Recommendations on Lobbying
August 10th, 2011
The city Lobbying Commission, chaired by former City Councilmember Herbert Berman has issued its preliminary report, available here. The recommendations essentially reflect the likely changes Jane Timm reported on for Gotham Gazette last week.
In particular, the commission recommends expanding the definition of lobbying to include efforts to influence legislation before a bill is introduced – the law now covers only proposed legislation – or to keep a bill from being introduced. It also would extend to efforts to shape or stop executive orders by the mayor.
The commission also seeks to have the city raise the threshold at which one must register as a lobbyist from $2,000 to $5,000. The increase, the commission anticipates, would reduce the number of lobbyists in the city by about 40 but would still cover around 99 percent of the money spent on lobbying here.
The report notes that some groups had hoped to raise the threshold still further. The commission said it will consider recommending a rise to $10,000 on its final report – but only for organizations that spend that money lobbying only on their own behalf.
In the report, the commission also describes some suggestions it heard and rejected, such as moving regulation of lobbying from the city clerk’s office to another agency.
The report still needs to become final. When that happens, it will go to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council who, if they agree with the recommendation, can propose bills incorporating the suggestions for passage by the council.By Gail Robinson on August 10, 2011, 5:27 pm
In category: City Hall, Governing | 1 Comment »