Excerpt from Confidentiality of Legislative Communications: Report to the 1983 General Assembly of North Carolina, 1984 Session
General Statutes (see Appendix D). That Act was effective on July 21, 1983. The staff distributed a section-by - section analysis of that Article. The staff indicated that the policy of confidentiality of legislative communications is based on the premise that legis lators have a right to speculate and be protected from harassment and premature publication. North Carolina, unlike some other states and the United States, does not have a Speech and Debate Clause in its Constitution. G.s. 120-9, a 1787 statute, grants speech and debate protections to legislators (see Appendix D).
The staff indicated that although the Legislative Services Office has traditionally had a policy of strict confidentiality on legislative requests, the definition of public records in Chapter 132 of the General Statutes is so broad as to be inclusive of the work the legislative staff performs at legislators' requests prior to the legislators' making the work product public and to require its disclosure upon request. Chapter 132 is attached as Appendix E.
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