Registration and reporting requirements for those engaged in lobbying on a local level in New York State initially began on April 1, 2002 (Chapter 17, Laws of 2001). Additional changes to the definition of local lobbying were made by Chapter 1, Laws of 2005, to take effect in January 2006, and by Chapter 56, Laws of 2015, taking effect April 2015.
The reporting requirements set forth in Legislative Law Article 1-A (the New York State “Lobbying Act”) apply to entities lobbying municipalities. As of April 13, 2015, the definition of municipality in the Lobbying Act has been expanded to include:
- any county, city, village, town, or special district with a population exceeding 5,000;
- any industrial development agency (“IDA”) in a jurisdictional subdivision with a population exceeding 5,000; and
- all school districts, local public authorities and public benefit corporations.
Thus, if a lobbyist incurs, expends or receives, or anticipates incurring, expending or receiving in excess of $5,000 annually in compensation and expenses for lobbying activities (cumulatively across all clients) before such municipality, the lobbyist and the client of the lobbyist are generally required to file disclosure reports with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”). JCOPE, in turn, makes these reports publicly available on its website.
Click HERE for an interactive map showing cities, towns, villages and industrial development agencies which fall under the New York State Lobbying Act.
Click HERE for alphabetical listings of cities, towns, villages and industrial development agencies which fall under the New York State Lobbying Act.
"Municipality" shall mean any jurisdictional subdivision of the State, including but not limited to counties, cities, towns, villages, improvement districts and special districts, with a population of more than five thousand; and industrial development agencies in jurisdictional subdivisions with a population of more than five thousand; and public authorities, and public corporations.
"Public official" on the local level shall mean municipal officers and employees including an officer or employee of a municipal entity, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof and in the case of a county, shall be deemed to also include any officer or employee paid from county funds. No person shall be deemed to be a municipal officer or employee solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer, except a fire chief or assistant fire chief.
"Lobbying" or "Lobbying activities" on the local level are defined as any attempt to influence the passage or defeat of any local law, ordinance, resolution or regulation by any municipality or subdivision thereof or adoption or rejection of any rule, regulation, or resolution having the force and effect of local law, ordinance, resolution or regulation or any rate making proceeding by any municipality or subdivision thereof. Beginning in 2006, lobbying will also mean attempts to influence any determination:
- by a public official, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official related to a governmental procurement, or by an officer or employee of the unified court system, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with an officer or employee of the unified court system related to a governmental procurement;
- the approval, disapproval, implementation or administration of tribal-state compacts, memoranda of understanding, or any other tribal-state agreements and any other state actions related to Class III gaming as provided in 25 U.S.C. § 2701, except to the extent designation of such activities as "lobbying" is barred by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, by a public official or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official in relation to such approval, disapproval, implementation or administration; and
- the adoption, issuance, rescission, modification or terms of an Executive Order issued by the Chief Executive Officer of a municipality.
All forms may be found under Lobbying Forms and Instructions on this web site. The Lobbyist Statement of Registration form has three (3) boxes: one for State lobbying, one for Local lobbying and one for Both. Therefore, for each client, a lobbyist will check only one applicable box. All other forms, due dates, compensation, expenses etc. will remain unchanged.
If you have any questions concerning local lobbying or the Lobbying Act, please contact the Commission, at 518-408-3976.