SB33 and SB36/HB118 all place prohibitions on lobbying both houses of the Legislature by legislators once they leave office with SB33 setting the period as 3 years and SB36/HB118 at 2 years. SB36/HB118 also places new prohibitions on other public officials while they are in office. (SB36 and HB118 were the same until SB36 was amended.)
On pp. 7-8 of SB33 and pp. 8-9 of SB 36/HB118 defining who a lobbyist is, the bills say: "The term lobbyist does not include any of the following:
1. An elected official on a matter which involves that person's official duties.
2. A person or attorney rendering professional services in drafting bills or in advising clients and in rendering opinions as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation, executive action, or rules or regulations, where those professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative, executive, or regulatory action.
3. Reporters and editors while pursuing normal reportorial and editorial duties.
4. Any citizen not lobbying for compensation who contacts a member of a legislative body, or gives public testimony on a particular issue or on particular legislation, or for the purpose of influencing legislation and who is merely exercising his or her constitutional right to communicate with members of a legislative body.
5. A person who appears before a legislative body, a regulatory body, or an executive agency to either sell or purchase goods or services.
6. A person whose primary duties or responsibilities do not include lobbying, but who may, from time to time, organize social events for members of a legislative body to meet and confer with members of professional organizations and who may have only irregular contacts with members of a legislative body when the body is not in session or when the body is in recess.
7. A person who is a member of a business, professional, or membership organization by virtue of the person's contribution to or payment of dues to the organization even though the organization engages in lobbying activities.
8. A state governmental agency head or his or her designee who provides or communicates, or both, information relating to policy or positions, or both, affecting the governmental agencies which he or she represents."
Sponsor(s): Senator BrewbakerSummary/Synopsis:
Under existing law, a public official [elected by the public] is prohibited from serving as a lobbyist or representing clients before a board, agency, commission, or legislative body of which he or she is a former member for a period of two years after he or she leaves such membership.
This bill would prohibit a member of the Legislature from serving as a lobbyist or representing clients before either chamber of the Legislature for a period of three years.League Action and Justification: Support.
LWVAL's position on Ethics in Government states that "Ethics Law should........provide a legal basis for public confidence in the integrity of government." By restricting the lobbying activities of former public officials, we will increase this confidence.Bill Progress in Legislature: 01/14/2014:
First Reading and referred to the
SB36 Sponsor(s): Senator Marsh
HB118 Sponsor(s): Representative J. HubbardSummary/Synopsis:
(SB36 and HB118 were the same until SB36 was amended.) Under existing law, a public official may not lobby a board, agency, department, or legislative body of which the official was a member for two years after he or she leaves the board, agency, department, or legislative body. Legislative body is defined for those purposes to include the Senate and the House of Representatives. Under this definition, a former member of one house of the Legislature may lobby the other house immediately after leaving office but may not lobby the house of which he or she was a member for two years.
The bill would revise the definition of legislative body to include the Legislature of Alabama so that a member of the Legislature would be precluded from lobbying either the Senate or the House of Representatives for two years after leaving office.
This bill would also prohibit an elected public official from lobbying [for a fee] the board, agency, department, or legislative body to which he or she is elected during the term for which he or she was elected; would exclude former members of the Alabama Judiciary engaged in non-lobbying legal services; and would provide for prospective application [meaning those elected on or after the date the legislation is signed into law].See LWVAL Action and Justification below for synopsis of SB36 amendments.
League Action and Justification:
LWVAL supports HB118.
LWVAL's position on Ethics in Government states that "Ethics Law should........provide a legal basis for public confidence in the integrity of government." By restricting the lobbying activities of former public officials, we will increase this confidence.LWVAL OPPOSES THE AMENDED VERSION OF SB36 AS PASSED BY THE SENATE.
LWVAL SUPPORTS THE HOUSE E&CF SB36 1ST SUBSTITUTE 159239-4.
The amended bill that was sent to the House seems to place just about anyone who speaks, formally or informally, about proposed, pending or potential legislation to member(s) of a legislative body on behalf of an employer or an entity to which he/she is under contract in the category of a lobbyist.
It places time limits on lobbying upon leaving office not only on the governor, legislators, and public employees but all close family members as defined in the ethics law: “The spouse, a dependent, an adult child and his or her spouse, a parent, a spouse's parents, a sibling and his or her spouse, of the public official.” And, it does the same for those whose companies do business with the state.
Ethics legislation should be written to curb inappropriate behavior. It should not be a deterrent to public service for all but the wealthy which is a potential consequence of the amended legislation. Bill Progress in Legislature:
Read for the first time and referred to the 01/15/2015:
2nd reading and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and favorable on day 3 from CCFE&E
Reported from CCFE&E as Favorable; 01/16/2014:
3rd Reading Carried Over; Marsh motion to Carry Over Adopted; 01/28/2014:
3rd Reading carried over; Further Consideration.02/04/2014:
3rd Reading carried over; Marsh Amendment (157421-1) Offered; Motion to Adopt adopted by Roll Call (24-3-0); Sanders Amendment (156891-1) Offered; Sanders motion to Carry Over adopted by Voice Vote; 3rd Reading passed; Sanders Appeal Ruling of Chair that states Sanders Motion was not in Order lost Roll call vote (15-13-0); Sanders motion to Adopt Sanders Amendment adopted by Roll Call (33-0-0); Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted by Roll Call (33-0-0). 02/06/2014:
Read for the First time in the House and referred to the 03/13/2014:
2nd Read and placed on the calendar with 1 Substitute (159239-4); pending 3rd Read and Favorable from E&CF; E&CF 1st Substitute Offered.04/03/2014: 3rd Reading Passed; E*CF 1st Substitute Offered (159239-4); Motion to Adopt adopted by Roll Call voter (63-35-0); Motion to Read a 2\3rd Time and Pass adopted by Roll Call vote (72-25-0); Burdine intended to vote "Yea"
Senate: Concurrence Requested; Marsh motion to Concur in and Adopt adopted by Roll Call Vote (32-0-0); Enrolled
House: Concurred in 2nd House Amendment; Signature requested; Delivered to Governor at 9:27 p.m. on April 2, 2014
The E&CF Substitute includes the following: “no public official elected to a term of office shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer, before the board, agency, commission, department, or legislative body of which he or she is a former member for a period of two years following the term of office for which he or she was elected, irrespective of whether the member left the office prior to the expiration of the term to which he or she was elected.”
And, “No public official elected to a term of office shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent a client, including his or her employer, before any legislative body or any branch of state or local government, including the executive and judicial branches of government, and including the Legislature of Alabama or any board, agency, commission, or department thereof, during the term or remainder of the term for which the official was elected.”
It does not include the limits on an official’s family members and public employees and their families found in the Senate’s amended legislation.HB11801/14/2014:
First Read and referred to the