March 15, 2022 •
Meet Jim Warner, Esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services! What are your areas of expertise? U.S. state and local lobbying compliance; Canadian federal, provincial, and local lobbying compliance How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal […]
Meet Jim Warner, Esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services!
What are your areas of expertise?
U.S. state and local lobbying compliance; Canadian federal, provincial, and local lobbying compliance
How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal Communications?
I have been with the company for 13 years.
How do you help our clients?
I assist with the administration of the Compliance Department for all of our ALERTS clients. I work on lobbying disclosures on a monthly basis for U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. I also work on a wide variety of projects, including those related to gifts and hospitality, political contributions, and shareholder disclosures.
December 27, 2012 •
October 27, 2011 •
Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Q: I am a registered lobbyist who would like to host a state legislator at a college football game. Are there specific restrictions to this type of gift?
A: The most common gift restrictions are those relating to food and beverage. Providing tickets or admission to a football game is a different type of gift, referred to as entertainment or hospitality.
Some jurisdictions do not restrict providing entertainment at all. Pennsylvania does not restrict a lobbyist providing hospitality to an official. However, Pennsylvania does require the lobbyist’s principal to report the gift of hospitality, even itemizing it if the aggregate of all gifts to the official is more than $650 in a calendar year.
Other jurisdictions allow a lobbyist to provide entertainment up to a certain amount. In Texas, a lobbyist may provide expenditures for entertainment of $500 or less in a calendar year. Ohio permits a lesser amount. Lobbyists may provide Ohio officials gifts worth an aggregate annual value of $75 or less. Like Pennsylvania, both Texas and Ohio require the gift to be reported.
Louisiana specifically prohibits providing tickets to sporting events except for a very narrow exception. Other jurisdictions do not specifically mention entertainment or hospitality, but generally restrict these gifts to officials. Though a big football state, Wisconsin generally prohibits all gifts to officials.
The question reinforces the idea that a lobbyist must understand all of a jurisdiction’s gift restrictions, not just those that pertain to food and beverage. When considering any dollar value limitation on entertainment or hospitality, be sure to consider the proper method to value the gift in that jurisdiction. For example, the cost of a football ticket for ethics purposes could be its face value or its fair market value.
You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
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.