eNews: Action Alert – February 8, 2022Tuesday, February 08, 2022 - 11:33am
Oppose SB224 – Local government lobbying bill to be heard tomorrow in Senate General Laws and Technology Committee
About the legislation
- As originally proposed, SB224 (McPike) would require notification to local clerks if compensated for attempting to influence certain local government actions.
- This legislation would require individuals who influence or attempt to influence a local government to provide notice to the locality’s clerk and pay a fee.
- The notice would have to be given 15 days prior to the first attempt to communicate with the local government and would need to include the individual’s name, telephone number and business address as well as the local government action that the individual seeks to influence.
- Qualifying “local government actions” include any enactment, repeal or modification of an ordinance or resolution including actions related to local taxes, the budget and land use proceedings. It does not apply to attorneys clearly identified on a land use application, any contractor or employee performing services for local government or local government employees or officers acting in their official capacity.
- The notice would be good for one year. Failure to comply with the notification/fee requirement would result in a class one misdemeanor (which includes potential jail time).
- The proposed amended bill requires reporting to the Secretary of the Commonwealth instead of the local clerk.
- Also, it allows for a $75 onetime fee if the compensated individual is or will be providing notice in relation to two or more local government actions or localities in addition to the $25 fee.
Please contact the members of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee (see below) before tomorrow (Feb. 9) afternoon to oppose the bill. Inform the senators:
- The list of qualifying actions is such that the bill would create an undue burden on those who lobby local governments.
- There is strong potential for individuals to unknowingly transgress the new requirements.
- Providing information to the Secretary of the Commonwealth leaves the local government with uncertainty about whether a person is registered.
- A violation is a class 1 misdemeanor which could include jail time.
Current GA Committee:
Senate General Laws and Technology
|Barker (Chair)||firstname.lastname@example.org||(804) 698-7539|
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VML Contact: Michelle Gowdy, email@example.com