State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-139
Executive Branch and Public Corporation Lobbying

SECTION 42-139-2

§ 42-139-2 Definitions. [Repealed effective January 1, 2017.].

For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions shall apply:

(1)(i) "Lobbying" means acting directly or soliciting others to act for the purpose of promoting, opposing, or influencing: (A) any policy-making decisions or policy-making actions of the executive branch of government or of public corporations; or (B) any decisions or actions on the part of the executive branch of government or any public corporation involving the sale, lease or other alienation or encumbrance of any real property owned or leased by the state or any public corporation.

(ii) None of the following activities shall constitute "lobbying" for purposes of this chapter:

(A) Participation in or attendance at a rally, protest or other public assemblage organized for the expression of political or social views, positions or beliefs;

(B) The solicitation of information about the rules, procedures, forms, programs or requirements of a department, agency, board, commission or public corporation;

(C) Advocacy in connection with matters involving the determination of the rights, duties or obligations of an individual made on a case-by-case basis;

(D) The issuance and dissemination of any publication, including data, research or analysis on public policy issues that is available to the general public, and including also any news media reports, editorials, commentary or advertisements;

(E) Participation in a governmental advisory committee or task force;

(F) Representation of one's own, wholly owned business entity;

(G) Participation in a bid conference or responding to request for proposals issued by a state agency or department or by a public corporation;

(H) Responding to a subpoena or to a request for information made by a state agency or department or by a public corporation;

(I) Representation of a client in connection with the granting or denial of a permit, license or benefit, or with potential disciplinary action against the client; or

(J) Participation in any proceeding pursuant to chapter 35 of this title.

(2)(i) "Lobbyist" means a person who is employed and receives payment, or who contracts for economic compensation, for the purpose of lobbying, or a person who is principally employed for governmental affairs by another person or governmental entity to lobby on behalf of that other person or governmental entity.

(ii) None of the following persons shall be deemed a "lobbyist" for purposes of this chapter:

(A) A member of the Rhode Island Bar participating in an administrative or judicial proceeding;

(B) A qualified expert witness testifying in an administrative proceeding;

(C) An employee of any branch of federal, state or local government or of any public corporation to the extent that he or she seeks only to influence or affect decisions or actions of other governmental entities and public corporations solely on its own behalf;

(D) Any member of the general assembly, any general officer of the state, any head of any executive department of state government, and any judge of this state acting in his or her official capacity.

(3) "Compensation" means any remuneration received or to be received for services rendered as a lobbyist, whether in the form of a fee, salary, forbearance, forgiveness, reimbursement for expenses, or any other form of recompense, and any combination thereof. Where lobbying is incidental to a person's regular employment, his or her compensation for lobbying shall be reported as such and the lobbyist shall record the dollar amount of that portion of his or her compensation that is attributed to the time spent pursuing lobbying activities. In such instances, it shall not be necessary to disclose one's total salary or the percentage of one's time spent on lobbying. The lobbyist shall be required to disclose only his or her best good faith estimate of the dollar amount of which corresponds to the portion of his or her time spent on lobbying activities.

(4) "Person" means an individual, firm, business, corporation, association, partnership, or other group.

(5) "Public corporation" means a corporate entity within the purview of §§ 35-18-2(9) and 35-20-5(4) which is considered a governmental agency but which has a distinct legal existence from the state or any municipality, does not constitute a department of state or municipal government, and has the ability to sue or be sued in its own name.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 297, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 375, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 216, § 60.)