Some activities undertaken by public agencies that might be considered standard lobbying practices -- for example, telephone contacts with legislators regarding pending legislation -- are exempt from the definition of lobbying.  They are:

  • Any lobbying contacts that are not in-person;
  • Minimal in-person lobbying on behalf of an agency by all of its employees or lobbyists (excluding elected officials who lobby on behalf of an agency) totaling, in the aggregate for the agency, no more than four days (or parts of four days) during any three consecutive months is non-reportable.  In-person lobbying includes testifying at legislative committee and state agency hearings.  Monitoring committee or agency hearings does not constitute lobbying and does not count toward this four-day threshold.  This means that each state and local agency is permitted to have its representatives lobby in-person for a total of four days (or parts of four days) during any three-month period without reporting the costs associated with that lobbying.  Whether an agency has one lobbyist or ten, the agency is still only entitled to four days or parts thereof of "free" lobbying (that is, each lobbyist is not entitled to four days of non-reportable lobbying).  The phrase "or parts of four days" means that if an agency representative lobbies on behalf of an agency for ten minutes or two hours (i.e., something less than a full day), the fact that they lobbied at all means the agency must count that lobbying time as a "day" for the four-day non-reporting provision; and
  • Elected officials' in-person lobbying is not required to be disclosed.  If an elected official spends over $25 of non-public funds for or on behalf of on the individuals lobbied, the amount and purpose of the expenditures must be disclosed on the agency's L-5 report.