Lobbyist FAQs

Contents
Filing
General
Professional lobbyists
State liaisons
Volunteer lobbyists

 

General

Q1.  When is the online filing and searching system unavailable?

A1.  During routine maintenance, our online filing and searching systems are unavailable. Maintenance is usually scheduled between 2:00 AM and 3:30 AM, MT. If you have started an online filing or a search before 2:00 AM, you will need to complete it (payment submitted and accepted) before maintenance begins or your task will be interrupted.

 

Q2.  What is my Initial Reporting Month?

A2.  The initial reporting month is the month that lobbying activity began for the fiscal year.

 

Q3.  What is considered an expense?

A3.  Any cost associated with lobbying activities.

Expenses are broken up into three categories on your monthly disclosure statement:

  • Media,
  • Gifts and entertainment, and
  • Other. Examples include travel, parking, and cellphone usage.

 

Q4.  What if the information on my cumulative report is incorrect?

A4.  The information in the cumulative report is collected from the monthly disclosure reports that you have filed.  Any incorrect information will need to be corrected on the associated monthly disclosure report.

 

Q5.  What are public funds?

A5.  Typically, "public funds" refers to the revenue or money of a government or state agency.

 

Q6.  What is lobbying?

A6.  "Lobbying" means communicating directly with any covered official for the purpose of influencing a bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, or report.  Soliciting others to communicate with a covered official for this purpose is also considered lobbying.  

This includes aiding in or influencing the drafting, introduction, sponsorship, consideration, debate, amendment, passage, defeat, approval, or veto by any covered official on any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, or report. [1]

 

Q7.  What is a covered official?

A7.  A covered official is the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or a member of the general assembly.  "Covered officials" also includes members of any rulemaking board or commission, or a rulemaking official of a state agency.

 

Q8.  When should I register as a lobbyist ? 

A8.  Most commonly, if you are communicating with a covered official to influence legislation, you are required to register as a lobbyist. For more information about when to register see, [1] [2]

 

Q9.  How do I report income if I have a job outside of lobbying?

A9. Determine what percentage of your monthly gross income is for lobbying. You will report this amount.

For example, if you spent 20% of your time on lobbying in June, you would report 20% of your monthly gross income for June.

If you report your lobbying activities by hour, just determine what your hourly rate is and multiply it by the number of hours spent on lobbying activities. [3]

 

Q10.  I’m a sole proprietor. How do I report income on my individual and firm report?

A10. You would report the income based on the name on the check. For example, if a check was written to the firm, then it needs to be reported in the firm’s disclosure report. [4]

 

Q11.  How do I report expenses related to lobbying activities?

A11. Expenses are reported on your monthly disclosure statements.  Select the type of expense- media, gift and entertainment, or other. Expenses such as travel, parking, and cellphone usage are examples of “Other Expenses.”

 

Q12.  How do I report lobbying activity not related to any bill or legislation?

A12. On your monthly disclosure statement, under Subjects and Bills, select “Other” as the bill or resolution prefix, and then enter the activity in the “Subject of legislation” field.

 

Q13.  When can I contribute money to a candidate?

A13. A professional lobbyist or a principal of a professional lobbyist cannot contribute money to a candidate when the assembly is in session. [5] [6]  

 

Q14.  How are grassroots lobbying efforts disclosed?

A14. If a corporation directs an employee to use paid work time to carry out activities  that fall under the definition of “lobbying,” it must be reported on your monthly disclosure statement.


Q15. What prohibited lobbying practices may result in criminal penalties?

A15. The following practices may result in criminal penalties:

  • Making an agreement to give consideration to any person based on:
    • The passage or defeat of legislation.
    • The making or defeat of a state agency’s rule, standard, or rate.
    • The Governor’s approval or veto of legislation.
  • Making any form of payment to a covered official for an interest in real or personal property or for services that is above the amount typically paid by non-lobbyists
  • Making a loan to or engaging in other transactions with a covered official with the intent of making the official personally obligated to the lobbyist.

The following prohibited practice will not result in criminal penalties, but may still subject a lobbyist to disciplinary action under the rules of the General Assembly or the Secretary of State:

  • Knowingly attempting to deceive or making false statements to a covered official concerning a material fact related to matters within the official’s duties.
  • Concealing the identity of the person or entity for whom the lobbyist is working from a covered official.
  • Knowingly using a fictitious name or another person’s real name without permission in communicating with a covered official.
  • Knowingly representing an interest that is adverse to the lobbyist’s principal without first getting the principal’s permission after full disclosure of by the lobbyist.
  • Attempting to influence a covered official by threatening political retaliation, including promising to financially support or oppose a covered official’s candidacy in a future election.
  • Seeking to influence a covered official by communicating with the official’s employer.
  • Causing or influencing a legislative or executive measure’s introduction for the purpose of the lobbyist being employed to support or oppose the measure.
  • Receiving compensation for lobbying while serving as a state officer or central committee member of a political party.
  • Making excessive campaign contributions or promising to solicit prohibited campaign contributions to covered officials during the legislative session.
  • Employing a person to lobby who is not a registered lobbyist.
  • Engaging in other practices that discredit the practice of lobbying or the General Assembly.

 See sections 24-6-308 (1) and 24-6-309 (1), C.R.S., for more information.



 

[1]  24-6-301(3.5)(a) C.R.S.
[2] 24-6-301 (1.7)(b), C.R.S.
[3] 24-6-301 (2.5), C.R.S.
[4] 24-6-302 (2.5) (a), C.R.S.
[5] 1-45-105.5 C.R.S.
[6] Fair Campaign Practices Act