Commonwealth, Secretary of; redesigns Lobbyist Disclosure Statement to clarify information. (HB1883)

Introduced By

Del. Sam Nixon (R-Richmond) with support from co-patrons Del. Clay Athey (R-Front Royal), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Don Merricks (R-Danville), and Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Secretary of the Commonwealth; lobbyist disclosure. Redesigns the Lobbyist Disclosure Statement to clarify information requested and increase compliance. Among other things, the redesigned form requires a lobbyist to include a list of all House of Delegates or Senate bills for which he has lobbied and changes the manner in which entertainment and gift expenses are reported. The bill also provides that a lobbyist who files the statement electronically is not required to provide a paper copy. In addition, the bill provides that the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall review the lobbyist disclosure statements for completeness and accuracy and if a statement is not properly completed, the entire filing will be rejected and returned to the lobbyist. The lobbyist must submit a revised statement within 10 working days from receipt of the returned statement. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/12/2009Committee
01/12/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 096930656
01/12/2009Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/16/2009Assigned GL sub: FOIA
01/22/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1883)
01/29/2009Subcommittee recommends reporting
02/03/2009Reported from General Laws with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2009Committee substitute printed 091830656-H1
02/04/2009Read first time
02/05/2009Read second time
02/05/2009Committee substitute agreed to 091830656-H1
02/05/2009Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1883H1
02/06/2009Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/06/2009VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1883H1)
02/09/2009Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2009Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/18/2009Rereferred from General Laws and Technology (10-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2009Rereferred to Rules
02/23/2009Left in Rules

Comments

Waldo J., tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The really great thing about this is the requirement that lobbyists list which bills that they're seeking to influence the outcome of. This is a badly-needed bit of information for the sake of transparency. Right now we know which businesses give to which legislators, and we know how legislators vote. But what isn't disclosed is the connection during session—the actual work of lobbyists—which is a significant information gap that serves to hide the relationship between business and the legislators who regulate them.

Unfortunately, some lobbyists are likely to lobby against this bill pretty hard, because it's going to require more work from them.

Doug Smith writes:

This is REALLY bad for grassroots groups because of the way it requires reporting of every time we contact members and constituents about a piece of legislation or issue.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Hmm. That's a requirement that doesn't make much sense to me. I'm interested in having a record of contact between lobbyists and legislators. A captive lobbyist—which is to say, one who works for the organization for which they're lobbying, as opposed to one who represents clients—shouldn't need to disclose communications with their own organization. But maybe I'm missing something.

David Wright writes:

I think the bill has merits. If nothing else it would help expose to the IRS and the public those organizations around Virginia that fraudulently claim priviledged 501(c)(3) status and then use their donor deductible resources to lobby and advocate on behalf of biased political agendas.