October 24, 2022 •
Q: I am a registered lobbyist in Illinois and want to take an Illinois official out to dinner in order to garner goodwill. What do I need to know to ensure we are compliant? A: In Illinois, lobbyists reports must […]
Q: I am a registered lobbyist in Illinois and want to take an Illinois official out to dinner in order to garner goodwill. What do I need to know to ensure we are compliant?
A: In Illinois, lobbyists reports must itemize for each individual expenditure or transaction, including any expenditures made by a consultant in performing services for the lobbying entity. The report must include the name of the official for whose benefit each expenditure was made, the name of the client the expenditure was made on behalf of, the total amount of the expenditure, a description of the expenditure, the vendor to whom the expenditure was made, the date of the expenditure, and the subject matter of the lobbying activity, if any.
Lobby or lobbying is to communicate, including the soliciting of others to communicate with an official of the executive or legislative branch of state or local government for the ultimate purpose of influencing executive, legislative, or administrative action at the state, municipal, county, or township government level. In Illinois, influencing includes promoting goodwill. Additionally with the passage of Senate Bill 539 in 2021, lobbying on a local level, except in Chicago, requires registration and reporting with the state.
In order to comply with Illinois lobbying law, the dinner would need to be reported on the appropriate entity report. There are two notification requirements a lobbyist must make to an official. First, the official must be informed, in writing, at the time the expenditure is received by the official, that the expenditure is reportable, and the official will appear in the expenditure report. Second, within 30 days after a reporting deadline, a lobbyist must notify each official on whose behalf an expenditure was reported. The 30-day notification must include the name of the registered lobbyist, a description, the total amount, the date, and subject matter of the expenditure. Please note there is a $75 per person limit on meals. Additionally, because Illinois does not have a time or expenditure registration threshold, any other individuals attempting to influence the official will need to register as a lobbyist.
For more information, check out the “Reports Required” section of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for Illinois. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
January 6, 2015 •
Q. I will be having meetings with state legislators to introduce myself and my employer. I do not have any legislation of interest yet, though I anticipate that I will. Will this require lobbyist registration? A. Goodwill lobbying is covered […]
Q. I will be having meetings with state legislators to introduce myself and my employer. I do not have any legislation of interest yet, though I anticipate that I will. Will this require lobbyist registration?
A. Goodwill lobbying is covered in many jurisdictions. The following 19 states may require lobbyist registration for goodwill activities: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. Some jurisdictions have specifically addressed goodwill lobbying. Connecticut covers “door opening,” including such things as telephone calls that you make to set up informational meetings with officials. The Maryland State Ethics Commission has indicated generating goodwill or engaging in educational discussions with officials or employees is considered lobbying.
Some states consider additional activities in determining whether an activity is goodwill lobbying. In Pennsylvania, lobbying includes providing hospitality to a state official or employee for the purpose of advancing the interest of the lobbyist or principal. Kansas also includes entertaining or providing a gift to a state officer or employee in its definition of lobbying in certain circumstances.
Any time you interact with a state official or employee, you must consider whether your activities constitute lobbying, even if you are not engaging in lobbying in a traditional manner. Your activities may count toward the threshold requiring lobbyist registration.
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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.