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Local Lobbyist Registration legislation endorsed by Conflicts and Ethics Advisory Council

At its meeting on November 23, 2021, the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council endorsed revised draft legislation requiring local lobbyist registration with the clerk of a local Board of Supervisors or City or Town Council. This draft revives a concept that was introduced in the 2020 legislative session SB 383 (McPike) offered by Senator McPike. The bill was passed by indefinitely with a letter of referral to the Council in 2020.

Senator McPike was present at the meeting to support his concept for the original bill, which seeks to provide transparency regarding compensated individuals seeking to influence local officials and requires such persons to register with the local clerk and pay a $25 dollar registration fee on an annual basis. The registration would identify the person and the subject matter which the person seeks to influence. The registration shall be kept by the local clerk for five years, and failure to register is a class 1 misdemeanor. The bill as originally drafted prompted a number of concerns raised by VACo and VML. Many of these concerns were shared by members of the Council who then offered amendments to the draft that were adopted by vote of the Council to be incorporated into a final draft with the Council’s endorsement.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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