Effort to update Delaware lobby rules advances

Lobbyists in Delaware could soon have new reporting requirements if legislation up for debate in Dover is approved.

This week, the state Senate approved a plan that would require lobbyists to file their reports with the Public Integrity Commission online within five days of contacting a lawmaker or state official as part of lobbying for a proposed law or a client.  Under the current requirements, lobbyists only have to make quarterly filings of paper reports about their work.

Senate President Pro Tem Anthony DeLuca says the measure, passed by the Senate 15-5, will give residents more information about what goes on in Legislative Hall. “This is a first step.  It’s an important first step in modernizing the process for the Public Integrity Commission in requiring the lobbyists to report what issues they’re actually working on when they’re down here working.”  

While the measure calls for more frequent reporting of contact, it doesn’t change the definition of who is considered a lobbyist under Delaware law.  “If you’re a lobbyist under the current statute, you’re a lobbyist under this statute.  If you’re not a lobbyist under the current statute, you’re not required to report under this one.”

The bill now moves to the state House where Speaker Robert Gilligan has said it will reach Gov. Jack Markell’s desk before lawmakers break for the year at the end of June.

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