Nebraska Lobbying Registration and Reporting
Every person employed, retained, or authorized as a “lobbyist” shall, before commencing any lobbying activity, file an application with the Clerk of the Legislature for registration as a lobbyist. The Act contains minimum information that must be included in the registration form. A registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) payable to the Clerk of the Legislature is required for an application for registration by a lobbyist for each principal if the lobbyist receives or will receive compensation for such lobbying. A registration fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) payable to the Clerk of the Legislature is required for an application for registration by a lobbyist for each principal if the lobbyist is not receiving and will not be receiving compensation for such lobbying. Any lobbyist who receives compensation who did not anticipate receiving such compensation at the time of application for registration shall, within five days of the receipt of any compensation, file an amended registration form and submit payment of one hundred eighty-five dollars ($185.00) for such year.
The registration of a lobbyist for each principal terminates at the end of the calendar year for which the lobbyist registered. The lobbyist may renew his or her registration for each of his or her principals by payment of the fee as provided above.
“Lobbyist” means a person who is authorized to lobby on behalf of a principal and includes an officer, agent, attorney, or employee of the principal whose regular duties include lobbying.
“Lobbying” means the practice of promoting or opposing for another person, the introduction or enactment of legislation or resolutions before the Legislature or the committees or the members thereof, and shall also include the practice of promoting or opposing executive approval of legislation or resolutions.
Although organizations need not register, they must file with the Clerk of the Legislature quarterly employer reports if they are listed as “employers” on individual lobbyist registration forms.
Lobbyists must also file quarterly expenditure reports. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1483 provides details of information that must be included in the lobbyist’s reports. Lobbyists must also file a special report with the Clerk of the Legislature if they receive or expend more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for lobbying purposes during any calendar month in which the Legislature is in session.
Links to Instructions and Forms
The forms required to register as a Nebraska lobbyist may be found at: http://nadc.nol.org/cf/forms.html.
Gift and Lobby Expenditure Restrictions
Nebraska law restricts “gifts” to public officials from principals, lobbyists or persons acting on behalf of either.
A “gift” means any payment, subscription, advance, forbearance, rendering, or deposit of money, services, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater value is given.
The term “gift” does not include a campaign contribution otherwise reported as required by law, a commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business, a gift received from a relative, a breakfast, luncheon, dinner or other refreshments consisting of food and beverage provided for immediate consumption, or the occasional provision of transportation within the State of Nebraska.
Under Section 1490 of Chapter 49, Nebraska Revised Statutes, gifts are restricted to:
- Not more than an aggregate value of fifty dollars ($50.00) in any calendar month to an official or member of the official’s staff in the executive branch of the state government;
- Not more than an aggregate value of fifty dollars ($50.00) in any calendar month to an official or member of the official’s staff in the legislative branch of state government; or
- Not more than an aggregate value of fifty dollars ($50.00) in any calendar month to a member of the immediate family of an official in the executive or legislative branch of state government.
- An admission to a state-owned facility or state-sponsored industry or event may be given by any sponsoring agency, political subdivision, or publicly funded postsecondary educational institution and may be accepted regardless of value.
Any person who knowingly and intentionally violates the gift restrictions shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor, with penalties of up to three months imprisonment, a five hundred dollar ($500.00) fine, or both.
- Links to the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature can be found at http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/reports/lobby.php.
- Links to the applicable statutes and rules can be found at http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/browse-chapters.php?chapter=49.
- Christianson, Coyle, Poliakoff and Dyer, Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance, 50 State Handbook (Thomson West 2008 Edition).