August 26, 2010 •
Lifting the Ban: National Legislative Conferences
North Carolina, which has a notoriously strict gift ban, permits lobbyists to provide meals and beverages at events held in conjunction with legislative conferences, provided certain conditions are met. In order for the gift exception to apply, either all members of the senate, house, recognized legislative caucus, or the entire general assembly must be invited, and at least 10 individuals associated with the lobbyist or the lobbyist’s organization must attend.
Kentucky does not have a strict ban against lobbyists providing meals to legislators, but there is a $100 annual limit. However, if there is an event where all members of the house or senate, or approved caucus are invited, the amount spent on food and beverages is not counted against the $100 limit.
Not only do many states have exceptions to their gift laws in relative to national legislative conferences, but some also have different reporting requirements. States like Missouri and Georgia allow for group reporting, rather than naming each legislator that attended. In South Dakota, lobbyists are not required to report their expenditures at national conferences at all, provided that the legislature is not in session at the time.
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.