January 16, 2020 •

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Sues Secretary of State for Right to Lobby

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist. The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in […]

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist.

The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in March of 2019, citing his federal convictions for fraud and extortion.

DiMasi is currently registered as a lobbyist with the city of Boston.

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July 26, 2019 •

Memorandum to Amend Boston Lobbying Ordinance Submitted

This month, a group of member associations, non-profits, and businesses working within the City of Boston submitted a memorandum of legal analysis regarding the city’s Lobbyist Registration and Regulation Ordinance expressing their key concerns with the legislation. The ordinance, passed […]

This month, a group of member associations, non-profits, and businesses working within the City of Boston submitted a memorandum of legal analysis regarding the city’s Lobbyist Registration and Regulation Ordinance expressing their key concerns with the legislation.

The ordinance, passed in October of 2018, took effect on April 16, 2019 and implemented broad lobbyist registration requirements and quarterly reporting.

The submitted memorandum asserts the ordinance is overbroad and does not include lobbyist registration exceptions present in state and federal law, including the de minimis threshold for incidental lobbying activity.

The memorandum also suggests language for proposed amendments to provide clarity while continuing to promote transparency and accountability.

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October 22, 2018 •

Boston Mayor Signs Lobbying Ordinance

Mayor Marty Walsh signed an ordinance last week requiring lobbyist registration and reporting for individuals and entities attempting to influence city action. The ordinance was passed by city council in late September and requires registration by every person retained, employed […]

Mayor Marty Walsh signed an ordinance last week requiring lobbyist registration and reporting for individuals and entities attempting to influence city action.

The ordinance was passed by city council in late September and requires registration by every person retained, employed or designated by any client or lobbying entity to engage in lobbying or lobbying activities.

This comes after two years of Mayor Walsh calling for increased transparency through the implementation of a lobbying ordinance.

In July, Mayor Walsh vetoed a lobbying ordinance passed by council as it failed to define and regulate lobbying and did not create an adequate enforcement mechanism.

The new ordinance, effective April 13, 2019, creates a quarterly reporting requirement and penalties for late registration and reporting.

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July 16, 2018 •

Boston Lobbying Reform Vetoed

Last week, Mayor Marty Walsh vetoed a Boston City Council Ordinance on lobbying reform. Mayor Walsh first proposed an overhaul to the city’s lobbying laws in 2016, stating a need for an increase in transparency. His proposal brought stricter lobbying […]

Last week, Mayor Marty Walsh vetoed a Boston City Council Ordinance on lobbying reform. Mayor Walsh first proposed an overhaul to the city’s lobbying laws in 2016, stating a need for an increase in transparency.

His proposal brought stricter lobbying laws mirroring those of the state in the form of a home rule charter which would require approval by the state legislature. Council passed its own version of the ordinance in late June hoping it would go into effect immediately upon signature by the mayor.

In vetoing the ordinance, Mayor Walsh indicated the passed ordinance failed to define and regulate lobbying and did not create an adequate enforcement mechanism.

Mayor Walsh stated his continued confidence in his recommended proposals, but Boston’s lobbying reform is headed back for more debate.

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February 25, 2016 •

Boston Closer to Eliminating “Hocus-Pocus” with New Lobbying Law

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has filed a home rule petition with the City Council to establish a lobbying law for the city. The proposal, filed with the council on February 1, requires lobbyist to register annually with the city […]

Marty_WalshBoston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has filed a home rule petition with the City Council to establish a lobbying law for the city.

The proposal, filed with the council on February 1, requires lobbyist to register annually with the city by December 15 of each preceding year. The annual registration fee will be $1,000 for a lobbyist entity, and $100 for clients and lobbying agents. A lobbying agent is defined in the petition as “a person who for compensation or reward engages in a least one lobbying communications with a city employee.”

Activity reports are due twice a year, on January and July 15, and must include campaign contributions, client identification, “names of pieces of legislation or the decisions of the city employees” attempted to be influenced, statements of the lobbying agent’s position on the legislation or decision, the lobbyist’s compensation, and the dates of all lobbying communications.

The petition is based on the state’s lobbying law, the Boston Globe reports the mayor has said. According to the Globe, City Councilor Michael F. Flaherty Jr. said, “Let’s eliminate the hocus-pocus that used to permeate every corner of City Hall, where projects and petitions lived or died on who you knew and who you hired.”

If the home rule petition is passed by the City Council, it must then be approved by the state Legislature to become law because it includes financial penalties for lack of compliance.

Photo of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh by David Parsons on Wikimedia Commons.

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January 12, 2016 •

Boston Mayor Wants Lobbying Law for City

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced he wants a lobbying ordinance for the city and he wants it modeled on the state’s lobbying law. According to the Boston Globe, Walsh will propose regulations requiring lobbyists to disclose their clients, […]

Flag_of_BostonBoston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced he wants a lobbying ordinance for the city and he wants it modeled on the state’s lobbying law.

According to the Boston Globe, Walsh will propose regulations requiring lobbyists to disclose their clients, their compensation, and their activities involving development, city contracts, and permits. His proposal was first outlined to Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham. Walsh will propose his lobbying regulation as a home rule petition, which must eventually be approved by the state Legislature.

Secretary of State William Galvin said he would prefer a statewide law requiring lobbyists to disclose their activities in every municipality, according to the Globe.

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