Nearly all states require lobbyists, and those who hire lobbyists, to submit periodic disclosure reports. These laws generally require lobbyists to submit public reports that identify how much money is spent on lobbying, what legislative issues are being lobbied, and for which officials' benefit the expenditures are made.
State laws are relatively uniform in terms of reporting requirements, particularly considering the usual variation between state ethics laws. One of the largest areas of disagreement regards how often reports need to be submitted. Some states require lobbyists to file them monthly throughout the year, or monthly only while the legislature is in session. Other states require lobbyists to submit quarterly reports or only one annual disclosure statement. States may have different rules regarding how much needs to be spent before disclosure is necessary, or differences in the form of disclosure.
The following table compares each states' ethics laws relating to disclosure reports required of lobbyists and the employers of lobbyists. The employers of lobbyists may be referred to as "principals," "clients," "lobbyist employers," or other terms may be used depending on the state.
This table is intended to provide general information and does not necessarily address all aspects of this topic. Because the facts of each situation may vary, this information may need to be supplemented by consulting legal advisors. All content is up to date through 5/15/2018.