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Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a lobbyist? Idaho Code 67-6602(12)
Anyone attempting 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 goodwill with, or entertain members of the legislature or executive officials.
Who is an executive official? Idaho Code 67-6602(9)
An executive official for lobbying purposes is defined in 67-6602(9). (9) “Executive official” means:
- The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state controller, state treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and any deputy or staff member of one (1) of those individuals who, within the course and scope of his or her employment, is directly involved in major policy influencing decisions for the office;
- A state department or agency director, deputy director, division administrator or bureau chief as established and enumerated in sections 67-2402 and 67-2406, Idaho Code;
- The membership and the executive or chief administrative officer of any board or commission that is authorized to make rules or conduct rulemaking activities pursuant to section 67-5201, Idaho Code;
- The membership and the executive or chief administrative officer of any board or commission that governs any of the state departments enumerated in section 67-2402, Idaho Code, not including public school districts;
- The membership and the executive or chief administrative officer of the Idaho public utilities commission, the Idaho industrial commission, and the Idaho state tax commission; and
- The members of the governing board of the state insurance fund, and the members of the governing board and the executive or chief administrative officer of the Idaho housing and finance association, the Idaho energy resources authority, and the Idaho state building authority.
Is everyone required to register as a lobbyist if they contact a legislator or testify before a legislative committee? Idaho Code 67-6618
Not every person who lobbies is required to file with the Secretary of State. The following persons are exempt from registering and reporting.
- Persons who limit their lobbying activities to appearances before public sessions of committees of the legislature.
- Persons who limit their lobbyist activities to appearances or participation in public meetings, public hearings or public readings held or initiated by executive officials or their employees.
- Persons who are employees of an entity engaged in the business of publishing, broadcasting or televising, while engaged in the gathering and dissemination of news and comments thereon to the general public in the ordinary course of business.
- Persons who do not receive any compensation for lobbying and persons whose compensation for lobbying does not exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) in the aggregate during any calendar quarter, including persons who lobby on behalf of their employer or employers, and the lobbying activity represents less than the equivalent of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) of the employee’s time per calendar year quarter, based on an hourly proration of said employee’s compensation.
- Elected state officers and state executive officers appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the senate; elected officials of political subdivisions of the state of Idaho acting in their official capacity; and their employees acting in their official capacity.
- A person who represents a bona fide church (of which he is a member) solely for the purpose of protecting the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
- Employees of a corporation, if such corporation: (a) has registered as a lobbyist and (b) has designated one or more of its employees as its official lobbyist, and (c) the person so designated by the corporation has also registered as a lobbyist.
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? Idaho Code 67-6617
Before engaging in any lobbying, or within 30 days after being employed as a lobbyist, whichever occurs first.
What is the registration fee? Idaho Code 67-6617(1)
$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? Idaho Code 67-6617(4)
What reports must be filed by lobbyists? Idaho Code 67-6619
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? Idaho Code 67-6619
Yes. Statutory filing requirements must be met even though there has been no active lobbying during the reporting period.
When are monthly reports due? Idaho Code 67-6619
Monthly reports shall be filed within 15 days of the first day of the month for the activities of the month just passed.
When are the semi-annual reports due? Idaho Code 67-6619
Semi-annual reports must be filed by July 31st.
When are annual reports due? Idaho Code 67-6619
Annual reports must be filed by January 31 after the end of each year.
If a lobbyist terminates during the year, is an annual report required? Idaho Code 67-6617(3)
Yes. An annual report must be filed for that portion of the year for which he or she was registered. Also, an amended registration statement must be filed within one week of a modification or termination of the lobbyist’s employment. The annual report should also be filed at the time of termination rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Who must sign the reports? Idaho Code 67-6619
Only the lobbyist’s signature is required on monthly reports. Once a lobbyist has filed an annual or semiannual report, each person identified as an employer, client, or designated contact on the report will be electronically notified that the report has been filed by the lobbyist.
Are living expenses and travel expenses reported by lobbyists? Idaho Code 67-6619(3)(a)
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.