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Lobbying rules apply to out of state meetings

No lobby spending reports were required to be filed in June. The next reports, due September 15, will include all lobbying expenditures from May 1 to August 31, and must include all expenditures made in conjunction with the legislative conferences held during the summer.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are preparing to hold annual meetings which legislators, legislative staff, lobbyists, and employers of lobbyists will be attending. Kentucky is a member of NCSL and SLC, and the General Assembly also pays for ALEC memberships for individual legislators.

This year, the annual meeting of SLC will be in Memphis, Tennessee from July 16-20; ALEC’s annual meeting will be in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 2-6; and the NCSL Legislative Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas from August 8-11.

According to the Code of Legislative Ethics, legislators who have approval from the presiding officer of the chamber in which the legislator serves may accept prepaid transportation, food, and lodging or be reimbursed for actual expenses for out-of-state travel to legislative conferences.

All ethics rules apply at the conferences. For example, if a lobbyist or employer sponsors an event held in San Antonio during the NCSL meeting, and invites members of the General Assembly, the sponsor must report details of the event on the spending report filed with the Ethics Commission by September 15.

Likewise, if a lobbyist or employer provides food or beverages for individual legislators, family members or staff during any of the meetings, details of that spending must be reported, and there is a $100 annual limit on the amount that may be spent on a legislator and his or her immediate family by the lobbyist and employer collectively.






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