IDAHO SECRETARY OF STATE
Ben Ysursa, Secretary of State
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Lobbying Activity
Who is a lobbyist?
Anyone who attempts through contacts with, or causing others to make contact with, members of the legislature or legislative committees or an executive official, to influence the approval, modification or rejection of any legislation by the legislature of the state of Idaho or any committee thereof or by the governor or to develop or maintain relationships with, promote good will, or entertain members of the legislature or executive officials.
Who is an executive official?
An executive official for lobbying purposes is defined in 67-6602 (g).
(g) "Executive official" means:
In 2007, Governor Otter issued an Executive Order declaring that the amended definition of “executive official” under title 67, section 6602 of the Idaho Code, for the purposes of title 67, chapter 66, shall also include staff members employed within the Office of the Governor.
Is everyone required to register as a lobbyist if they contact a legislator or testify before a legislative committee?
Not every person who lobbies is required to file with the Secretary of State. There are exemptions from registering and reporting.
Are name tags furnished to the lobbyist by the Secretary of State?
No. The Sunshine Law does not require a name tag, however, protocol dictates a green name tag with white lettering for lobbyists. Name tags can be obtained from rubber stamp companies and sporting good stores with an engraving service.
When is a lobbyist required to file a registration statement with the Secretary of State?
Before engaging in any lobbying, or within 30 days after being employed as a lobbyist, whichever occurs first.
What is the registration fee?
$10.00. When representing more than one client, a separate registration accompanied by the $10.00 registration fee shall be required for each client.
What is the duration of a lobbyist registration?
What reports must be filed by lobbyists?
For legislative lobbyists, monthly reports are required for each month the legislature is in session along with an annual report.
For executive official lobbyists, a semi-annual and an annual report is required.
If someone is lobbying both the legislature and executive officials, the legislative lobbyist reporting frequency applies.
Are lobbyist reports required to be filed if there has been no financial activity or lobbying activity by the lobbyist?
Yes. Statutory filing requirements must be met even though there has been no active lobbying during the reporting period.
Can a report be faxed?
Yes. Both sides of the reports must be faxed.
When are monthly reports due?
The monthly reports shall be filed 15 days of the first day of the month for the activities of the month just passed.
When are the semi-annual reports due?
Semi-annual reports must be filed by July 31st.
When are annual reports due?
Annual reports must be filed by January 31 after the end of each year. The Secretary of State has adopted a rule which deems the postmark date of mailed statements as the date of filing. The office of the Secretary of State sends an annual report form and reminder at the end of the year.
If a lobbyist terminates during the year, is an annual report required?
Yes. An annual report must be filed for that portion of the year for which he or she was registered. Also, a new L-1 must be filed within one week of a modification or termination of the lobbyist's employment. It is recommended that the annual report be filed at the time of termination rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Who must sign the reports?
Only the lobbyist's signature is required on monthly reports. Both the lobbyist's and employer's signatures are required on the annual and semi-annual reports.
If the lobbyist is unable to attain the signature of the employer, should the lobbyist wait to file the report until he can get the employer's signature and file late or send the report in without the employer's signature?
FILE TIMELY. Fines of $50.00 per day the report is late may be imposed. The report will be accepted and filed without the employers signature. However, a copy of the report will be retained in the Secretary of State's Office and the original will be returned to the lobbyist. The lobbyist shall then immediately attain the employer's signature and refile the report with the Secretary of State's Office.
Are living expenses and travel expenses reported by lobbyists?
If the lobbyist is reimbursed for travel or living accommodation expenses, they do not have to be reported.
Can a lobbyist make political contributions?
Would the lobbyist report a political contribution as an expense on their report?
Political contributions made to any legislator, executive official or candidate that are required to be reported under other provisions of Idaho's Sunshine Law are not required to be reported on the lobbyist's report. A political contribution is reported under the campaign disclosure portion of the Sunshine Law by the individual receiving the contribution.