Frequently asked questions for new lobbyists. These questions and answers are intended to help new lobbyists get started off on the right foot and to help existing lobbyists find the information and resources they need.

Are reports filed anywhere besides the PDC?


Are there restrictions or prohibitions?

It is illegal for any person or entity to pay or agree to pay or otherwise compensate a person for lobbying unless that person is registered. Furthermore, a lobbyist may not:

  • engage in paid lobbying before registering;
  • knowingly deceive or attempt to deceive any legislator as to any fact pertaining to any pending or proposed legislation;
  • cause or influence the introduction of any bill or amendment for the purpose of afterwards being employed to secure its defeat;
  • knowingly represent an interest adverse to any of his/her employers without first obtaining the employer's written consent and after full disclosure of the adverse interest,
  • exercise any undue influence, extortion, or unlawful retaliation upon any legislator by reason of the legislator's position or his vote on any pending or proposed legislation; or
  • enter into an agreement, arrangement, or understanding that all or a portion of the person's compensation is contingent upon the success of any attempt to influence legislation.
Do I have to file disclosure reports?

Any lobbyist who is required to register must also file monthly expenditure reports. These reports disclose compensation received and lobbying-related expenditures, such as entertainment, gifts, campaign contributions, and subject matter experts. Giving campaign contributions of $1,000 or more close to an election triggers additional reporting. Lobbyists who arrange for political advertising should familiarize themselves with the independent expenditure and electioneering communications disclosure requirements.

Do I have to file electronically?

E-filing is required.

Does my employer have to file disclosure reports?

Yes. The employer has an annual filing requirement at the end of the year. Additionally, if the employer gives contributions directly to candidates that are not reported by the lobbyist, the employer must file a special monthly report. The lobbyist may report all contributions, but must report any that s/he directs or delivers.

I suspect there’s more to reporting . . . right?

Yes. When entertaining, you need to keep track of and report how much is spent on each person present including the people you are lobbying, their family members, their staff members, other lobbyists, and anyone else who is there to lobby. For each occasion where more than $50 is spent for food and beverage provided to a state official + family members, you must report to the official how much was spent. Reporting the cost of travel and education expenses made on behalf of a state official + family members is also required. This is accomplished using the L-2 Memo report, which should also accompany contributions.

Is any compensated lobbyist exempt from registering?

Yes. Registration is waived if the lobbyist:

  • limits activities to public legislative committee sessions or state agency public hearings;
  • participates in an effort, at the request of an agency, to reach a consensus on possible rule making but once the agency files notice of the proposed rule, efforts to influence action are no longer exempt; or
  • restricts lobbying to no more than four days or parts of four days during any three consecutive months and spends no more than $100 during the three month period for or on behalf of the state officials or employees in connection with the lobbying effort

Read more about registration exemption.

What determines whether a lobbyist must register with the PDC?

The lobbyist is paid or somehow compensated in exchange for lobbying state government: attempting to influence the passage or defeat of legislation by lobbying the governor, members of the legislature, or their staff members or lobbying a state agency to set rules, rates or standards. "Legislation" includes "any other matter that may be the subject of action" by the Legislature, so lobbying includes contacts with legislators and their staff about potential legislation as well as possibly efforts to educate them about an issue or an organization.

The lobbyist must register within 30 days of contracting to lobby or before lobbying begins, whichever happens first. The registration must be updated if any of the information changes while it is in effect. The PDC has an online filing system available for lobbyist registration and reporting.

What else should I know?
  • Don't use acronyms when identifying the employer on the registration and be sure to supply accurate contact information for yourself and the employer.
  • Lobbyists also submit a short biography and photo when they initially register and then when they reregister in the odd-numbered year. This information is gathered into the PDC's online directory and the Legislature's printed directory.
  • When registering, only include information about yourself and your relationship with the employer. Do not include names of other lobbyist who lobby for the employer they will file their own registrations.
When are reports due?

Lobbyists' monthly expenditure reports are filed no later than the 15th of the following month. The employer's annual report must be filed no later than the last day of February. Special reports are required when you or the employer contribute $1,000 or more to a particular campaign during the week before the primary election or the three weeks before the general election.