The Wisconsin Ethics Commission administers the most far reaching lobbying disclosure laws in the United States. Unlike many states where lobbyists may routinely purchase meals and entertainment for officials, Wisconsin law forbids lobbyists and the lobbying principals that employ them to provide meals, drinks, lodging, transportation, or other items or services to Wisconsin’s officials. Wisconsin has expressly banned lobbyists from entertaining legislators since 1957. Wisconsin leads the nation in forbidding special interest groups from providing favors to elected officials.
Wisconsin’s law also requires more disclosure about lobbying activities than any other state. Lobbying principals report in real time about the matters on which they are lobbying. The information is searchable by issue, bill, lobbying principal and legislative session. It displays every principal lobbying on a bill or legislative proposal, as well as how much time and money each lobbying principal puts into its lobbying effort every six months.
Register and Report
Organizations attempting to influence the legislature must register with the Board, and individuals lobbying on an organization's behalf must be licensed. Reports of their activities are required on a regular basis.
Does your organization need to register as a lobbying principal? Click here for more information.
When must an individual obtain a license to lobby? Click here for more information.
What are the reporting requirements once an organization is registered as a lobbying principal? Click here for more information.
Statutes, guidelines, and opinions of the Board.
The Board offers regular training opportunities for lobbyists and lobbying principals.
Click here to access to the Lobbying Law - Chapter 13, Wisconsin State Statutes.
Click here to access GAB Administrative Rules.
Click here to access Lobbying Guidelines
Click here to access Lobbying Opinions
Click here to access the Online Lobbying Tutorial