Some states prohibit state agencies from using public funds to contract with a lobbyist or enact restrictions on the use of public funds for lobbying. Other states go in the opposite direction by mandating that certain agencies have a designated lobbyist or lobbyist-like position on staff.
Lobbying—generally defined as 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 over the years, along with a growth in related restrictions, registration and reporting requirements. NCSL maintains related resources on mandatory cooling-off periods for state legislators, limits on the use of public funds for lobbying, and disclosure requirements for legislators relating to their connections with lobbyists. Additionally, several past publications are available related to the lobbying subtopic of ethics, including articles on lobbyist-legislator gift bans, the growth in the number of lobbyists, and a 2009 article.
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.
Visit this resource to see who must register as a lobbyist, any associated fees that apply, what requirements must be met in order to lobby, and how they must identify themselves, if at all.