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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Local lobbying registration bill fails

A bill seeking to create new disclosure requirements and a registration system for local government lobbying has failed for the year.

SB 383 (McPike) sought to require any paid lobbyists who are working to influence or attempt to influence any local government officer or employee (defined as any person appointed or elected to any local governmental or advisory agency, paid or otherwise) to provide notice of such status to the clerk of the local governing body of the county, city, or town in which the officer or employee serves. This notice would have required a $25 filing fee, must have been made within 15 days of communicating with a local government officer or employee, and would have required disclosure of the individuals name, contact information, and information about what action they were working on.  In turn, local government clerks would have been required to keep records of such notices for five years.  Any violation of these requirements would have been a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Upon introduction, SB 383 generated concerns as to how broadly lobbying action was defined as well as the cost and burden of setting up and maintaining a registration system within local governments.

Ultimately, SB 383 failed to make it out of the Senate Local Government Committee.  It was passed by indefinitely by a narrow 8-7 vote.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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