Completing the Monthly Expenditure Report (L2) Detailed Instructions

Report compensation and expenses on an accrual basis. That is, report them for the month in which each was incurred or earned, not necessarily when received. (if reporting amounts differ from what is actually received from the employer, file an amended report reflecting the correct amounts). Expenditure reports are due for all months in which the lobbyist/firm is registered, regardless of activity level.

  • Login to the Lobbyist Electronic Filing system using your user account.
  • Under Lobbyists I File For, choose the name of the lobbyist/firm who the expenditure report will be filed for.

Identify the reporting period

  • On the page for the lobbyist/firm, find the Lobbyist Menu and choose the New monthly filing option.
  • Choose your reporting period from the drop-down field
  • You can select to bring forward data from a previous filing or you can start from scratch. Once you have indicated your choice, click the submit icon to proceed. Caution – if you use the “bring forward” option, keep in mind that any activity which is date specific will cause problems when you attempt to submit the report. For example, if you bring forward activity such as entertainment or contributions from a previous report, it will have that activity with the date it appeared previously. The “bring forward” option works best when choosing information which is non-date specific such as compensation and sub-contract compensation.

The lobbyist (or person filing the report) will see a series of tabs on the monthly report page; Personal, Compensation, Entertainment, Contributions, Advertising, Other and Lobbying. The following information will be helpful in assisting the filer to complete the report.

Personal (expenses)

On this tab, report personal expenses for travel, food and refreshments. If you have nothing to report, select No in the question at the top.

Make sure to report expenses attributable to all employers. If the expense was not reimbursed by a client (Employer), select yourself as the source in the Employer drop-down.

Expenses that cannot fairly be allocated to a specific employer as well as those that come out of your own pocket are disclosed in the Sum non-reimbursable personal expenses incurred by the lobbyist field.

Report nonexempt personal expenses incurred for lobbying activities during the month, whether or not these expenses were reimbursed.

Generally, this will include those expenses you incur for food, beverages, and travel when you make a special trip to meet with legislators or other state officials or employees, or when you make a trip to lobby a state agency.

Personal expenses incurred with respect to "hearings of the legislature" are exempt from reporting, as are all lodging expenses whether in Olympia or elsewhere.

Personal expenses exempt from reporting:

  • unreimbursed personal living and travel expenses, unless they are directly for lobbying;
  • expenses for personal living accommodations (e.g., your home or rented/leased accommodations, including hotel rooms);
  • personal travel expenses to hearings of the legislature* (e.g., meals, beverages, mileage, transportation, vehicle rentals, laundry, parking, toiletry purchase);
  • telephone and facsimile expenses;
  • office expenses, including rent;
  • support staff expenses, including salaries, unless the staff member lobbies; and
  • expenses to produce reports, documents and other communications primarily designed for other purposes and distributed incidentally as part of the lobbying effort.

* "Hearings of the legislature" means any regular or special session of the state legislature or any publicly announced meeting of a standing, conference, joint or special committee of either house of the legislature. Travel for other lobbying purposes, such as meetings with individual legislators or staff, state agency hearings or to attend political fund raisers, etc., is reportable.


On this tab enter all compensation such as salary, wages and retainers earned from each client (employer) for this period. If you have nothing to report, select No.


On this tab the lobbyist will report both itemized and non-itemized entertainment expenses

Itemized entertainment

Itemize all of the following expenditures that were incurred by lobbyist or lobbyist employer(s) for legislators, state officials, state employees and members of their immediate families. In the "cost" field, show the total amount spent for each occasion including any staging costs, tax, and gratuity.

  • Entertainment expenditures exceeding $50 per occasion (including lobbyist’s expense) for meals, beverages, tickets, passes, or for other forms of entertainment.
  • Receptions. See WAC 390-20-020A, L-2 Reporting Guide, to determine if per person cost is required.
  • Travel, lodging and subsistence expenses in connection with a speech, presentation, appearance, trade mission, seminar or educational program.
  • Enrollment and course fees in connection with a seminar or educational program.

Itemize all entertainment occasions and receptions costing over $50 and all enrollment and course fees, travel, lodging and subsistence expenses incurred for or provided to an official, employee of their immediate family members.

Entertainment occasion exceeding $50 

Spending more than $50 for a single occasion, including the portion attributable to the lobbyist, requires itemized reporting. Show the actual amount spent entertaining each individual in the "participant listing". Include:

  • the date of the event;
  • who attended and the amount attributable to each;
  • a description of the entertainment (plus name and city where the entertainment occurred);
  • the name of the sponsoring employer; and
  • the total spent.

Whenever the bill for a lobbying entertainment occasion amounts to over $50, you must itemize the event, unless all officials, employees and their family members present fully pay their own way and none of the amount you pay is attributable to them. That is, the amount you spent for a dinner, sporting event tickets, or the like only covers your own costs.

If, as part of an entertainment occasion, the actual or prorated cost for food and beverages for a state elected official (either singly or in conjunction with immediate family members) exceeds $50, the official must be given notice of the entertainment.  Notice is provided by giving a copy of the  L-2 report (showing the food and beverage cost attributable to the official/family) to the official or providing the official with an L-2 Memo Report.


Itemize all expenses associated with providing a state official, employee or a member of their family with travel, lodging, meals, field trips and other excursions, and other travel-related items. Include:

  • date of the event;
  • who attended and the amount attributable to each;
  • a description of the event (plus name and city where the event occurred);
  • the name of the sponsoring employer; and
  • the total spent.

Enrollment and course fees

Whenever a lobbyist or lobbyist employer either waives the fees charged other attendees  and/or pays the expenses of a legislator, other state official or any state employee to attend any type of occasion permitted by RCW 42.52.010(9)(f), the value of everything provided and cost of expenses incurred are reported by the lobbyist on the entertainment tab.

Notify Officials of Entertainment, Travel and Seminars

State officials and some employees must annually disclose if they or their family members are provided:

  • food and/or beverages costing over $50 per occasion, either singly or in conjunction with family members, except for food and beverage served at a qualifying reception, (Notice must be provided regardless of whether a single person pays for the food and beverage or the cost is shared so that each person pays less than $50.)
  • travel-related expenses or reimbursements of any amount, including field trips and other excursions, and/or
  • admission and other costs associated with attending seminars, educational programs or training

If you or your employer pays for any of these items for the benefit of a state official, employees, or their immediate family member(s), provide the recipient with a copy of your L-2 report or an L-2 Memo Report itemizing the expenditures or benefits given.

The Public Disclosure Commission has determined that entertainment expenses must be reported at full value. That is, if the actual cost of an official's meal is $60, the official must be given notice of the expense even if the official gives you $10 or more toward the bill (under the mistaken impression that this would bring the expense below the over-$50 threshold and the official would then not be required to report receipt of the meal on their F-1 statement).

Entertainment, travel and enrollment and course fee expenditures typically include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • meals and refreshments purchased for legislators, state officials and staff (also include your own expenses related to this entertainment);
  • tickets to sporting events or theater performances;
  • entertainment sponsored jointly with other lobbyists (report your share of the overall expense);
  • home entertainment, dinners;
  • golf outings;
  • transportation, lodging and other travel-related costs for legislators, legislative staff, state officials, state employees and their families;
  • company vehicle or air transport provided legislators, officials, legislative staff or other employees;
  • tuition, fees, travel, lodging and subsistence costs associated with a legislator, legislative staff, state official or employee attending a seminar or other training.

When a lobbyist draws upon the resources of the members of an association (or any other employer organization) to provide any of the above items, benefits and services, the lobbyist must report the value of the resources utilized and the identity of the member(s) who made them available.

Lobbyists must provide an elected official with a copy of the L-2 or Memo Report if the lobbyist reports: 1) spending on one occasion over $50 for food or beverages for the official and/or his or her family member(s); or 2) providing travel, lodging, subsistence expenses or enrollment or course fees for the official and, if permitted, the official’s family.

See Washington State's ethics law, RCW 42.52.010(9)(f) , for an explanation of items that may be provided to state officials, employees, and their family members. Also see Receptions and WAC 390- 20- 020A, L-2 Reporting Guide

"Immediate family" means the spouse or dependent children of the official or employee as well as any other dependent relative who lives in the official's or employee's household.

PDC does not determine what types of items or services are permissible under the Ethics Law for you to give or the official, employee or family member to accept. Depending upon whom you wish to give an item to, contact:

  • The Legislative Ethics Board (360) 786-7540
  • The Executive Ethics Board (360) 664-0871, or
  • The Commission on Judicial Conduct (360) 753-4585.

*If you have no itemized expenses to report, select No in the question above. Do not enter, 0, N/A, etc.

Non-itemized entertainment

Enter the per-client or lobbyist sum for all non-itemized entertainment expenses of $50 or less that are not accounted for as itemized entertainment expenses.

*If you have no itemized expenses to report, select No in the question above Do not enter, 0, N/A, etc.


On this tab the lobbyist will report the following (see each category in the electronic lobbyist application for explanation);
  • Itemized contributions
  • Non-itemized contributions
  • Client (employer) PAC contributions
  • Other contributions
  • Other PAC contributions 

See Contribution Limits

Also see Special Reports for Last Minute Contributions

The lobbyist’s personal contributions to any state or local candidate or political committee are reportable.
Contributions made by a lobbyist who transmits or delivers contributions from another source to any state or local candidate or political committee, including ballot measure committees, are reportable.
Contributions delivered or transmitted on behalf of the lobbyist’s employer are attributed to that employer.
If the lobbyist transmits or delivers contributions from other than his or her lobbyist employers, the amounts of those contributions are aggregated together and entered as not attributable to an employer. Note: If you  will be transmitting or delivering contributions from someone other than a lobbyist employer, family members or an association of which you are a member, contact PDC staff to ensure that you are not running afoul of the prohibition on bundling.
Each contribution exceeding $25, including those delivered or transmitted from non-employers, must be itemized.
Typical reportable contributions by lobbyists and their employers include:
  • campaign contributions to candidates for statewide, legislative, judicial and local office;
  • contributions to political party organizations and other political committees;
  • tickets to caucus fund raisers
  • contributions to political committees supporting or opposing a state or local ballot proposition;
  • in-kind contributions (e.g., staff assistance, office space, equipment, postage and copying services);
  • donation or use of goods or services for less than fair market value;
  • donation of auction items, and
  • loans to an individual or political committee.
If the lobbyist transmits or delivers a contribution from one of his or her employers and that contribution is over $25, it is itemized on the contribution tab.
If a lobbyist transmits or delivers a contribution from a source other than a lobbyist employer and that contribution is over $25, it must be itemized on the contribution tab. This includes contributions that the lobbyist transmits or delivers from the employer's PAC.
However, if the lobbyist does not transmit or deliver a contribution from the employer's PAC, but is aware that the PAC made contributions during the lobbyist's reporting period, the lobbyist is not required to report these contributions in detail, but should note the name of the PAC in the space provided in the Other PAC Contributions field.
Lobbyist Employer's Direct Contributions:  If the employer makes a direct contribution in excess of $110 to a state or local candidate or political committee and the lobbyist was not involved in the process, the lobbyist has no obligation to report the contribution. Nevertheless, the lobbyist may report the contribution on the L-2. If this is done, the lobbyist employer is relieved of reporting this contribution on an L-3c report.  If  the employer  uses general fund dollars to make the contribution and it was not reported by the lobbyist, the employer will have to file an L-3c if the contribution was over $110. If the employer used PAC funds, the contribution would be reported on the committee's regular campaign disclosure report.
Notify Recipients of Contributions:  If you make a personal contribution, or you transmit or deliver a contribution from another source to one of the following, then you must give the recipient a copy of the L-2 report on which the contribution appears or provide notice by using an L-2 Memo Report that itemizes the contribution. RCW 42.17A.620
  • local, judicial, or state candidate
  • local or state elected official
  • local or state officer or employee
  • political committee supporting or opposing any local or state ballot proposition


On this tab, the lobbyist will report two categories of. advertising (see each category for explanation);
  • Advertising, printing and literature.
  • Political ads, public relations, polling, telemarketing, etc.
On this tab Include the cost of preparing, printing and mailing advertising, promotional literature, fact books and similar materials.
“Advertising” includes the preparation, printing or production and distribution or dissemination of printed material, broadcasts, and promotional material that are clearly of an advertising nature and have a separate, identifiable cost related to the lobbying effort.
Any expenditures of this nature that were made during the reporting period must be itemized on the advertising tab. Give the amount, vendor or person receiving payments and a brief description of the activity if you or your employer made expenditures for:
  • Political advertising supporting or opposing a state, local, judicial candidate or ballot measure; or
  • Public relations telemarketing, polling or similar activities that directly or indirectly are intended, designed or calculated to influence legislation.
The cost of materials produced primarily for another purpose but used incidentally as part of the lobbying effort are not reportable. Promotional items such as desk sets, calendars, golf balls and similar gifts, even though promotional in nature, are reportable. The cost of placing an advertisement in a candidate or political committee publication is also reportable.
If your employer sponsors an advertising campaign addressed to the general public (e.g., radio or TV ads, newspaper ads, billboards, inserts in monthly bills) to influence legislation, including an initiative to the legislature, you may disclose these costs on your L-2 report - and no other special reporting by the employer would be necessary - so long as the grass roots campaign is funded with existing employer resources. If, however, the campaign is partially or fully paid for with funds acquired from sources other than the employer, the primary sponsor of the campaign must keep detailed records of all contributions and expenditures and file grass roots lobbying reports (PDC Form L-6). See Grass Roots Lobbying .
Expenditures by lobbyists for political advertising supporting or opposing a state or local office candidate or ballot measure, or public relations, telemarketing, polling or similar activities that directly or indirectly are lobbying related, must be reported on line 8 in the appropriate column. It will also be itemized as part of line 17 by amount, identity of the vendor or other person paid, and a brief description.


Political Advertising includes any advertising displays, newspaper ads, billboards, signs, brochures, articles, tabloids, flyers, letters, radio or television presentations or other means of mass communication used for the purpose of appealing, directly or indirectly,
for votes or for financial or other support in any election campaign.


On this tab, the lobbyist will report two categories of. advertising (see each category for explanation);
  • Payments to a sub-contract lobbyist
  • Other expenses (not previously reported)
Report “other expenses” that would not have been made but for your attempt to influence the passage or defeat of legislation or the adoption or rejection of any agency rule, rate or standard and that are not reportable elsewhere. Include such expenses as:
  • Miscellaneous personal lobbying expenses;
  • Meeting room, tours;
  • Charitable donations made at the official’s or employee’s request;
  • Grass roots lobbying expenditures (not already reported)


On this tab, the lobbyist will report;
  • Details of all lobbying activity during the period to include the employer represented, subject matter or proposed legislation, issue or bill number and the persons, legislative committee or state agency considering the matter.
  • A percentage breakdown of the time lobbying the legislature as well as state agencies.
Describe the subject matter or issue, or supply the bill number of the  legislation you attempted to influence during the month. Also specify which legislative committee or agency was considering the matter and which employer was represented during your lobbying contacts. Be specific as possible.
Of the time you spent lobbying during the month, what percentage of it was used for legislative lobbying? For lobbying state agencies? Do not factor in time devoted to non-lobbying activities. Only consider the time you spent lobbying during the reporting period and indicate the percentage for legislative and state agency lobbying. For example, if approximately half of your lobbying time was devoted to each, report 50% for both types of lobbying.