July 2, 2012 •
Delaware Legislature Passes Lobbying Bill 185
One of Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s largest focus areas since entering office has been creating a responsible government. His state took one step closer to that goal when the legislature passed Senate Bill 185. The bill, which Governor Markell spearheaded, increases lobbyist reporting when making direct communications with state officials and employees. If a lobbyist makes a direct communication to a member of the general assembly, the lieutenant governor, or the governor on any bill or resolution pending before the general assembly, then that lobbyist is required to report the direct communication. A lobbyist will also have to report any direct communications concerning a proposed regulation with an employee or official of the state agency proposing the regulation.
The lobbyist report will be due no later than the fifth business day after the date on which the direct communication took place. If the direct communication was about a bill, resolution, or regulation that has not yet been introduced, the report is due no later than the fifth business day after that bill, resolution, or regulation is introduced.
The lobbyist is only required to disclose there was a direct communication that took place and the identity of the bill, resolution, or regulation that the communication was concerning. The bill, resolution, or regulation may be identified by name or by number. The lobbyist does not have to disclose the identity of the person with whom he or she had the direct communication. Further, the reporting requirement does not apply to a lobbyist when he or she is fulfilling duties as a member of a commission, committee, task force, or other public body.
All of the reports filed under this law must be filed electronically by the lobbyist with the Delaware State Public Integrity Commission. The commission, in turn, will post the reports in an online database for the public to access.
Governor Markell has stated he will sign the bill. If he does, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2013.
Photo of Governor Markell by John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV on Wikipedia.
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