Law firm requests a Commission opinion as to whether lobbying includes efforts on behalf of an employer that are designed to stimulate action by the Governor or members of the legislature for or against a measure currently pending at the Federal level and similar action for or against a measure currently pending in the legislature or agencies of another State. In each instance, the activity referred to is (a) letters or public statements by the Governor or the State legislature and (b) a statement by the Governor that it is State policy to support or oppose the Federal or out-of-State local measure.
Is it lobbying under the Regulation of Lobbying Act to solicit letters or public statements from the Governor or the State legislature or to solicit a statement of State policy from the Governor in support or in opposition to matters pending before the Federal government or the government of another State?
Section 3(b) of the Act defines lobbying as "attempts to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by either house of the legislature or the approval or disapproval of any legislation by the governor, or the adoption or rejection of any rule or regulation having the force and effect of law or the outcome of any rate-making proceeding by a state agency." The State of New York has no authority over matters, legislative or otherwise, pending before the Federal government or the governments of other States; therefore, attempts to convince New York State governmental decision-makers to use the prestige and influence of their respective offices on matters before such other jurisdictions is not lobbying under the Act. However, if the subject matter is the same as that of any matter which is before either house of the Legislature or before the Governor for approval or disapproval, lobbying on such could come under the regulatory provisions of the Act.
Any attempt to influence the State legislature or the Governor to take a stand on matters pending before the Federal government or the government of another State is not lobbying under the Act, unless the subject matter is the same as any matter before the Legislature or the Governor for approval or disapproval.
APPROVED BY COMMISSION: MAY 9, 1979
CONCURRING: CHAIRMAN MARGARET C. ANDRONACO, VICE CHAIRMAN D. CLINTON DOMINICK, FRANCES FOX, and GAIL HELLENBRAND.
DISSENTING: S. STANLEY KREUTZER/S/