New Lobbying Law Takes Effect in San Joaquin County, California - State and Federal Communications

October 6, 2015  •  

New Lobbying Law Takes Effect in San Joaquin County, California

San_Joaquin_County_highlighted.svgOn September 17, 2015, a new lobbying law took effect in San Joaquin County, California. Ordinance 4468, passed by the Board of Supervisors in August, requires lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist’s employers to register when lobbying county officials. Registration with the clerk of the board is required 10 days after becoming engaged as a lobbyist. There is an initial registration fee of $75. The annual registration renewal fee is $50.

The new county ordinance defines lobbying activities as oral, written, or electronic communication made directly or indirectly to a county official, for the purpose of persuading or influencing official actions or decisions. An individual is required to register when he or she is employed, contracts, or otherwise receives compensation of $500 or more in any calendar month to communicate directly or through agents, employees, or subcontractors with any county official for the purpose of influencing official action. However, a substantial or regular portion of the activities for which the person receives such compensation must be for the purpose of influencing official action. Influencing official action includes promoting, supporting, influencing, modifying, opposing, or delaying actions of any county official, including soliciting county contracts or funds. Influence can include providing county officials with statistics, studies, or analyses.

Registration is not required by agents and employees of tax-exempt organizations, elected and appointed public officials and employees, news organizations, and advocates or attorneys in certain circumstances. Amendments to a registration form must be completed and filed by the lobbyist with the clerk of the board within ten days of any change.

Penalties for failing to register range from a written warning to daily fines staggered in the amounts of $25, $50, and $75, up to a maximum penalty of $500. Penalties also include disqualification from county contracts if any lobbyist, lobbying firm, employer, or other person or entity acting on behalf of the person or entity seeking the contract fails to comply with the county’s lobbying ordinance.

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