Ask the Experts – Lobbyist Training Requirements - State and Federal Communications

November 6, 2013  •  

Ask the Experts – Lobbyist Training Requirements

Shamus Williams, Esq.Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Q. I am a registered lobbyist in multiple jurisdictions and my reports are timely filed. Do I have to complete a training course?

A. Depending on where you are registered, you may be subject to a state mandated training requirement. Requiring the completion of a lobbyist training course has been an emerging trend as states expand their ethics and disclosure provisions.

For example, in Utah, a lobbyist must complete training, and obtain a perfect score on the examination, before their lobbying license is issued. In Louisiana, a registered lobbyist must complete one hour of training by December 31 of each year. The state provides in-person training classes, as well as an online training course.

Some states, such as Maryland, require training on bi-annual basis. In New York, the lobbyist is only required to attend a training course once every three years.

Failure to complete the required training can result in penalties to the lobbyist. Louisiana imposes a personal liability requirement on the lobbyist. Failure to complete the mandatory training class may result in a fine of up to $10,000.

While training is mandatory in some states, other states have optional training opportunities available to lobbyists who want to enhance their understanding of the state’s ethics and disclosure provisions. Colorado and Georgia are two of the states currently offering optional training courses.

To obtain additional information about the jurisdictions where you are registered, please visit Our new website premiered on November 1, 2013.

(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.

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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

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