North Dakota Attorney General Opinion Confirms Ethics Commission Authority - State and Federal Communications

January 4, 2021  •  

North Dakota Attorney General Opinion Confirms Ethics Commission Authority

North Dakota Capitol Building

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued an opinion confirming the Ethics Commission is constitutionally authorized to create a rule expanding the definitions for “lobby” and “lobbyist” for purposes of the new gift rules.

The opinion was issued in response to a request for clarification from Ethics Commission Chairman Ron Goodman.

The definitions used by the commission in the new gift rules in the Administrative Code adopted in October are broader than those passed by the Legislature in House Bill 1521.

The Ethics Commission expanded the definition of lobby and lobbyist to include attempts to influence any public official, administrative rule, or regulation rather than just the Legislature and legislation.

The new rules are not intended to expand the definition of who should be required to be registered as a lobbyist.

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