Rep. Jacquard’s lobbying reform act passes House Judiciary
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Robert B. Jacquard’s legislation (2016-H 7388 Sub A) that reforms the state’s general laws on lobbying was passed by the House Judiciary Committee last night. The intent of the legislation is to simplify and clarify the rules governing lobbying, to maximize transparency without imposing unnecessary burdens on the process, to promote a more user-friendly registration and reporting system, and to strengthen the investigation and enforcement scheme of the state’s lobbying rules and regulations.
“Our state’s system of lobbying must be reformed to ensure the integrity of our governmental processes. Transparency and accountability to the taxpayers of Rhode Island is crucial to reforming the public’s trust in government and I am pleased to say that is exactly what will be accomplished if this legislation passes,” said Representative Jacquard (D-Dist. 17, Cranston).
Provisions of the legislation include: clarifying the definitions of lobbyist and lobbying; providing a solid framework for investigations and hearings; authorizing administrative subpoena power in the course of conducting investigations; bringing the Department of State in line with standard practices currently used by other state agencies such as Department of Business Regulations and Department of Environmental Management; strengthening and simplifying lobbying reporting guidelines for those involved while making it easier for the general public to access these reports and understand the information being reported; and increasing maximum penalties for non-compliance to more than double the current amounts.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903