Corporations, trade associations, non-profits, other organizations, and individuals face significant penalties and reputational harm if they violate state laws governing corporate and personal political activities, the registration of lobbyists, lobbying reporting, or the giving of gifts or items of value to government officials or employees. To help organizations and individuals comply with these rules, Covington has published a detailed survey—over 300 pages—that summarizes the campaign finance, lobbying, and gift rules adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In the survey, the entries for each state are divided into three sections, one section addressing lobbying rules, another section addressing the rules governing the giving of gifts and items of value to government officials and employees, and a third addressing campaign finance laws. Information is provided in a table question and answer format intended to address common questions with practical guidance.
The lobbying section addresses questions such as who is required to register and file reports, which activities trigger registration, and common exceptions; whether state law covers procurement lobbying, grassroots, and/or goodwill lobbying; whether state law regulates local lobbying; and the timing for registration. It also covers common post-registration questions such as reporting deadlines and training requirements.
The gift section addresses whether state law imposes a general restriction on gifts to government employees regardless of source and whether special restrictions apply to gifts from lobbyists or lobbyist principals. Common exceptions, including for meals and travel, and dollar thresholds, are addressed.
The campaign finance section addresses corporate contribution prohibitions and restrictions, corporate contributor registration and reporting requirements, and state law governing federal PAC registration and reporting requirements, among other topics.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.