Nrs: Chapter 218H - Lobbying

Link to law: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-218H.html
Published: 2015

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[Rev. 11/21/2013 10:13:15

AM--2013]



CHAPTER 218H - LOBBYING

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 218H.010        Short

title.

NRS 218H.020        Legislative

declaration.

NRS 218H.030        Definitions.

NRS 218H.050        “Expenditure”

defined.

NRS 218H.060        “Gift”

defined.

NRS 218H.070        “Legislative

action” defined.

NRS 218H.080        “Lobbyist”

defined.

NRS 218H.090        “Member

of the Legislative Branch” defined.

NRS 218H.100        “Person”

defined.

REGISTRATION

NRS 218H.200        Registration

statement required; filing with Director.

NRS 218H.210        Contents

of registration statement.

NRS 218H.220        Supplementary

registration statement required upon change in registration information.

NRS 218H.230        Notice

required upon termination of lobbying activities; duty to file report for final

reporting period.

IDENTIFICATION BADGES

NRS 218H.300        Issuance

by Director; different color for each classification; requirement to wear in

Legislative Building.

REPORTS OF LOBBYING ACTIVITIES

NRS 218H.400        Duty

to file; form; contents; itemization of expenditures; audits and

investigations.

NRS 218H.410        Fee

for late filing; waivers and exemptions.

ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

NRS 218H.500        Regulations;

fees; classification of lobbyists; forms; accounting and reporting methods;

filing system; public inspection; retention of records; list of registrants.

NRS 218H.510        Inspection

of registration statements and reports of lobbying activities; notice of noncompliance.

NRS 218H.520        Publication

of reports regarding lobbying activities; release of name of noncomplying

lobbyist; sanctions for noncompliance.

NRS 218H.530        Investigations

of irregularities and noncompliance; grounds and procedure for suspension or

revocation of registration; hearing and appeal; renewal of registration after

suspension or revocation.

NRS 218H.540        Injunctive

relief.

UNLAWFUL ACTS; PENALTIES

NRS 218H.900        Unlawful

for lobbyist to misrepresent Legislator’s authorization to request professional

services from Legislative Counsel Bureau.

NRS 218H.930        Unlawful

acts involving lobbyists and lobbying.

NRS 218H.960        Criminal

penalties.

_________

_________

GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 218H.010  Short title.  This

chapter may be cited as the Nevada Lobbying Disclosure Act.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1170; A 1977,

1528)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 218.900)

      NRS 218H.020  Legislative declaration.  The

Legislature declares that the operation of responsible representative

government requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to

petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely

to individual Legislators and to legislative committees their opinions on

legislation.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1170; A 2011, 3251)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.902)

      NRS 218H.030  Definitions.  As

used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and

terms defined in NRS 218H.050 to 218H.100, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to

them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1170; A 1979, 1322; 2003, 2530; 2011, 3251)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.904)

      NRS 218H.050  “Expenditure” defined.  “Expenditure”

means any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan,

payment, pledge or subscription of money or anything of value, including cost

of entertainment, except the payment of a membership fee otherwise exempted

pursuant to NRS 218H.400, and any contract,

agreement, promise or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to

make any expenditure while the Legislature is in a regular or special session.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1170; A 2011, 3251)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.906)

      NRS 218H.060  “Gift” defined.

      1.  “Gift” means a payment, subscription,

advance, forbearance, rendering or deposit of money, services or anything of

value unless consideration of equal or greater value is received.

      2.  “Gift” does not include:

      (a) A political contribution of money or services

related to a political campaign;

      (b) A commercially reasonable loan made in the

ordinary course of business;

      (c) The cost of entertainment, including the cost

of food or beverages; or

      (d) Anything of value received from:

             (1) A member of the recipient’s immediate

family; or

             (2) A relative of the recipient or

relative of the recipient’s spouse within the third degree of consanguinity or

from the spouse of any such relative.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1993, 2587)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.908)

      NRS 218H.070  “Legislative action” defined.  “Legislative

action” means introduction, sponsorship, debate, voting and any other official

action on any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report and

any other matter pending or proposed in a legislative committee or in either

House, or on any matter which may be the subject of action by the Legislature.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 2011, 3251)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.910)

      NRS 218H.080  “Lobbyist” defined.

      1.  “Lobbyist” means, except as limited by

subsection 2, a person who:

      (a) Appears in person in the Legislative Building

or any other building in which the Legislature or any of its standing

committees hold meetings; and

      (b) Communicates directly with a member of the

Legislative Branch on behalf of someone other than himself or herself to

influence legislative action whether or not any compensation is received for

the communication.

      2.  “Lobbyist” does not include:

      (a) Persons who confine their activities to

formal appearances before legislative committees and who clearly identify

themselves and the interest or interests for whom they are testifying.

      (b) Employees of a bona fide news medium who meet

the definition of “lobbyist” only in the course of their professional duties

and who contact Legislators for the sole purpose of carrying out their news

gathering function.

      (c) Employees of departments, divisions or

agencies of the state government who appear before legislative committees only

to explain the effect of legislation related to their departments, divisions or

agencies.

      (d) Employees of the Legislature, Legislators,

legislative agencies or legislative commissions.

      (e) Elected officers of this State and its

political subdivisions who confine their lobbying activities to issues directly

related to the scope of the office to which they were elected.

      (f) Persons who contact the Legislators who are

elected from the district in which they reside.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1977, 1528; 1991, 2324; 2011, 3251)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.912)

      NRS 218H.090  “Member of the Legislative Branch” defined.  “Member of the Legislative Branch” means any

Legislator, any member of the Legislator’s staff or any assistant, employee or

other person employed with reference to the legislative duties of the Legislator.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1981, 1204; 2011, 3252)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.914)

      NRS 218H.100  “Person” defined.  “Person”

includes a group of persons acting in concert, whether or not formally

organized.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1981,

1204)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 218.916)

REGISTRATION

      NRS 218H.200  Registration statement required; filing with Director.  Every person who acts as a lobbyist shall, not

later than 2 days after the beginning of that activity, file a registration

statement with the Director in such form as the Director prescribes.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1979, 1322)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.918)

      NRS 218H.210  Contents of registration statement.  The

registration statement of a lobbyist must contain the following information:

      1.  The registrant’s full name, permanent

address, place of business and temporary address while lobbying.

      2.  The full name and complete address of

each person, if any, by whom the registrant is retained or employed or on whose

behalf the registrant appears.

      3.  A listing of any direct business

associations or partnerships involving any current Legislator and the

registrant or any person by whom the registrant is retained or employed. The

listing must include any such association or partnership constituting a source

of income or involving a debt or interest in real estate required to be

disclosed in a statement of financial disclosure made by a candidate for public

office or a public officer pursuant to NRS

281.571.

      4.  The name of any current Legislator for

whom:

      (a) The registrant; or

      (b) Any person by whom the registrant is retained

or employed,

Ê has, in

connection with a political campaign of the Legislator, provided consulting,

advertising or other professional services since the beginning of the preceding

regular session.

      5.  A description of the principal areas of

interest on which the registrant expects to lobby.

      6.  If the registrant lobbies or purports

to lobby on behalf of members, a statement of the number of members.

      7.  A declaration under penalty of perjury

that none of the registrant’s compensation or reimbursement is contingent, in

whole or in part, upon the production of any legislative action.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1171; A 1977, 1528; 1981, 1204;

1993, 2588;

2001, 1955;

2011, 3252)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.920)

      NRS 218H.220  Supplementary registration statement required upon change in

registration information.

      1.  Each person required to register shall

file a supplementary registration statement with the Director no later than 5

days after any change in the registrant’s last registration statement.

      2.  The supplementary registration

statement must include complete details concerning the changes that have

occurred.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1172; A 1979,

1322)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 218.924)

      NRS 218H.230  Notice required upon termination of lobbying activities; duty to

file report for final reporting period.  Each

person required to register shall file a notice of termination within 30 days

after the registrant ceases the activity that required registration, but this

does not relieve the registrant of the reporting requirement for that reporting

period.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1172)—(Substituted in revision

for NRS 218.922)

IDENTIFICATION BADGES

      NRS 218H.300  Issuance by Director; different color for each classification;

requirement to wear in Legislative Building.

      1.  The Director shall furnish an

appropriate identification badge to each lobbyist who files a registration

statement under this chapter. The identification badge for each classification

of lobbyist set forth in NRS 218H.500 must be a

different color.

      2.  The identification badge must be worn

by the lobbyist whenever the lobbyist appears in the Legislative Building.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1527; A 1979, 1323; 2011, 3673)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.929)

REPORTS OF LOBBYING ACTIVITIES

      NRS 218H.400  Duty to file; form; contents; itemization of expenditures;

audits and investigations.

      1.  Each registrant shall file with the

Director:

      (a) Within 30 days after the close of a regular

or special session, a final report signed under penalty of perjury concerning

the registrant’s lobbying activities; and

      (b) Between the 1st and 10th day of the month

after each month that the Legislature is in a regular or special session, a

report concerning the registrant’s lobbying activities during the previous

month, whether or not any expenditures were made.

      2.  Each report must:

      (a) Be on a form prescribed by the Director; and

      (b) Include the total of all expenditures, if

any, made by the registrant on behalf of a Legislator or an organization whose

primary purpose is to provide support for Legislators of a particular political

party and House, including expenditures made by others on behalf of the

registrant if the expenditures were made with the registrant’s express or

implied consent or were ratified by the registrant.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in

subsection 6, the report:

      (a) Must identify each Legislator and each

organization whose primary purpose is to provide support for Legislators of a

particular political party and House on whose behalf expenditures were made;

      (b) Must be itemized with respect to each such

Legislator and organization; and

      (c) Does not have to include any expenditure made

on behalf of a person other than a Legislator or an organization whose primary

purpose is to provide support for Legislators of a particular political party

and House, unless the expenditure is made for the benefit of a Legislator or

such an organization.

      4.  If expenditures made by or on behalf of

a registrant during the previous month exceed $50, the report must include a

compilation of expenditures, itemized in the manner required by the regulations

of the Legislative Commission, in the following categories:

      (a) Entertainment;

      (b) Expenditures made in connection with a party

or similar event hosted by the organization represented by the registrant;

      (c) Gifts and loans, including money, services

and anything of value provided to a Legislator, to an organization whose

primary purpose is to provide support for Legislators of a particular political

party and House, or to any other person for the benefit of a Legislator or such

an organization; and

      (d) Other expenditures directly associated with

legislative action, not including personal expenditures for food, lodging and

travel expenses or membership dues.

      5.  The Legislative Commission may

authorize an audit or investigation by the Legislative Auditor that is proper

and necessary to verify compliance with the provisions of this section. If the

Legislative Commission authorizes such an audit or investigation:

      (a) A lobbyist shall make available to the

Legislative Auditor all books, accounts, claims, reports, vouchers and other

records requested by the Legislative Auditor in connection with any such audit

or investigation.

      (b) The Legislative Auditor shall confine

requests for such records to those which specifically relate to the lobbyist’s

compliance with the reporting requirements of this section.

      6.  A report filed pursuant to this section

must not itemize with respect to each Legislator an expenditure if the

expenditure is the cost of a function to which every Legislator was invited.

For the purposes of this subsection, “function” means a party, meal or other

social event.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1172; A 1977, 1529; 1979,

1322; 1987, 831;

1989, 1974;

1991, 2325;

1993, 2588;

1997, 3072;

1999, 930; 2011, 3252)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.926)

      NRS 218H.410  Fee for late filing; waivers and exemptions.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this

section, a registrant who files an activity report after the time provided in NRS 218H.400 shall pay to the Director a fee for late

filing of $10 for each day that it was late, but the Director may reduce or

waive this fee upon a finding of just cause.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in this

subsection, the Legislative Commission may by regulation exempt a

classification of lobbyist from the fee for late filing. A veteran who does not

receive compensation for the veteran’s lobbying activities is exempt from the

fee for late filing if the veteran provides proof of the veteran’s discharge or

release from the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof

or the National Guard under honorable conditions.

      3.  An activity report with respect to

which a late filing fee has been paid by the registrant or waived by the

Director shall be deemed timely filed, and the late filing is not a public

offense.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173; A 1979, 1324; 1989, 1976; 2003, 2093; 2009, 374)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.940)

ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

      NRS 218H.500  Regulations; fees; classification of lobbyists; forms;

accounting and reporting methods; filing system; public inspection; retention

of records; list of registrants.

      1.  The Legislative Commission shall adopt

regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

      2.  The Legislative Commission may, except

as otherwise provided in this subsection, require fees for registration,

payable into the Legislative Fund. For the purposes of fees for registration,

the Legislative Commission shall classify lobbyists as follows:

      (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph

(c), a lobbyist who receives any compensation for his or her lobbying

activities.

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c)

or (d), a lobbyist who does not receive any compensation for his or her

lobbying activities.

      (c) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph

(d), a lobbyist whose lobbying activities are only on behalf of one or more

nonprofit organizations that are recognized as exempt under section 501(c)(3)

of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3). Such a lobbyist is not

required to pay a fee of more than $100 for registration pursuant to this

subsection.

      (d) A veteran who does not receive compensation

for the veteran’s lobbying activities and who provides proof of his or her

discharge or release from the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve

component thereof or the National Guard under honorable conditions. Such a

lobbyist is not required to pay any fee for registration pursuant to this

subsection.

      3.  The Director shall:

      (a) Prepare and furnish forms for the statements

and reports required to be filed.

      (b) Prepare and publish uniform methods of

accounting and reporting to be used by persons required to file such statements

and reports, including guidelines for complying with the reporting requirements

of this chapter.

      (c) Accept and file any information voluntarily

supplied that exceeds the requirements of this chapter.

      (d) Develop a filing, coding and cross-indexing

system consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

      (e) Make the statements and reports available for

public inspection during regular office hours.

      (f) Preserve the statements and reports for a

period of 5 years from the date of filing.

      (g) Compile and keep current an alphabetical list

of registrants, which must include each registrant’s address, the name and

address of each person for whom the registrant is lobbying and the principal

areas of interest on which the registrant expects to lobby. A copy of the list

must be furnished to each Legislator, to the clerks of the respective counties

for preservation and public inspection, and to any person who requests a copy

and pays the cost of reproduction.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173; A 1977, 1529; 1979,

1323; 1981, 1204; 1993, 2589; 2009, 373; 2010, 26th

Special Session, 86; 2011, 3253,

3673)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.932)

      NRS 218H.510  Inspection of registration statements and reports of lobbying

activities; notice of noncompliance.

      1.  The Director shall:

      (a) Inspect each statement and report filed

within 10 days after its filing.

      (b) Immediately notify the person who has filed:

             (1) If the information filed does not

conform to law.

             (2) If a written complaint has been filed

with the Director by any person alleging an irregularity or lack of truth as to

the information filed.

      2.  The Director may notify any person of

the filing requirement who the Director has reason to believe has failed to

file any statement or report as required.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1172; A 1977, 1529; 1979,

1323; 1981, 1204)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 218.930)

      NRS 218H.520  Publication of reports regarding lobbying activities; release of

name of noncomplying lobbyist; sanctions for noncompliance.  The Director may:

      1.  Prepare and publish such reports

concerning lobbying activities as the Director deems appropriate.

      2.  Release to the public the name of any

lobbyist who fails to file any activity report within 14 days after the date it

is required to be filed.

      3.  Revoke the registration of any lobbyist

who fails to file any activity report within 30 days after the date it is required

to be filed or fails to file two or more activity reports within the time

required.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173; A 1979, 1324; 1989, 1975; 2003, 2092)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.934)

      NRS 218H.530  Investigations of irregularities and noncompliance; grounds and

procedure for suspension or revocation of registration; hearing and appeal;

renewal of registration after suspension or revocation.

      1.  The Director shall:

      (a) Make investigations on the Director’s own

initiative with respect to any irregularities which the Director discovers in

the statements and reports filed and with respect to the failure of any person

to file a required statement or report and shall make an investigation upon the

written complaint of any person alleging a violation of any provision of this

chapter.

      (b) Report suspected violations of law to the:

             (1) Legislative Commission; and

             (2) Attorney General, who shall

investigate and take any action necessary to carry out the provisions of this

chapter.

      2.  If an investigation by the Director

reveals a violation of any provision of this chapter by a lobbyist, the

Director may suspend the lobbyist’s registration for a specified period or

revoke the lobbyist’s registration. The Director shall cause notice of such

action to be given to each person who employs or uses the lobbyist.

      3.  A lobbyist whose registration is

suspended or revoked by the Director may:

      (a) Request a hearing on the matter before the

Director;

      (b) Appeal to the Legislative Commission from any

adverse decision of the Director; and

      (c) If the lobbyist’s registration is suspended,

renew the lobbyist’s registration if the Legislature is still in a regular or

special session following the period of suspension.

      4.  A lobbyist whose registration is

revoked may, with the consent of the Director, renew the lobbyist’s

registration if the lobbyist:

      (a) Files a registration statement in the form

required by NRS 218H.200;

      (b) Pays any fee for late filing owed pursuant to

NRS 218H.410, plus the fee for registration

prescribed by the Legislative Commission; and

      (c) If the revocation occurred because of the lobbyist’s

failure to file an activity report, files that report.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173; A 1979, 1324; 1989, 1975; 2011, 3254)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.936)

      NRS 218H.540  Injunctive relief.  The

district courts may issue injunctions to enforce the provisions of this chapter

upon application by the Attorney General.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173)—(Substituted in revision

for NRS 218.938)

UNLAWFUL ACTS; PENALTIES

      NRS 218H.900  Unlawful for lobbyist to misrepresent Legislator’s authorization

to request professional services from Legislative Counsel Bureau.

      1.  A lobbyist shall not:

      (a) Indicate that the lobbyist has authorization

from a Legislator to request professional services from an employee of the

Legislative Counsel Bureau unless the lobbyist has such authority; or

      (b) Misrepresent the scope of the authorization

that the lobbyist has from a Legislator to request professional services from

an employee of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

      2.  As used in this section, “professional

services” means conducting legal, fiscal or policy research or analysis,

drafting a bill, resolution or amendment, or otherwise engaging in work for

which an employee is professionally trained or qualified.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2529)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.941)

      NRS 218H.930  Unlawful acts involving lobbyists and lobbying.

      1.  A lobbyist shall not knowingly or

willfully make any false statement or misrepresentation of facts:

      (a) To any member of the Legislative Branch in an

effort to persuade or influence the member in his or her official actions.

      (b) In a registration statement or report concerning

lobbying activities filed with the Director.

      2.  A lobbyist shall not give to a member

of the Legislative Branch or a member of his or her staff or immediate family

gifts that exceed $100 in value in the aggregate in any calendar year.

      3.  A member of the Legislative Branch or a

member of his or her staff or immediate family shall not solicit anything of

value from a registrant or accept any gift that exceeds $100 in aggregate value

in any calendar year.

      4.  A person who employs or uses a lobbyist

shall not make that lobbyist’s compensation or reimbursement contingent in any

manner upon the outcome of any legislative action.

      5.  Except during the period permitted by NRS 218H.200, a person shall not knowingly act as a

lobbyist without being registered as required by that section.

      6.  Except as otherwise provided in

subsection 7, a member of the Legislative or Executive Branch of the State

Government and an elected officer or employee of a political subdivision shall

not receive compensation or reimbursement other than from the State or the

political subdivision for personally engaging in lobbying.

      7.  An elected officer or employee of a

political subdivision may receive compensation or reimbursement from any

organization whose membership consists of elected or appointed public officers.

      8.  A lobbyist shall not instigate the

introduction of any legislation for the purpose of obtaining employment to

lobby in opposition to that legislation.

      9.  A lobbyist shall not make, commit to

make or offer to make a monetary contribution to a Legislator, the Lieutenant

Governor, the Lieutenant Governor-elect, the Governor or the Governor-elect

during the period beginning:

      (a) Thirty days before a regular session and

ending 30 days after the final adjournment of a regular session;

      (b) Fifteen days before a special session is set

to commence and ending 15 days after the final adjournment of a special

session, if:

             (1) The Governor sets a specific date for

the commencement of the special session that is more than 15 days after the

date on which the Governor issues the proclamation calling for the special

session pursuant to Section 9 of

Article 5 of the Nevada Constitution; or

             (2) The members of the Legislature set a

date on or before which the Legislature is to convene the special session that

is more than 15 days after the date on which the Secretary of State receives

one or more substantially similar petitions signed, in the aggregate, by the

required number of members calling for the special session pursuant to Section 2A of Article 4 of the

Nevada Constitution; or

      (c) The day after:

             (1) The date on which the Governor issues

the proclamation calling for the special session and ending 15 days after the

final adjournment of the special session if the Governor sets a specific date

for the commencement of the special session that is 15 or fewer days after the

date on which the Governor issues the proclamation calling for the special

session; or

             (2) The date on which the Secretary of

State receives one or more substantially similar petitions signed, in the

aggregate, by the required number of members of the Legislature calling for the

special session and ending 15 days after the final adjournment of the special

session if the members set a date on or before which the Legislature is to

convene the special session that is 15 or fewer days after the date on which

the Secretary of State receives the petitions.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1173; A 1977, 1530; 1979,

1324; 1989,

1976; 1995,

824; 2003,

1727; 2011,

3255; 2013,

3752)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 218.942)

      NRS 218H.960  Criminal penalties.  A

person who is subject to any provision in NRS 218H.900

or 218H.930 and who violates or otherwise refuses

or fails to comply with the provision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1174; A 1989, 1977; 2011, 3255)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 218.944)