Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 6690

    January Session, 2009

*_____HB06690GAE___033009____*

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LOBBYING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) For the purposes of this section and sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Administrative action" means any action or nonaction of any executive agency of a municipality with respect to the proposal, drafting, development, consideration, amendment, adoption or repeal of any rule, ordinance, regulation or utility rate.

(2) "Compensation" means any value received or to be received by a person acting as a municipal lobbyist, whether in the form of a fee, salary or forbearance.

(3) "Executive agency" means a commission, board, agency, or other body or official in the executive branch of a municipality and any independent body of a municipality that is not a part of the legislative body of such municipality.

(4) "Expenditure" means (A) any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan or payment, unless expressly excluded; (B) any payments for telephone, mailing, postage, printing and other clerical or office services and materials; (C) any paid communications, costing fifty dollars or more in any calendar year, disseminated by means of any printing, broadcasting or other medium, provided such communications refer to pending administrative or legislative action; any contract, agreement, promise or other obligation; (D) any solicitation or solicitations, costing fifty dollars or more in the aggregate for any calendar year, of other persons to communicate with a public official or municipal employee for the purpose of influencing any legislative or administrative act; and (E) any pledge, subscription of money or anything of value. "Expenditure" shall not include the payment of a registrant's fee pursuant to section 3 of this act, any expenditure made by any club, committee, partnership, organization, business, union, association or corporation for the purpose of publishing a newsletter or other release to its members, shareholders or employees, or contributions, membership dues or other fees paid to associations, nonstock corporations or tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended.

(5) "Individual" means a natural person.

(6) "Legislative action" means introduction, sponsorship, consideration, debate, amendment, passage, defeat, approval, veto, overriding of a veto or any other official action or nonaction with regard to any proposal, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report, or any other matter pending or proposed before the legislative body of a municipality, or any matter which is within the official jurisdiction or cognizance of the legislative body of a municipality.

(7) "Municipal lobbying" means communicating directly or soliciting others to communicate with any public official or his staff in the legislative or executive branch or body of any municipality, for the purpose of influencing any legislative or administrative action, except that the term "municipal lobbying" does not include (A) communications by a representative of a vendor or by an employee of the registered client lobbyist which representative or employee acts as a salesperson and does not otherwise engage in lobbying regarding any administrative action, (B) communications by an attorney made while engaging in the practice of law, including communications with any official or staff of any agency of any municipality having responsibility for: Planning or zoning decisions made pursuant to chapter 124, 124a, 125, 125a, 126, 126a or 127 of the general statutes; inland wetlands decisions made pursuant to chapter 440 of the general statutes; historic districts decisions made pursuant to chapter 97a of the general statutes; water pollution control authority decisions made pursuant to chapter 446k of the general statutes; motor vehicle or gasoline location decisions made pursuant to chapter 246 of the general statutes; aquifer protection decisions made pursuant to chapter 446i of the general statutes; or conservation decisions made pursuant to chapter 97 of the general statutes, or communications by an attorney made while engaging in the practice of law regarding any matter other than legislative action, as defined in subdivision (6) of this section, or the proposal, drafting, development, consideration, amendment, adoption or repeal of any rule, ordinance, referendum, budget or regulation, or (C) communications by any expert witness in any matter described in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision.

(8) "Municipal lobbyist" means a person who in municipal lobbying and in furtherance of municipal lobbying makes or agrees to make expenditures, or receives or agrees to receive compensation, reimbursement, or both, and such compensation, reimbursement or expenditures are two thousand dollars or more in any calendar year or the combined amount thereof is two thousand dollars or more in any such calendar year. Municipal lobbyist shall not include:

(A) A public official, employee of a municipality, or elected or appointed official of a municipality or his designee other than an independent contractor, who is acting within the scope of his authority or employment;

(B) A publisher, owner or an employee of the press, radio or television while disseminating news or editorial comment to the general public in the ordinary course of business;

(C) An individual representing himself or another person before the legislative body of a municipality or an agency of a municipality other than for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action;

(D) Any individual or employee who receives no compensation or reimbursement specifically for municipal lobbying and who limits his activities solely to formal appearances to give testimony before public sessions of the legislative body of any municipality or public hearings of any agency of any municipality and who, if he testifies, registers his appearance in the records of such legislative body or agency;

(E) A member of an advisory board acting within the scope of his appointment;

(F) A senator or representative in Congress acting within the scope of his office;

(G) Any person who receives no compensation or reimbursement specifically for municipal lobbying and who spends no more than five hours in furtherance of municipal lobbying unless such person (i) exclusive of salary, receives compensation or makes expenditures, or both, of two thousand dollars or more in any calendar year for municipal lobbying or the combined amount thereof is two thousand dollars or more in any such calendar year, or (ii) expends fifty dollars or more for the benefit of a public official, a member of his staff or immediate family;

(H) A communicator lobbyist who receives or agrees to receive compensation, reimbursement, or both, the aggregate amount of which is less than two thousand dollars from each client in any calendar year; or

(I) Any person who undertakes to guide or direct an application or request through an official process of approval without seeking any substantive change in law, ordinance, code or regulation.

(9) "Member of an advisory board" means any person appointed by a public official as an advisor or consultant or member of a committee, commission or council established to advise, recommend or consult with a public official or municipality or committee thereof and who receives no public funds other than per diem payments or reimbursement for his actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties and who has no authority to expend any public funds or to exercise the power of a municipality.

(10) "Person" means an individual, a business, corporation, limited liability company, union, association, firm, partnership, committee, club or other organization or group of persons.

(11) "Public official" means any appointed or elected officer of any municipality.

(12) "Registrant" means a person who is required to register pursuant to section 2 of this act.

(13) "Reimbursement" means any money or thing of value received or to be received in the form of payment for expenses as a lobbyist, not including compensation.

(14) "Municipal employee" means any employee of a municipality, whether in the classified or unclassified service and whether full or part time.

(15) "Client lobbyist" means a municipal lobbyist on behalf of whom municipal lobbying takes place and who makes expenditures for municipal lobbying and in furtherance of municipal lobbying.

(16) "Communicator lobbyist" means a municipal lobbyist who communicates directly or solicits others to communicate with a public official or his staff of a municipality for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.

(17) "Immediate family" means any spouse, dependent children or dependent relatives who reside in the individual's household.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) A municipal lobbyist shall register with the Office of State Ethics, established pursuant to section 1-80 of the general statutes, if the municipal lobbyist:

(1) Receives or agrees to receive compensation or reimbursement for actual expenses, or both, in a combined amount of two thousand dollars or more in a calendar year for municipal lobbying, whether that receipt of compensation or reimbursement or agreement to receive such compensation or reimbursement is solely for municipal lobbying or the municipal lobbying is incidental to that person's regular employment; or

(2) Makes or incurs an obligation to make expenditures of two thousand dollars or more in a calendar year for municipal lobbying.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) Each registrant shall file every two years with the Office of State Ethics on a registration form signed under penalty of false statement on or before January fifteenth of odd-numbered years or prior to the commencement of municipal lobbying whichever is later. If the registrant is not an individual, an authorized officer or agent of the registrant shall sign the form. Such registration shall be on a form prescribed by the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board and shall include:

(1) If the registrant is an individual, the registrant's name, permanent address and temporary address while municipal lobbying and the name, address and nature of business of any person who compensates or reimburses, or agrees to compensate or reimburse the registrant and the terms of the compensation, reimbursement or agreement, but shall not include the compensation paid to an employee for his involvement in activities other than municipal lobbying;

(2) If the registrant is a corporation, the name, address, place of incorporation and the principal place of business of the corporation;

(3) If the registrant is an association, group of persons or an organization, the name and address of the principal officers and directors of such association, group of persons or organization. If the registrant is formed primarily for the purpose of municipal lobbying, it shall disclose the name and address of any person contributing two thousand dollars or more to the registrant's municipal lobbying activities in any calendar year;

(4) If the registrant is not an individual, the name and address of each individual who will municipal lobby on the registrant's behalf;

(5) The identification, with reasonable particularity, of areas of legislative or administrative action on which the registrant expects to municipal lobby; and

(6) The identification of each municipality within which the registrant expects to lobby.

(b) Each registrant shall pay a reasonable fee not in excess of the cost of administering the registration form provided for in subsection (a) of this section. A registrant who commences municipal lobbying in an even-numbered year shall file with the Office of State Ethics, on or before January fifteenth of such even-numbered year or prior to the commencement of municipal lobbying, whichever is later, a registration form signed under penalty of false statement and shall pay one-half of the biennial registration fee established by the board.

(c) Each registrant shall file a notice of termination not later than thirty days after he ceases the activity that required his registration, provided the registrant does not intend to resume the activity during the biennial period for which he is registered.

(d) In addition to the requirements of subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of this section, the registration of a: (1) Client lobbyist, as defined in section 1 of this act, shall include: (A) The name of such company or association, (B) the nature of such company or association, (C) the primary business address of such company or association, (D) the name of the person responsible for oversight of such client lobbyist's municipal lobbying activities, and (E) the job title of such person and any applicable contact information for such person, including, but not limited to, telephone number, facsimile number, electronic mail address and business mailing address; and (2) communicator lobbyist, as defined in section 1 of this act, shall include the name of the primary contact person at each client of such communicator lobbyist and any applicable contact information for such person, including, but not limited to, telephone number, facsimile number, electronic mail address and business mailing address.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) Each individual who is a municipal lobbyist shall, while engaged in municipal lobbying, wear a distinguishing badge which shall identify him as a municipal lobbyist. The size, color, material and other requirements of such badge shall be prescribed by regulation of the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) The general counsel of the Office of State Ethics may issue informal, verbal or written, staff opinions concerning the requirements of sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act.

(b) The Office of State Ethics may seek compliance with the requirements of sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act, provided such office shall not impose or seek to impose any penalty for failure to comply with such requirements.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2009

New section

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

Throughout the bill, "political subdivision of the state" was changed to "municipality" for consistency with other provisions of the bill, and in section 1, references to "lobbying" were changed to "municipal lobbying" and a reference to "section 1-95" was changed to "section 3 of this act", for accuracy and the definition of "business organization" was deleted for statutory consistency.

GAE

Joint Favorable Subst.