Boston Closer to Eliminating “Hocus-Pocus” with New Lobbying Law - State and Federal Communications

February 25, 2016  •  

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

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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