Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously
rejected an ordinance introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in
April to amend a recently passed ordinance prohibiting
cross-lobbying of City Council or any city agency, department,
board, or commission by elected officials from the Illinois
General Assembly or any unit of local government in the state.
The proposed amendment added an exception to permit lobbying by
lobbyists with no current contractual or legislative dealings
with the city. The committee voted 16-0 not to send the measure
to the full council. Executive Director Steven Berlin stated the
ordinance is historic because there are no other jurisdictions
in the United States prohibiting both their own officials and
employees from lobbying on behalf of private clients anywhere,
while also prohibiting elected officials from other
jurisdictions from lobbying the city on behalf of private
The state Senate convened a special session on October 5 to
review Gov. David Ige’s appointment for a vacancy on the Hawaii
Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Chief Justice's
appointments on district court positions. Final Senate votes on
the appointments and adjournment sine die took place on October
6. A lobbyist and employer activity report must be filed within
30 days of adjournment sine die of the special session on
November 5 for expenditures and contributions relating to
legislative action considered during the special session.
The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021
Reporting Thresholds, which change every year in January to
reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The
threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other
employee increased from $2,525 to $2,575 for any 12-month
period. The financial transaction threshold between a registered
lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from
$1,275 to $1,300. Travel and lodging reimbursements increased
from $825 to $850. Food and beverage expenditures for a public
official increased from $63 in any month to $64 in any month,
while the $400 threshold for food and beverages purchased
between January 1 and end the reporting period remains the same
as last year. Employee reimbursements increased from $25 to $26,
and the general gift threshold also increased from $63 to $64.
Late filing fees increased from $25 a day up to a maximum of
$750, to $26 and a $780 maximum. The registration threshold of
$650 for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one
public official during a 12-month period and exempt expenditures
at $13, remain the same as last year.
On October 1, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE)
announced the final draft of Advisory Opinion 20-02, providing
guidance to identify the permissibility of a gift to a third
party at the direction of or on behalf of a public official.
Statutes and regulations presumptively prohibit a gift to a
public official from an interested source or gifts to a third
party solicited by a public official or an intermediary.
Advisory Opinion 20-02 allows the presumption of
impermissibility to be overcome by taking into account specific
situations including: the nature or purpose of the gift; nature
of the donor’s pending business with the official; and prior
history of gifts to the cause or third-party organization. JCOPE
will determine whether a gift violates the law or overcomes the
presumption on a case-by-case basis.
The Philadelphia Board of Ethics announced the 2020 lobbying
training schedule. The virtual training will cover ethics rules,
registering, and filing expense reports with the Board of
Ethics. Currently, it is not mandatory to attend one of the 2020
lobbying trainings, however attendance at a training will be
credited when the mandatory training provision takes effect for
registered entities. Registration for the lobbying training can
be accomplished at
Questions regarding the schedule or training may be directed to
the Board of Ethics at
Yukon New Lobbying Laws
George Ticoras, Esq.
October 15, the Canadian territory of Yukon’s new and first
lobbying law came into force with the online Yukon Lobbyist
Registry becoming live. Bill No. 23, the Lobbyist Registration
Act, received Royal Assent on November 22, 2018, but did not
take effect for almost two years. The Yukon Lobbyist Registry is
administered by the Office of Conflict of Interest Commissioner,
who now also holds the position of the registrar.
Both consultant lobbyists and in-house lobbyists are required to
register. Registration is required for individuals attempting to
lobby by communicating with a public office holder, directly or
through grassroots communications. Additionally, a consultant
lobbyist is required to register when arranging a meeting
between a public office holder and any other person for any
purpose covered by the law.
All lobbyists have a one-time only grace period of 90 days to
register beginning with the October 15 effective date.
Registration and the filing of returns are performed
electronically on the registry’s webpage. There is currently no
fee required for registration.
In-house lobbyists are required to file returns by January 31 of
each calendar year. Consultant lobbyists must file returns
within 30 days after the expiration of the six-month period
after the filing date of the previous return.
Grassroots lobbying, which requires registration, includes
initiating petitions and using social media to encourage the
general public to contact officials to support or oppose
government laws and policies.
There are two revolving door provisions restricting both former
officials and former lobbyists. For the six-month period after
ceasing to be in office, a former public office-holder is
prohibited from lobbying as a consultant lobbyist, but he or she
is not prohibited from immediately lobbying as an in-house
lobbyist. Additionally, a consultant lobbyist is prohibited from
becoming an employee of Yukon’s public service for six months
after the terminating her or her lobbyist registration.
Penalties for violations of the Lobbyist Registration Act
include fines up to $25,000 for
the first violation and up to $100,000 for each subsequent
[The details for this article are updated on our
website in the Registration and Reporting sections of the
Canadian Lobbying Laws and the Canadian Procurement Lobbying
Compliance Laws for Yukon.]