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State Lobbying and Gift Law Updates

July 2016

By Carol A. Laham and Stephen J. Kenny

Recently, several states enacted changes to their lobbying and gift laws. Below are some of the more significant changes.

The California state senate abolished its blackout period for political contributions from lobbyist employers.

There are now stricter requirements in Texas for a public official’s trip to qualify as a fact-finding trip for purposes of the gift rules.

The registration fee for executive lobbying in Kentucky has increased to $500 per employer or real party in interest.

Virginia no longer classifies gifts with a value of less than $20 as “gifts” for purposes of its ethics law. Virginia also switched from semi-annual to annual lobbyist reporting. (The next lobbyist report is due July 1, 2017.)

Rhode Island recently overhauled and consolidated its lobbyist registration and reporting statutes. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2017.