January 6, 2011 •
Ask The Experts – Beyond Registration, What Are the Requirements?
Q. Once I complete my lobbyist registration, what other obligations do I have in my state?
A. Filing lobbyist and/or principal disclosure reports is the bare minimum requirement in many states. In addition, you may be required to obtain an ID badge. Some states require mandatory lobbyist training on a regular basis. Most often, this can be done online. To date, the states requiring this are: Alaska, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
Many states have different gift law limitations for lobbyists. For example, in Texas lobbyists are permitted to give gifts of $500 or less, while public servants may accept non-cash item of less than $50 from non-lobbyists.
In addition to reporting requirements, states may require pre- or post-notification to officials when an expenditure has been made on his/her behalf which is disclosed on a lobbying report. In Illinois, a lobbyist who makes an expenditure on behalf of an official must inform him/her, in writing, at the time the expenditure.
We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need. Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
Amber Fish Linke is the Compliance Manager for State and Federal Communications, Inc.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.