If you interact with government officials in New York on a federal, state, or municipal level, you may be considered a “lobbyist.” Even if your title or primary job description does not include the words “lobbying,” “government affairs” or “advocacy,” some of your activities may constitute reportable lobbying.
It is critical to understand the rules governing lobbying regulation and compliance. Those who engage in lobbying activities at the state or local levels are subject to compliance with a detailed set of lobbying laws and registration requirements, including the filing of bi-monthly reports and semi-annual filings with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). Understanding how JCOPE interprets and enforces the rules is the first step to protecting your organization as it navigates the halls of government.
Due to complexities and gray areas in the law, businesses and organizations operating in New York frequently encounter questions regarding what may or may not constitute lobbying, as well as the registration and reporting requirements that follow.
How can we help protect your organization?
Top-tier in-house lobbyists from a variety of companies, associations, and nonprofits rely on Harris Beach’s Lobbying Compliance team and its decades of experience. Our knowledgeable attorneys and filing clerks advise and assist you in complying with federal, state and municipal lobbying laws. As lawyers who do not ourselves lobby, our sole focus is helping to ensure you are protected and in compliance.
Our Lobbying Compliance team also routinely advises clients across industries in the review and improvement of policies and procedures related to lobbying and government ethics. With a keen understanding of the complexities and vagaries of the laws in New York, we can answer your difficult questions, prepare and file disclosure reports, and train your employees to cultivate increased awareness and mitigate risk.
Key issues we address with clients include:
• What is (and what is not) lobbying?
• Am I required to register as a lobbyist?
• What does registration as a lobbyist require?
• What are the rules for grassroots lobbying, procurement lobbying, source of funding disclosures, “door opening” activities, public monies reports, coalitions, reportable business relationships, and gifts to public officials and employees?