December 22, 2011 •
Ask the Experts – Am I Really Required to Wear a Lobbyist Badge?
Q: I’m a registered lobbyist in many different states. I’ve noticed some states have badge requirements. Am I really required to wear a badge?
A: The 2012 registration season is upon us. As legislative sessions commence in various states, it is important to take stock of your various lobbyist registration requirements. As you probably know, it is important to timely file your registration renewal. However, there are other auxiliary requirements you must mind before you step onto capital grounds, such as your jurisdiction’s training and badge requirements.
The short answer to your question is a resounding yes—in some jurisdictions, wearing your badge is required to engage in lobbying activity. In some states, you are unable to complete your registration, or file lobbyist disclosure reports unless you pick up your name badge. Some states may require a personal visit to have your picture taken. For example, in Georgia, upon initial registration, you must visit the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission to have your photo taken for your badge. For quick reference, here is a list of states where badges and/or name tags are required:
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
However, in some jurisdictions, although wearing a badge is encouraged, it is not absolutely required. These states include Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
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