The New York State Superintendent of Insurance requested knowledgeable individuals in the insurance industry to serve on a committee to advise the State Insurance Department on how to implement certain legislation. In addition, the Joint Legislative Task Force to Study and Evaluate the Parimutuel Racing and Breeding Industry was established and an official of a prominent horsemen's association was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Task Force to participate in hearings and meetings and prepare recommendations.
Is participation, at the invitation of a governmental agency, in preparation of advisory opinions and other materials for the agency exempt from the provisions of the Regulation of Lobbying Act relative to attempting to influence certain statutorily-defined governmental decision making?
Subsections 12(a)1 and 2 of the Act read: "(a) the provisions of this act shall not apply to: 1. Persons engaged in drafting of legislation, rules, regulations, or rates, advising clients and rendering opinions on proposed legislation, rules, regulations, or rates, where such professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative or executive action on such legislation, or administrative action on such rules, regulations, or rates; 2. The State of New York, or any officer, employee, counsel, or agent of the state, when acting in such official capacity;".
Although service on these governmental advisory bodies may result in influencing governmental decisions on legislation, rules, regulations, or rates, each member of these advisory bodies is acting as an "agent" of the State of New York while doing so, and is thus exempt under Section 12(a)2 of the Act. Further, the nature of the work being done--drafting recommendations, giving advice, and rendering opinions for the client, the State of New York--would exempt each such member under Section 12(a)1 of the Act.
Participation, at the invitation of a governmental agency, in preparing advisory opinions and other materials for the agency is an exempt activity under Section 12(a)1 and 2 of the Act, even though the result of such work may influence governmental decision-making as defined in the Act.
APPROVED BY COMMISSION: JULY 18, 1979
CONCURRING: CHAIRMAN MARGARET C. ANDRONACO, VICE CHAIRMAN D. CLINTON DOMINICK, FRANCES FOX, GAIL HELLENBRAND and S. STANLEY KREUTZER./S/