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  • NJ A395
  • Establishes "Local Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act."
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill extends the same disclosure, reporting, and other requirements that govern the activities of governmental affairs agents to their activities with respect to all local government levels. Under the bill, a governmental affairs agent acting on behalf of a lobbyist who seeks to influence a local measure, local regulations, the local governmental process, or to provide a benefit to certain local officials, would be required to file a statement of representation with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) prior to attempting to exercise such influence or provide such benefit. These activities would include communications with: (1) the local governing body of a municipality, a county, a local authority, or a school district, including a charter school; (2) the local chief executive of the municipality, county, authority, or school district; (3) their respective staffs, as defined in the bill, which includes the heads of principal local government departments and agencies; and (4) local government officers and employees, which includes the deputy heads of principal local government departments and agencies. The bill defines a "local measure" as including all ordinances, resolutions, amendments, nominations and appointments pending or proposed in a local governing body, and all ordinances and resolutions which having been approved by the local governing body are pending implementation. A "local regulation" includes any local administrative rule or regulation affecting the rights, privileges, benefits, duties, obligations, or liabilities of any one or more persons subject by law to regulation as a class, but does not include a local administrative action (1) to issue, renew or deny, or, in an adjudicative action, to suspend or revoke, a license, order, permit or waiver under any law or administrative rule or regulation, (2) to impose a penalty, or (3) to effectuate an administrative reorganization within a single local government department or agency. The "local governmental process" includes the promulgation of local administrative orders; rate setting; the development, negotiation, award, modification or cancellation of public contracts; issuance, denial, modification, renewal, revocation or suspension of permits, licenses or waivers; procedures for bidding; imposition or modification of fines and penalties; procedures for purchasing; rendition of local administrative determinations; and the award, denial, modification, renewal or termination of financial assistance, grants and loans. Among other provisions, the bill: (1) requires a governmental affairs agent to file with ELEC a statement or signed notice of representation prior to any communication with, or providing a benefit to, a member of the local governing body, staff of the local governing body, the local chief executive, staff of the local chief executive, or a local government officer or employee. The statement must disclose, among other information, the name and address of the governmental affairs agent, the lobbyist retaining the services of that agent, and the specific or general types of local measures, local regulations, or local governmental processes that the agent is employed to influence (section 4); (2) prohibits a lobbyist or a governmental affairs agent from offering or giving or agreeing to offer or give, directly or indirectly, any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium or other thing of value to a local government officer or employee or a member of the local governing body or staff of the local governing body, totaling more than $250 in a calendar year. This prohibition also applies with respect to each member of the immediate family of a member of the local governing body, which means a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the member residing in the same household as the member of the local governing body. The bill also provides for certain exemptions (section 6); (3) prohibits a member of the local governing body, the local chief executive, or the head of a principal local government department or agency from acting as a governmental affairs agent with respect to any local measure, local regulation, or local governmental process of the municipality, county, authority, or school district with which the person holds office or is employed and for one year next subsequent to the termination of the office or employment of the person (section 10); (4) requires the governmental affairs agent to file with ELEC quarterly reports of his or her activities (section 12); and requires the governmental affairs agent or lobbyist to file a full annual report of the moneys or other things of value received for, and of those amounts expended in, communications with or the awarding of benefits to intended recipients, governmental affairs agents or lobbyists, and the general public or publisher of the communication, when the annual amounts either received or expended exceed $2,500 in any year (section 13); (5) require each governmental affairs agent or lobbyist to provide each recipient of benefits a full written and certified report describing the benefit, including a description of the benefit, the amount of the benefit, the date it was provided and to whom it was paid by February 1 of each year (section 15); (6) empower ELEC with specific power and duties for its implementation of the various requirements in the bill, including the ability to establish and collect reasonable fees for the filing of statements of representation and quarterly and annual reports, and an annual fee to be paid by each governmental affairs agent for allocation to ELEC; and (7) establish the due process to be followed to prosecute violations of this bill, including the penalties for violations. This bill is modeled upon the "Legislative and Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act," P.L.1971, c.183 (C.52:13C-18 et seq., which governs the activities and disclosures of governmental affairs agents and lobbyists who seek to influence legislation, regulations, and governmental processes at the State government level. The intent of this bill is to impose the same or substantially the same provisions of current law on governmental affairs agents and lobbyists who seek to influence local measures, regulations, and governmental processes at the county, municipality, local authority, and school district level.
Judiciary
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified