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Illinois Amends Its Lobbying Laws

September 2010

On July 28, 2010, Governor Quinn of Illinois signed into law Public Act 96-1358 (former S.B. 1526).  Effective upon his signature, the new law makes several changes to Illinois' lobbying law, the most important of which are discussed below.

First and foremost, the law reduces the registration fee to $300, which was the focus of the litigation that created the need for this bill.  Persons registering on or after August 10, 2010, must pay the fee upon registration.  Persons previously registered under the state's lobbying law must pay the fee within 30 days of a notice from the Secretary of State's office.

Second, the new law creates a semiannual reporting schedule for 2010 and a semimonthly schedule for 2011 and beyond. The report for the first half of 2010 is due by September 30, 2010.

Third, the new statute also mandates that, at the time a gift is made, lobbyists and lobbyist employers inform public officials who are gift recipients about the value of the gift and the fact that the official will be disclosed on the lobbying report.

Fourth, the new legislation expands the scope of public officials with whom communications can become "lobbying" to include members of any board, commission, authority or task force of the state authorized or created by state law or by executive order of the Governor.