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Minnesota Lobbyist Disbursement Reports — Due January 15, 2016
In accordance with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Act, each lobbyist who registers with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board must periodically disclose the total amount of money spent on lobbying activities in a semi-annual Lobbyist Disbursement Report.  The report covering disbursements from June 1 – December 31, 2015 is due Friday, January 15, 2016.

At the time of registration, each lobbyist designates whether he or she is a “self-reporting lobbyist,” an “authorizing lobbyist” or a “reporting lobbyist.”  A self-reporting lobbyist reports his or her own expenditures to the Board.  A lobbyist that reports distributions for another lobbyist on behalf of the same client is referred to as a reporting lobbyist.  A lobbyist who allows someone to report expenditures on his or her behalf is an authorizing lobbyist.  In addition, Minnesota Rules require all lobbyist principals to appoint one lobbyist as a “designated lobbyist” who is responsible for reporting the disbursements of the entity.  Lobbyists must retain records related to lobbyist expenses for a period of four (4) years.

All self-reporting, reporting and designated lobbyists must file a Lobbyist Disbursement Report no later than January 15, 2016. The report must disclose the following information for expenditures between June 1 and December 31, 2015:
  • Total lobbying disbursements (not including lobbyist compensation);
  • Gifts to public officials; and
  • Other sources of funds used for lobbying purposes.
In general, an expense is a lobbying disbursement if it is incurred (1) to communicate with officials for the purpose of influencing official action; (2) to urge others to communicate with officials for the purpose of influencing official action; or (3) for any activity that directly supports either of these types of communication.  Lobbyist disbursements do not include lobbyist compensation.  Lobbyist compensation is reported by the principal on the principal report that is filed in March.  If an actual cost of a lobbying activity is not available, the lobbyist must use a reasonable approximation of the cost.

Designated lobbyists must also provide a current list of officers and directors for the associations that the lobbyist represents.  A report must be filed even if no disbursements were made during the reporting period.

The report may be filed with the Board by facsimile at (651) 539-1196 or (800) 357-4114 or by e-mail to cf.board@state.mn.us. Alternatively, the report may be filed electronically at http://www.cfboard.state.mn.us/lobby/report.htm.  To access the electronic filing system, each lobbyist will need a user name and password that is provided by the Board.   All reports are available for viewing by the public.

A lobbyist who fails to file a required report by the due date is subject to a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000.  Because January 18 is a holiday, late filing fees will be imposed beginning on Tuesday, January 19.

Should you have any questions regarding the filing of this report, or any other campaign finance or lobbying issues, please contact our Political Law team.


NOTICE:  
This client alert is a periodic publication of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult your legal counsel concerning your situation and any specific legal questions you may have. This may be considered Advertising Material.
For More Information
Deb Cochran
Direct: (612) 604-6688
 
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