County Commissioners Move Forward With Changes to Lobbying Regulations

County Commissioners Move Forward With Changes to Lobbying Regulations

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Leon County Commissioners approved an ordinance amending the County’s lobbying regulations. The ordinance amends Chapter 2, Article XII of the Leon County Code of Laws.

The ordinance clarifies definitions related to lobbying and who qualifies as a lobbyist. In the ordinance, “lobbyist” refers to “a person who is employed and receives payment for lobbying, or who contracts for economic consideration for the purpose of lobbying, or a person who is principally employed for governmental affairs by another person or agency to lobby on behalf of that other person or agency.”

The ordinance also outlines new regulation enforcement models, including processes for filing and investigating complaints as well as guidelines for lobbying violation penalties. According to the meeting agenda, under the current enforcement provision, a violation requires a citation to be issued by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office as well as the involvement of the county court and the State Attorney.

Additionally, the ordinance modifies lobbyist exemptions. The ordinance no longer contains the existing factual information request form, and it leaves out a new exemption that was considered.

“Though considered, the proposed ordinance does not include a new exemption providing that individuals who otherwise qualify as lobbyists may speak at County publicly noticed meetings without having to first register,” staff reports.

Staff reports that adding an exemption like this would have removed the requirement for lobbyists to file quarterly compensation reports, which aims to provide transparency.

The ordinance also outlines additional modifications to the lobbyist registration process, including removing the notary requirement and developing an online registration form.

The public hearing for the ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 13, 2020.

5 Responses to "County Commissioners Move Forward With Changes to Lobbying Regulations"

  1. Folks, corruption of our government is not done by lobbyist. Corruption and violation of public trust is done by governmental officials, elected and appointed with a frail or non functioning moral compass. Perhaps over simplistic would be an analogy of a government official driving a car with a lobbyist sitting in the passenger seat and when coming to a red light the lobbyist says “run the red light and we can get were we are going faster”. If the government official runs the red light who is responsible for breaking the law and maybe causing a wreck? Not the lobbyist.. So all this crapola requiring registration for lobbyist is nothing more than a smoke screen to try and convince the public that the government official who was driving is not responsible for running the red light.

    1. You are 100% correct. A classic two-step to divert accountability away from the real crime and criminals.

      “It’s your fault because your store has nice stuff in it, and made me break in an steal it”

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