Chapter 283

2011 -- S 0735

Enacted 07/12/11





     Introduced By: Senators Pichardo, and Goodwin

     Date Introduced: March 23, 2011


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Sections 22-10-6, 22-10-8 and 22-10-10 of the General Laws in Chapter 22-

10 entitled "Lobbying" are hereby amended to read as follows:


     22-10-6. Entry of names of lobbyists on register required. -- (a) Every person,

corporation, or association that engages any person to act as a lobbyist as defined in section 22-

10-2 shall, after the commencement of the annual legislative session and within seven (7) days

after the date of the employment, cause the name of the person, corporation, or association and

the name of the person so engaged, or agreed to be engaged, to be entered in the register as

provided in section 22-10-5 in the office of the secretary of state. It shall also be the duty of the

person so engaged as a lobbyist to enter or cause to be entered his or her name in the register

within seven (7) days after his or her date of employment. Upon the termination of the

engagement, that fact shall be entered opposite the name of any person so engaged by the

employer or employee.

     (b) No person, corporation or association shall be allowed to cause the name of the

person, corporation or association and the name of the person so engaged to be entered into the

register of the office of the secretary of state unless full compliance, if any required, of the

provisions of this chapter have been met for the prior calendar year.


     22-10-8. Identification badge. -- (a) There shall be issued by the secretary of state to

every person who shall qualify as a legislative lobbyist, as provided in this chapter, and who shall

have complied with the provisions of this chapter for the prior calendar year, if applicable, an

identification badge evidencing qualification in the form as shall be prescribed by the secretary of

state. Every lobbyist shall conspicuously display this identification badge on his or her clothing

while in the state house at all times of the day during any legislative session, special legislative

session, and at all times of the day during any committee meeting or joint committee meeting of

the general assembly. The color of the identification badge shall be changed each legislative year.

The badge shall include, but not be limited to, the word "Lobbyist" in bold print as well as the

name of the lobbyist, the year, the registration number of the lobbyist, and the name of the


      (b) An annual fee equal to the actual cost of preparing the badge, but not exceeding five

dollars ($5.00), shall be paid by the lobbyist. The fee shall be paid to the secretary of state at the

time of registration for deposit in the state's general treasury.


     22-10-10. Duties and powers of the secretary of state. -- The secretary of state shall

have authority to perform any duties that are necessary to implement the provisions of this

chapter. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the secretary of state is authorized and

empowered to:

      (1) Develop forms for the making of the required financial reports.

      (2) Develop one register for legislative lobbyists and one register for limited activity


      (3) Adopt rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

      (4) Prepare and make available for public inspection through the office of the secretary

of state summaries of all reports.

      (5) Prepare and publish a manual for all persons, corporations, or associations which

engage any person as a lobbyist and for all lobbyists which sets forth the requirements of this

chapter and conduct an annual education program for lobbyists to review the requirements of this

chapter and chapter 139 of title 42 regarding lobbying activities and construction on codes of

ethics and conflicts of interest.

      (6) Ascertain whether any person, corporation, association, or lobbyist has failed to

register or file reports or has filed an incomplete or inaccurate report; and the secretary may, for

good cause shown, extend the dates upon which reports are required to be filed.

      (7) Conduct investigations and/or hearings relative to alleged violations of this chapter

either on his or her own initiative or upon receipt of a verified written complaint, which

complaint shall, upon pain and penalty of perjury, be based upon actual knowledge and not

merely on information and belief. Upon completion of the investigation, if the secretary of state

has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, the secretary may convene a hearing for the

purpose of taking evidence and receiving testimony regarding the alleged violation. At this

hearing, the person alleged to have committed the violation shall be afforded the opportunity to

present evidence and offer testimony in his or her defense. Upon completion of the hearing, if the

secretary of state determines by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation has occurred, the

secretary shall order the lobbyist or person engaging a lobbyist to file any report or amended

report that is necessary to immediately correct the violation. If the secretary determines by clear

and convincing evidence that the violation was intentional and that the violator failed to comply

when given notice of the deficiency, then he or she may impose an administrative penalty as

provided in section 22-10-11(a). Any determination and/or administrative penalty imposed by the

secretary of state may be appealed by the aggrieved party to superior court pursuant to the

provisions of chapter 35 of title 42. If the secretary of state determines that the nature of the

violation was of such seriousness and willfulness as to warrant a criminal complaint, he or she

may refer the violation to the attorney general for prosecution as provided for in section 22-10-


      (8) Administer oaths.

      (9) Prepare and publish annually by March first (1st), a report on lobbying in Rhode

Island to be submitted to the governor, the speaker of the house, the house majority leader, the

house minority leader, the senate president, the senate majority leader, the senate minority leader,

and members of the ethics commission. The annual report shall include information on lobbying

activities as provided in sections 22-10-4, 22-10-5, 22-10-9, 42-139-3, 42-139-4, 42-139-5, and

42-139-6. The report shall be made available electronically on the secretary of state's website.

     (10) Deny any person, corporation, or association which engages any person as a lobbyist

and/or any lobbyist the ability to register with its office pursuant to section 12 of this chapter until

such time as full compliance with this chapter, for the prior calendar year, if applicable, has been



     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.