Lobbyist Information

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***NEW Lobbyist Rules and Regulations as of January 1, 2018 (Ordinance 13718)***

Who is considered a lobbyist?

"Lobbyist" means all persons, firms, or corporations employed or retained by a principal who seeks to encourage the passage, defeat, or modifications of (1) ordinance, resolution, action or decision of the City Commission; (2) any action, decision, recommendation of the City Manager or any City board or committee; or (3) any action, decision or recommendation of City personnel during the time period of the entire decision-making process on such action, decision or recommendation which foreseeably will be heard or reviewed by the City Commission, or a City board or committee.

"
Lobbyist" specifically includes the principal as well as any employee whose normal scope of employment includes lobbying activities.   However, if a principal of any corporation, partnership or other entity who appears as a lobbyist on behalf of that entity, without special compensation or reimbursement for the appearance, whether direct, indirect or contingent, to express support of or opposition to any item, shall register with the Office of the City Clerk, but shall not be required to pay any registration fees.  

"
Lobbyist" also pertains to a person(s) who, pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, has been designated and is so recognized by the City as a representative of a collective bargaining unit composed of City employees.  However, while the aforementioned person(s) are required to register they do not have to pay the registration fees.

How do I register as a Lobbyist?

Within five (5) business days of being retained as a lobbyist or before engaging in any lobbying activities, whichever comes first, every person required to register as a lobbyist shall:

1.  Submit a completeded Lobbyist Registration Form with the Office of the City Clerk.

2.  Pay all applicable fees as outlined in Miami City Code Section 2-654.  Payment can be made by cash or check.  Checks must be made payable to the "City of Miami" and may be mailed or delivered to the Office of the City Clerk located at 3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL  33133.

3. Each lobbyist shall, within sixty (60) days after registering as a lobbyist, submit to the City Clerk's Office a certificate of completeing of an ethics course offered by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics & Public Trust ("Ethics Commission"). Lobbyist who have completed the initial ethics course manadated by the preceding sentence and have continuously registered as a lobbyist thereafter shall be required to complete a refresher ethics course offered by the Ethics Commission every two (2) years. Each Lobbyist who has completed a refresher ethics course shall submit a certificate of completion within sixty (60) days after registering as a lobbyist.

Please contact the Ethics Commission at (305) 579-2594 or visit their website at http://ethics.miamidade.gov/training.asp for additional information on the initial and refresher ethics courses.

What if I am lobbying on behalf of a non-profit organization?

Any person who only appears as a representative of a not-for-profit corporation or entity (such as a charitable organization, or a trade association or trade union), without special compensation or reimbursement for the appearance, whether direct, indirect or contingent, to express support of or opposition to any item, shall register with the Clerk as required by this subsection, but, upon request, shall not be required to pay any registration fees.

Is anyone exempt from having to register as a lobbyist?

The term "Lobbyist" specifically excludes the following persons: attorneys or other representatives retained or employed solely for the purpose of representing individuals, corporations or other entities during publicly noticed quasi-judicial proceedings where the law prohibits ex-parte communications; expert witnesses who provide only scientific, technical or other specialized information or testimony in public meetings; any person who only appears as a representative of a neighborhood association without compensation or reimbursement for the appearance, whether direct, indirect or contingent, to express support of or opposition to any item; any person who only appears as a representative of a not-for-profit community based organization for the purpose of requesting a grant without special compensation or reimbursement for the appearance; employees of a principal whose normal scope of employment does not include lobbying activities; and any public officer, employee or appointee who only appears in his or her official capacity is not required to register as a lobbyist.

What do I do if I am no longer lobbying for a particular client?

A Notice of Withdrawal form must be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk. There shall be no fee required for filing the Notice of Withdrawl form. 

Is there any other information that must be disclosed by a lobbyist?

A lobbyist shall annually submit to the Office of the City Clerk a signed statement under oath, listing all lobbying expenditures and the sources from which funds for making lobbying expenditures have come. The lobbying expenditures shall include, but not be limited to: meals, entertainment, travel, lodging, and gifts for public officers and employees for the preceding calendar year. Lobbying expenditures shall not include the lobbyist's own personal expenses for lodging, meals, travel, salary, and office expenses.

Such statement of expenditures for the preceding calendar year, entitled Annual Expenditures Report shall be due on January 15 of each year.  All lobbyist are responsible for submitting the Annual Expenditure Report for the period covering January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, even if no expenses were incurred during the 2017 reporting period. Beginning with the 2018 calendar year, if a lobbyist has no expenditures in the calendar year, then he or she shall not be required to submit an Annual Expenditures Report.

Any lobbyist who fails to file the annual expenditures report by January 15 deadline each calendar year shall be subject to a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day for reports filed after the due date.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding this information?

If you have any further questions regarding this information please contact the Office of the City Clerk via email at clerks@miamigov.com05-250-5361.


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