An Act To Clarify Lobbyist Reporting Requirements and Simplify Registration Requirements for State Employees Who Lobby on Behalf of a State Department or Agency
Sec. 1. 3 MRSA §170-B, as amended by PL 2019, c. 41, §1, is further amended to read:
§ 170-B. Required training regarding harassment
All Legislators, legislative staff and , lobbyists and lobbyist associates shall attend and complete a course of in-person education and training regarding harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment and racial harassment, at the beginning of each regular session of the Legislature. The Legislative Council shall develop and implement this course of education and training. For the purpose of this section, "lobbyist" has and "lobbyist associate" have the same meaning meanings as in section 312-A, subsection subsections 10 and 10-A, respectively.
Sec. 2. 3 MRSA §312-A, sub-§8-A, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 630, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 3 MRSA §312-A, sub-§9-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 3 MRSA §312-A, sub-§11-A, as amended by PL 2009, c. 282, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 3 MRSA §312-B, as enacted by PL 2017, c. 443, §2, is amended to read:
§ 312-B. Required training regarding harassment
A lobbyist or lobbyist associate shall complete the training required under section 170-B, retain proof of completion of the training for 2 years following completion and certify completion of that training to the commission at the time of registration under section 313. If completion of the required training prior to registration is not possible due to circumstances that are beyond a lobbyist's or lobbyist associate's control, the commission may provide a limited extension to that lobbyist or lobbyist associate for completion of the training. If a lobbyist or lobbyist associate has a very limited physical presence in the State House and the Burton M. Cross Building, the commission may exempt the lobbyist or lobbyist associate from the requirements of this section.
Sec. 6. 3 MRSA §313, as amended by PL 1999, c. 745, §1, is further amended to read:
§ 313. Registration of lobbyists , lobbyist associates and employers
Every employer of a lobbyist and every lobbyist and lobbyist associate who lobbies on behalf of that employer shall register jointly at the office of A lobbyist shall submit a joint registration for the lobbyist and any lobbyist associates and the employer of that lobbyist with the commission no later than 15 business days after commencement of lobbying more than 8 hours in a month and pay a registration fee of $200 for the registration of each lobbyist and $100 for the registration of . For each lobbyist associate or such other amounts as the commission determines approximate the cost to the commission of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter included in the registration, the lobbyist shall pay an additional $100 fee.
Sec. 7. 3 MRSA §313-A, as amended by PL 2007, c. 630, §9, is further amended to read:
§ 313-A. Registration of state employees or state agency employees
Within 15 business days of the convening of a regular legislative session, a department or agency shall register with the commission as described in section 316-A those officers or state employees or state agency employees who will serve as the department's or agency's legislative designees for the session by submitting to the commission a list that must include the name and position of each employee, the name of the department or agency and the name of the bureau or division within the department for which each employee works and the mailing address, e-mail address and phone number of each employee. The department or agency shall file an updated registration form later in the session containing notify the commission in writing of any changes of its designees within 15 business days of the change.
An employee who is required to be registered under this section is exempt from all other requirements under the law regarding lobbyists.
Sec. 8. 3 MRSA §316, sub-§3, as amended by PL 1993, c. 446, Pt. A, §13 and affected by §20, is further amended to read:
Sec. 9. 3 MRSA §316, sub-§4-D, as enacted by PL 2017, c. 443, §4, is amended to read:
Sec. 10. 3 MRSA §316-A, as amended by PL 2015, c. 267, Pt. F, §2, is repealed.
Sec. 11. 3 MRSA §317, first ¶, as repealed and replaced by PL 1993, c. 691, §18, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
A registered lobbyist shall file a report for each month that the Legislature is in session on forms prescribed or approved by the commission, even if no lobbying has been performed or compensation or reimbursement for expenses received for the month.
Sec. 12. 3 MRSA §317, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 282, §§4 and 5, is further amended to read:
Every lobbyist shall report that lobbyist's lobbying activities for each month that the Legislature is in session, even if no lobbying has been performed or compensation or reimbursement for expenses received for the month. In the case of a lobbyist representing multiple employers, if no lobbying or services in support of lobbying were performed, one report listing each employer on whose behalf no lobbying was conducted may be submitted. The monthly report must contain the following information:
In the case of a lobbyist or lobbyist associate who is a regular employee of the employer, the specific dollar amount of compensation must be computed by multiplying the number of hours devoted to the preparation of documents and research for the primary purpose of influencing legislative action and to lobbying by the employee's regular rate of pay based on a 40-hour week;
Sec. 13. 3 MRSA §317, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
(1) The total amount of expenditures directly to or on behalf of covered officials and their immediate family members is more than $300 in a calendar month; and
(2) The lobbyist or lobbyist associate has not been and does not expect to be reimbursed by any employer.
(1) The date of the expenditure;
(2) The name and address of the lobbyist or lobbyist associate and lobbying firm;
(3) The amount of the expenditure made or incurred by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm either directly to or on behalf of a covered official or a covered official's immediate family member;
(4) A description of the goods or services purchased by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm;
(5) The date and a description and location of an event paid for by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm at which covered officials and the covered officials' immediate family members were in attendance; and
(6) The names of all covered officials and their immediate family members to whom the expenditures were directly made or on whose behalf the expenditures were made or who attended an event paid for by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm.
Sec. 14. 3 MRSA §317, sub-§4, ¶A, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 446, Pt. A, §14 and affected by §20, is amended to read:
Sec. 15. 3 MRSA §317, sub-§4, ¶B, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 446, Pt. A, §14 and affected by §20, is amended to read:
Sec. 16. 3 MRSA §321, sub-§9, as enacted by PL 2017, c. 443, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 17. Effective date. This Act takes effect December 1, 2020.
This bill clarifies a lobbyist's reporting requirement for expenditures totaling over $300 in a calendar month made to or on behalf of covered officials when the expenditures are made by the lobbyist, a lobbyist associate or a lobbying firm without reimbursement from an employer of the lobbyist. When a lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm makes such expenditures and does not receive or anticipate receiving reimbursement from an employer, the bill requires the lobbyist to file a separate report disclosing the expenditure. The bill defines "lobbying firm."
The bill changes registration requirements for state employees who lobby on behalf of a state department or agency. Under the current law, a department or agency is required to file a separate registration for each employee who lobbies or monitors legislation more than 20 hours in a legislative session. The bill requires a department or agency to file a single registration listing all employees designated by the department or agency to lobby or who are anticipated to lobby more than 10 hours during a legislative session.
The bill makes minor changes to clarify what information must be included in lobbyist registrations and monthly reports.
The bill expands the requirement to attend and complete an annual harassment training to include lobbyist associates.
The bill provides an effective date of December 1, 2020.