Information on States' Lobbying Disclosure Requirements

GGD-97-95R: Published: May 2, 1997. Publicly Released: May 6, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the reporting of lobbying expenditures, focusing on the number of states that: (1) have lobbying disclosure laws covering direct lobbying; (2) have lobbying disclosure laws for grassroots lobbying; (3) require the reporting of either direct or grassroots lobbying expenditures; and (4) tabulate direct and/or grassroots lobbying expenditures from lobbying reports. GAO did not independently verify the accuracy of information state lobbying disclosure offices provided.

GAO noted that: (1) all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported having lobbying disclosure laws as of April 1997; (2) 22 of the states reported having lobbying disclosure laws covering both direct and grassroots lobbying; (3) the remaining 28 states and the District of Columbia reported having lobbying disclosure laws only for direct lobbying; (4) 46 states and the District of Columbia reported that they require lobbyists to report their expenditures for either direct or grassroots lobbying activities on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis or at other times designated by the state; (5) Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming reported that they have no requirement for lobbyists to report expenditures; (6) 29 states and the District of Columbia reported that they tabulate lobbying expenditures from lobbying disclosure reports filed by registered lobbyists listing direct and/or grassroots lobbying expenditures; (7) of the 29 states and the District of Columbia that reported that they tabulate lobbying expenditures, 13 states reported that they combine direct and grassroots lobbying expenditures, 5 states reported that they tabulate direct and grassroots lobbying expenditures separately, and 11 states and the District of Columbia reported that they tabulate only direct lobbying expenditures; and (8) the remaining 17 states that have a requirement for reporting lobbying expenditures responded that they do not tabulate lobbying expenditures.

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