist Principals in Order to Provide Support for the 2009 Southern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting
G.S. 163A-212(c) and G.S. 163A-307(d)
April 21, 2009

In accordance with G.S. 120-104(g) Senator Garrou and Representative Howard have authorized the publication of an unedited version of this opinion.

2008 Formal Advisory Opinions

E-08-0001 See AO-E-09-0001
E-08-0003 Disclosure of Extended Family Member's Business and Customers on Statement of Economic Interest 
G.S. 163A-189
May 14, 2008

2007 Formal Advisory Opinions

LEC-07-001 Use of Legislative Postage and Stationery to Send Communications upon the Occurrence of a Significant Event, Letter to Newly-Registered Voters, and Holiday Greetings.
June 20, 2007 See also AO-LEC-12-001
E-07-0001 Legislator Participation in Official Actions
G.S. 163A-217 and G.S. 163A-218
April 26, 2007
E-07-0002 Legislator Participation in State Government Task Forces
G.S. 163A-211  and G.S. 163A-217
April 26, 2007
E-07-0003 Participation in Legislative Actions Concerning a Nonprofit and Acceptance of Meals

G.S. 163A-212  and G.S. 163A-217

May 10, 2007
E-07-0004 Legislator Acceptance of Trip Expenses

G.S. 163A-211 and G.S. 163A-212

June 22, 2007
E-07-0006 Speaker Gift Ban Exception
G.S. 163A-212(c) and G.S. 163A-212(f)(3) 
June 6, 2007
E-07-0007 Legislator Participation in Official Actions that Would Benefit Spouse's Business
G.S. 163A-217
May 3, 2007
E-07-0008 Solicitation of Donations for Charitable Organization Food Drive
G.S. 163A-211(b) and G.S. 163A-212(b)  
April 26, 2007
E-07-0009 Attendance at American Legislative Exchange Council Meeting
G.S. 163A-217  and G.S. 163A-218
June 20, 2007
E-07-0010 Donations to a Charitable Organization Organized by Members of the General Assembly
G.S. 163A-212
December 11, 2007
E-07-0011 Acceptance of Honoraria for Graduation Speech
G.S. 163A-212(i)
October 4, 2007
E-07-0012 Legislator Teaching at a UNC School and Conflicts of Interest
G.S. 163A-217(a)
October 16, 2007