TITLE 22
General Assembly

CHAPTER 22-10
Lobbying

SECTION 22-10-10


§ 22-10-10 Duties and powers of the secretary of state. [Repealed.ffective January 1, 2017.].

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 lobbyists.

(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 that engage any person as a lobbyist and for all lobbyists that 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 provide instruction 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 § 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 § 22-10-11(b).

(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 §§ 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 that 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 met.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1988, ch. 436, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 428, § 4; P.L. 2006, ch. 429, § 4; P.L. 2011, ch. 283, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 298, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 102, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 121, § 1.)