June 13, 2022 •
Ask the Experts – Keeping Compliant while Lobbying in the States
Question: I am planning to give a state legislator a permissible gift. I know I need to include it on my next lobbying disclosure report. Do I need to worry about anything else to make sure I am compliant with state laws?
Answer: Yes, some states have additional requirements when an expenditure is made on a covered state official or employee. You may be required to provide the official with a notification or file additional reports.
California requires filers reporting gifts aggregating $50 or more in a calendar year to an official to provide the beneficiary with the date and amount of each gift reportable and a description of the goods or services. This information must be provided to the beneficiary within 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter in which the gift was provided.
In Virginia, lobbyists must send each legislative and executive official who is required to be identified by name on schedule A or B of the Lobbyist’s Disclosure Form a copy of schedule A or B or a summary of the information pertaining to that official. Notifications are due to the official by January 10 for the preceding 12 months. Additionally, lobbyists must send post-session notifications to covered officials summarizing all gifts made by the lobbyist during the period beginning on January 1 complete through adjournment sine die of the regular session.
Maryland requires additional reporting for certain permissible expenditures. A lobbyist who invites all members of a legislative unit to a meal or reception must, at least five days before the date of the meal or reception, extend a written invitation to all members of the legislative unit and register the meal or reception with the Department of Legislative Services on Form 13E by filing the report electronically. A post-event filing is then required within 14 days after the date of the meal or reception meal or reception.
Proper gift disclosure can involve more than simply including the gift on your normal lobbying disclosure reports. It is always a good idea to check the jurisdiction’s specific disclosure requirements on our website prior to giving a gift.
You can find this information under the “Reports Required” section of the U.S. Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication.
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.