Back 

Lobbyist Regulation

Lobbyist Regulation

shaking hands

DEFINITION OF LOBBYING/LOBBYIST

colleagues consulting There are 50 different versions of lobbying laws, but all states and the territories share a basic definition of lobbying as an attempt to influence government action. The definition of who is a lobbyist usually revolves around compensation. And all states recognize exceptions for certain activities.

Continue

 

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

online viewing All states require lobbyists to report on certain activites—but that's where the similarities end. This 50-state chart outlines who, be it lobbyists, lobbyist employers, lobbyist principals, or others, must report and what details they must disclose.

Continue

 

REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION

got ethics chalkboardVisit these resources to see who must register as a lobbyist, any associated fees that apply, what requirements they must meet in order to lobby, and how they must identify themselves, if at all.

Continue

 

USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS

state budgetAt least 10 states prohibit state agencies from using public funds to contract with a lobbyist, and statutes in a few other states enact other restrictions on public funds for lobbying.

Continue

 

OVERVIEW | LOBBYIST REGULATION

Lobbying—a citizens' right to speak freely, to affect decisions and petition the government—is a crucial right, and an important part of the legislative process. This right has also created an industry whose numbers have increased dramatically. A 2006 survey by the Center for Public Integrity put the number of paid lobbyists at state legislatures at near 40,000 and growing. State lobbying laws have sprung up in response to the proliferation of the “third house” and the influence that it exerts. The details of each state’s lobbying laws differ markedly, so much so that nearly 50 different versions exist. There are common themes, however. All states define who is a lobbyist and what is lobbying, and all definitions reflect that lobbying is an attempt to influence government action. All states have lobbyist registration requirements, and all require lobbyists to report on their activities. In addition to tracking the above issues, the Center for Ethics in Government has information on lobbyist oversight entities, restrictions on the use of public funds for lobbying, lobbyist contingency fees, lobbyist identification, prohibitions against false statements and reports and legislators’ disclosure of lobbyist connections.

Share this: 

SEARCH ETHICS

New Members Welcome
Fall Forum 2014

FEATURED

  • Revolving Door Prohibitions

    This 50 state table provides information on restricting former legislators from lobbying, otherwise known as revolving door laws.

  • Jack Abramoff Video Interview

    Watch this interview with former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was convicted on corruption charges and sent to prison, as he talks about his book and the reform of ethics laws.

We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures