Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 5:52pm
Del. Bill Tightens Disclosure Requirements for Paid Lobbyists, Political Donors
Updated Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 2:59am
Lobbyists and campaign donors would be subject to tighter scrutiny under three bills introduced in the Delaware General Assembly.
|Some Del. lawmakers are proposing more transparency requirements for lobbyists and donors|
One measure would require paid lobbyists to report their compensation to the Delaware Public Integrity Commission, and would require them to pay a registration fee that would help the Commission carry out its monitoring activities.
Also, contributors to state and local candidates would be required to disclose their occupations, which the sponsors say is already a requirement of the Federal Elections Commission for congressional and presidential hopefuls.
The chief sponsors are both Democrats, Senator Bryan Townsend and Representative Paul Baumbach.
From the Delaware General Assembly website:
This Bill requires political committees to report a contributor’s occupation and employment information. This is already a requirement in federal campaign finance law. If only a contributor’s name and address are disclosed (without occupation and employer), it is difficult to determine which industry, company, or group is funding a candidate. This will assist in furthering transparency and disclosure in the electoral process. It also addresses the obligation of the reporting candidate and treasurer.
(without Amendments) This bill makes several changes to the law governing the conduct of members of the General Assembly and lobbyists.
Section 1 removes from the Code the language that exempts members of the General Assembly from the obligations of the State Employees’, Officers’ and Officials’ Conflict of Interest and Code of Conduct rules. It also eliminates a reference to Resident Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
Section 2 adds to the Legislative Conflicts of Interest chapter a provision that expressly limits a legislator’s use of public assets for private or partisan political purposes.
Section 3 requires disclosure of payments to lobbyists by source and amounts.
Section 1 of this bill requires lobbyists to disclose if they receive any compensation for their services. Additionally, Section 1 further requires that lobbyists who are compensated to pay a registration fee, which shall be determined by the Public Integrity Commission to defray the Commission’s costs related to administering and maintaining lobbyist’s registration and reporting requirements.
Section 2 of this bill provides for the cancellation of a lobbyist’s registration for failure to pay the registration fee and sets forth the penalty for failure to pay the registration fee.
Section 3 of this bill stipulates that this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2017.
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