September 26, 2023 •
This summer, State and Federal Communications, Inc. had the opportunity to sponsor three out of four Council of State Government Regional Annual Meetings. CSG’s regional organizations allow us to focus on and connect with colleagues, partners, and other government affairs […]
This summer, State and Federal Communications, Inc. had the opportunity to sponsor three out of four Council of State Government Regional Annual Meetings. CSG’s regional organizations allow us to focus on and connect with colleagues, partners, and other government affairs experts on a more personal, geographic-specific level. Through our participation we were also able to engage with and learn about topical issues affecting states, our nation, and our valued clients.
Select highlights from the meetings included:
- Midwest – a trip to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and topics from food insecurity to strategies to ensure the continued property of the Midwest
- South – top tier speakers including Trey Gowdy and Chris Singleton and an opening reception on the USS Yorktown, docked at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant
- East – visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame and learning about the diverse community making up the great city of Toronto.
Kudos to executive directors Laura Tomaka, Lindsey Gray and David Biette for a job well done.
June 13, 2023 •
Q: My organization wants to sponsor a reception in Texas. State legislators, staff, and family members are likely to be in attendance. As a registered lobbyist, what are my limits and reporting obligations? As a registered lobbyist, there are several […]
Q: My organization wants to sponsor a reception in Texas. State legislators, staff, and family members are likely to be in attendance. As a registered lobbyist, what are my limits and reporting obligations?
As a registered lobbyist, there are several items to keep in mind when sponsoring an event. First, a lobbyist can provide an unlimited amount of food and beverage to an official, employee, immediate family member, or guest when the lobbyist attends the event. If not present at the event, food and beverage expenditures are limited to $100 or less.
Next, when engaging with officials at the event, sponsorship is considered a lobbying expenditure and will need to be disclosed on the appropriate lobbying report. These reports break expenditures down by type (food and beverage, entertainment, transportation, etc.) and by recipient. This may seem straightforward, but if your sponsorship goes to the organizing entity, how do you know how your dollars are being used?
The state provides some guidance here. When reporting expenditures for a reception or banquet type event, the Food and Beverage category includes all items needed to hold the event such as room rental, table settings, and printing costs. Other categories may need to be included depending on the specific event.
Additionally, you will need to know who among the attendees are in a reportable category of persons benefitted. Generally, this is state senators/representatives, state officers, state employees, immediate family members, and guests. If a combination of these groups are in attendance, or a combination of covered and non-covered individuals, the expenditure should be divided appropriately based on the numbers in each category. If all members of the legislature are invited, the entire expenditure is reported under that category. As long as all members are invited, it does not matter how many actually attend.
Finally, keep in mind the detailed reporting threshold. If the per person costs exceed the threshold, currently $132.60, the individuals must be identified and other details disclosed.
For more information, please see the “Reports Required” and “Gift Law” sections of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for Texas. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
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.