A: The requirements about who must have a lobbying license are fairly detailed. In short, a lobbying license is only required if you attempt to influence state legislation or an administrative rule on behalf of a business or organization that pays you, and if you communicate with a state official or legislative employee about such matters on 5 or more days within a 6-month reporting period.
For additional details, consult the When Must an Individual Obtain a License to Lobby guide published by the Ethics Commission.
A: The following activities do not constitute lobbying under Wisconsin law:
A: Organizations which intend to spend less than $500 in lobbying-related expenditures in a calendar year may register as limited lobbying principals. This $500 limit includes portions of salary attributable to lobbying. The fee to register as a limited lobbying principal is $20. In the event that a limited lobbying principal’s lobbying expenditures exceed $500 in a calendar year, the organization is required to notify the Wisconsin Ethics Commission and pay the difference between the two registrations ($355) within 10 days of exceeding the threshold.
A: First, click “Registration and Licensing” and then “Amend a Lobbyist License”. Select your name from the dropdown menu on the following screen and click “Amend a Lobbyist License” below the dropdown. At the next screen, scroll down to the bottom and click “Save and Continue”. Now you are at the license type page. Click the radio button next to “I need a license to lobby on behalf of two or more organizations (cost $650)”. Click “Save and Continue”. Continue through each following page until the end; click “Certify”.
There will be a button on the next screen that says “Pay Fees”; click on that. You should see a charge of $300 for the amendment of single to multiple license (the difference between the costs of the two license types). Check the box next to the fee and click “Review and Check Out”. At the next screen, choose whether you want to pay online or pay with cash or check. if paying with cash or a paper check, please print out the generated invoice and remit $300, along with the invoice, to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission at P.O. Box 7984, Madison WI, 53707.
A: Lobbying fees are:
Remember, every lobbyist must be licensed and authorized.
A: Yes, your assistant should create her/his own user name in Eye on Lobbying. Then you can give them permissions to access your lobbying account by amending your lobbyist license. You can give s/he permissions to do one, two or all of the following: pay your fees, report your time, and amend your license.
A: Registered principals must report to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission each bill, budget bill subject, proposed rule, and topic on which the organization makes a lobbying communication. (Wis. Stats. §13.67) The principal, through an authorized individual, must report the bill, budget bill subject, proposed rule, or topic to the Commission within 15 days of the first lobbying communication. This requirement includes reporting of prospective or suggested legislation that has been discussed with a state public official; in other words, the support of or opposition to legislation that has not yet been created. Lobbying on the budget bill must be reported by subject and not under the bill number.
Registered principals may be required to report on the same issue more than once. For example, Principal A is interested in creating a sales tax exemption for the sale of pet food. This would be reported as a topic. Later, the sales tax exemption gets introduced as a legislative proposal. Now Principal A must report an interest in that legislative proposal. And if the sales tax exemption eventually became part of the budget, Principal A would have to report an interest in the specific budget bill subject the issue is under. However, making multiple communications on the same issue in the same category does not necessitate multiple reports.
A: Yes. To submit a Lobbyist Time Report when you have not lobbied in the last six months:
A: The Statement of Lobbying Activities and Expenditures (SLAE) is the report principals are required to file every 6 months, regardless of activity level. In other words, the report is required of all registered principals, whether they have engaged in lobbying during the reporting period or not.
The report is due every January 31, for July – December of the prior year, and July 31, for January-June. Detailed instructions on how to file the SLAE can be found here.
For further assistance, please review information at the Lobbying section of the Ethics Commission website and the Eye on Lobbying User's Guide.
You may also contact the Wisconsin Ethics Commission by:
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