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L OBBYING IN N EW J ERSEY. What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Lobbying occurs when there is an attempt to influence: Legislation Regulations Governmental.

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Presentation on theme: "L OBBYING IN N EW J ERSEY. What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Lobbying occurs when there is an attempt to influence: Legislation Regulations Governmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 L OBBYING IN N EW J ERSEY

2 What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Lobbying occurs when there is an attempt to influence: Legislation Regulations Governmental Processes by communicating with or providing a benefit to a high level State official

3 What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Influence Legislation means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to: Secure or prevent the initiation of any legislation, or to; Secure or prevent the passage, defeat, amendment, or modification of legislation

4 What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Influence Regulation means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to: Secure or prevent the proposal of any regulation, or; To secure or prevent the consideration, amendment, issuance, promulgation, adoption, or rejection of a regulation

5 What is Lobbying in New Jersey? Influence a Governmental Process means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to: Assist a represented entity or group in making communications or securing information regarding a governmental process

6 What is a Governmental Process? Promulgation of executive orders Rate setting Development, negotiation, award, modification or cancellation of public contracts Issuance, denial, modification, renewal, revocation or suspension of permits, licenses or waivers Procedures for bidding Imposition or modification of fines and penalties Procedures for purchasing Rendition of administrative determinations Award, denial, modification, renewal or termination of financial assistance, grants and loans Governmental Processes include:

7 What Activities are not Considered Lobbying? The provisions of the lobbying law do not apply to the following activities: Publication of a news item or editorial in the ordinary course of business Acts of a government employee in carrying out his or her official duties Acts of a bona fide religious group acting for the purpose of protecting the publics right to practice religion Acts of a political party

8 What Activities are not Considered Lobbying? The provisions of the lobbying law do not apply to the following activities: Acts of a person testifying on legislation or regulations who is uncompensated and makes no other communication related to this testimony Communicating on a routine, ministerial matter Communicating with or providing a benefit to a high level State official if it constitutes a personal expression, i.e. paid with the individuals own funds, not reimbursed in any way, and not incident to their employment

9 What Activities are not Considered Lobbying? Participation in a task force, advisory board, or working group that is: Specifically established pursuant to statute or Established by the head of a principal department in State government who has statutory authority to convene the group and The participant has been nominated or invited to participate; and, The participant receives no separate compensation for his or her service

10 What Activities are not Considered Lobbying? For governmental process lobbying, these activities do not constitute lobbying: Attorney-Client Privilege Collective Negotiations Any communications by an attorney representing a client in routine litigation or administrative proceeding with the State, or in the course of a quasi-judicial civil or administrative proceeding with the State

11 Who is Considered to be a Governmental Affairs Agent? A Governmental Affairs Agents is defined as a person who: Is compensated to influence legislation, regulations, or governmental processes by; Communicating with a high level State official, for more than 20 hours in a calendar year or; Providing a benefit to a high level State official Please note: The preparation and travel time of an Agent is reportable as lobbying activity and is part of the calculation in determining when 20 hours has been reached

12 Breaking Down the Definition of a Governmental Affairs Agent Compensation Money, other things of value or any benefit passed Including the reimbursement of expenses in excess of $100 in a three-month period Uncompensated lobbying services are generally not reportable unless there is an intangible financial benefit gained by the Agent Intangible financial benefit in the form of a promise of future employment (AO No )

13 Defining Communicating with a State Official Communicating with means: Any communications, oral or in writing Communicating does not, in general, include a communication on a routine, ministerial matter

14 Communications Exempt from the Lobbying Law Certain routine matters are exempt, such as: Scheduling a meeting Requesting the status of an administrative matter Requesting forms or procedures Applying for a permit or license as required by law

15 Communications Exempt from the Lobbying Law Certain business matters are exempt, such as: Providing advice or performing services pursuant to an existing contract Requesting information concerning compliance with existing regulations Participating in an inspection required by law Limited sales communications Inquiries about the delivery of services or materials pursuant to an existing contract

16 Communications Exempt from the Lobbying Law Certain requests are exempt, such as: Responding to a detailed request for information Responding to a subpoena Responding to a public emergency or condition involving public health or safety Responding to a request for proposal or participation at a bid conference after bid specifications have been established Responding to an audit

17 Defining Providing a Benefit to a State Official Providing a benefit to means: To make any expenditure for entertainment, food and beverage, travel and lodging, honoraria, gifts, loans, or other things of value to a high level State official covered by the Act

18 Who is a High Level State Official? The definition of High Level Official includes, but is not limited to: Governor & Lieutenant Governor Governor & Lieutenant Governors staff Legislature and Legislative staff High Level Executive Branch officials as set forth in N.J.A.C. 19:

19 Who is a High Level State Official? Please note that all committees and commissions established by the Legislature, or by either House, are included as part of the Legislature Similarly, all authorities, boards, commissions, or other agencies or instrumentalities in or of a principal department of the Executive Branch of State government are included as part of the Executive Branch Communications made to lower level State officials are considered to be routine and ministerial, and thus will not be considered lobbying communications Routine and ministerial communications are those not seeking preferential treatment or the alteration of a decision. Where no discretion is being exercised, no lobbying has occurred

20 What Forms Need to be Filed? Assuming you meet the definition of a Governmental Affairs Agent, lets briefly review the forms that must be filed: Notice of Representation (Form NR) Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) Notice of Termination (Form NT) Annual Report

21 Notice of Representation (Form NR) Filed prior to making any communications with, or providing a benefit to a high level state official, or within 30 days of being employed, retained or engaged as a Governmental Affairs Agent, whichever is earlier If a Governmental Affairs Agent intends to represent more than one Represented Entity, a separate Form NR must be filed for each When submitting the initial Form NR, the Agent must include either a check for $425 to cover the annual fee, or the Form ST- 5 if the Agent represents a non-profit. In addition to the fee, the Agent must also submit two 2x2 passport sized photos for the identification badge. If submitting a check, it should be payable to the State of New Jersey, Election Law Enforcement Commission

22 Notice of Representation (Form NR) Any Agent or Represented Entity not a resident of the state of New Jersey, or not a corporation of the State of New Jersey or authorized to do business in New Jersey, must file a Consent to Service of Process (Form L-3) along with their initial Notice of Representation After filing the Form NR, an Agent must notify the Commission within 15 days of any changes in the information on the form or not later than the filing date of the next quarterly report, whichever comes first. Changes in information include, but are not limited to, changes in the Agents business name, address or phone number Once an Agent is registered, they are required to renew their status on or before November 15 th of each year by submitting the annual fee and a new set of photographs

23 Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) All Agents must file a quarterly report of their lobbying activity with the Commission The quarterly report (Form Q-4) is due on the 10 th of April, July, October and January of each year The April report covers activity from January 1 to March 31; the July report covers activity from April 1 to June 30; the October report covers activity from July 1 to September 30; and the January report covers activity from October 1 to December 31

24 Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) Reporting of Legislation or Regulation: For reporting of legislation, the Commission provides on its website, Listing of Subject Headings. Report the subject heading that best represents the subject area of lobbying For reporting of regulations, use the categories listed in the New Jersey Register which are provided on the Commissions website, Listing of Subject Headings Provide the Senate or Assembly bill number or proposed rule number. If you are lobbying on a matter that has not been introduced as a bill or proposed as a regulation, list none

25 Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) Reporting of Legislation or Regulation: Indicate next to the bill number or proposed rule number if the legislation or regulation was promoted or opposed Provide the bills primary sponsor or the rules agency. Agency includes a State agency, or authority, board or commission or other agency or instrumentality in or of a principal department of the Executive Branch of State Government Describe the bill in general. Regarding the appropriation bill or any supplemental appropriation bill, report the particular items within the appropriation bill lobbied on. For a regulation, provide the New Jersey Register title of the rule

26 Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) Reporting of Governmental Processes: List the type of governmental process Provide, if applicable, the identifier of the governmental process. This could consist of an executive order number, contract number or similar identifier. Enter none if no identifier exists Indicate if the governmental process was promoted or opposed Describe the governmental process. Provide as much detail as possible. Note that lobbying on a trade secret does not need to be reported in detail. Simply report that activity regarding a trade secret occurred during the quarter

27 Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) Reporting of Governmental Processes: Enter the name of the agency associated with the governmental process. Agency includes a State agency, or any authority, board, commission, or other agency or instrumentality in or of a principal department of the Executive Branch of State Government Provide the full name of the represented entity whose interest you lobbied

28 Notice of Termination (Form NT) Must be filed within 30 days of ceasing activities as a Governmental Affairs Agent. Form NT is used to either terminate all of your activities as an Agent, in which case you must surrender your badge, or it is used to terminate your representation of a particular Represented Entity Any person who has engaged the services of the Governmental Affairs Agent may file and sign the Notice of Termination on behalf of the terminated Agent You must also file Form NT when you change employment and you cease to be an Agent for a particular employer and you then become an Agent for a new employer. If your registration fee has been paid for the year, the Commission will issue you a new badge with a new number. No additional fee is charged during that year for the change in employer

29 Annual Report Who has to file an Annual Report? A Governmental Affairs Agent or Represented Entity who or which receives receipts or makes expenditures of more than $2,500 for the purpose of communicating with, or providing a benefit to, a high level State official for the purpose of influencing legislation, regulations, governmental processes, or for communicating with the general public The annual report is also filed by a person, other than a Governmental Affairs Agent, who receives receipts, or makes expenditures over $2,500 for the purposes of communicating with the general public (grassroots lobbying)

30 What is Communication with the General Public? A communication directed to the public rather than to a legislator, regulator or Executive Branch official Subject only to annual financial reporting Accordingly, a Represented Entity or Governmental Affairs Agent that engages in communication with the general public must include these costs on their annual report If communicating with the general public is the only type of lobbying engaged in by a group or individual, no Notice of Representation, Notice of Termination, or Quarterly Report is required The only form filed by individuals or groups engaging in communicating with the general public exclusively is the L1-G; filed if over $2500 has been raised or spent for communicating with the general public

31 What Types of Financial Activity are Reported Annually? Benefit passing over $25 a day or $200 per year to high level State officials* General communication costs of lobbying *Prior to passing a benefit, have the recipient check with their ethics liaison to determine whether or not they can accept the benefit

32 What Constitutes Benefit Passing? Benefit passing covers: *There is a record keeping exemption for passing a benefit of $5 or less Food and beverage Entertainment Travel and lodging Honoraria Loans Gifts or other things of value

33 Providing a Benefit to a High Level State Official What actions are not considered to be benefit passing? Providing a benefit to a high level State official if it constitutes a personal expression Food and beverage provided to a State official when they are an invited speaker to an event and they receive the same food and beverage provided to the other attendees

34 Providing a Benefit to a High Level State Official Notice of Lobbying Benefit: Agents are required to provide a written benefit notice to all public officials that have received a benefit no later than February 1 st This written notice must be given prior to the annual report being filed

35 What Communication Costs are Reported Annually? Communication costs cover: Salaries of Agents and their support personnel Travel and lodging cost for Agents Printed materials, postage, telephone, fax, receptions, direct mail pieces, newspaper ads, TV/radio broadcasts, and the Internet Assessments, membership fees and dues paid by the reporting entity

36 When is the Annual Report Filed? February 15 th of each year. The report will cover activity that took place during the prior calendar year Lobbying activity must be reported for the calendar year in which it was performed regardless of when it was billed

37 Record Keeping A Governmental Affairs Agent, Represented Entity, and persons or groups engaging in communication with the general public must make or obtain records and documents supporting the information filed on their reports for a period of three years Items that must be maintained include but are not limited to checks, bank statements, contracts and receipts A record or document of any single expenditure of $5 or less may be excluded from the requirement

38 Filing, Training and Other Information Filing Timely and Accurately: In order for a report to be filed on time, the report must be received by the Commission by 5:00pm on the filing date Postmarks are not relevant to the consideration of the date the report is filed If the reporting date falls on a weekend or a holiday, the next business day would become the filing date

39 Filing, Training and Other Information Filing Timely and Accurately: The original report must be filed with the Commission and the filer should keep a copy for their records The annual forms must be filed electronically. All other lobbying forms are Adobe fill-able and save-able All lobbying forms can be found on our website at When using the U.S. Postal Service (regular mail) to deliver reports send them to: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, PO Box 185, Trenton, NJ For a commercial delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc) or walk-in, use: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, 28 West State Street, 13 th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08608

40 Filing, Training and Other Information Training and Other Information: The Commission offers seminars for assistance in filing the quarterly and annual reports. For more information about the dates and times, please contact the Compliance Staff of the Commission any business day from 9:00am to 5:00pm at (609) or toll free within New Jersey at 1 (888) 313- ELEC. Also contact the Compliance Staff or visit our website if you have any questions regarding this PowerPoint or about the requirements of the Lobbying Act.


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