Bill would shed light on local lobbyists

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 7.25.44 AMBy Hank Stephenson | Arizona Capitol Times

While many lawmakers are proposing legislation to restrict access to government meetings and documents, one Republican senator is going the opposite direction, and attempting to shed some light on who is lobbying local elected officials.

To become a professional lobbyist at the Capitol, a person must register as a lobbyist with the Secretary of State’s Office. And in order to ensure that citizens know who is attempting to gain influence with legislators, registered lobbyists are required to report all expenses spent on lawmakers, such as the cost of a business dinner.

But for lobbyists at the city councils, county boards of supervisors or school boards across the state, there is no such requirement. In fact, lobbyists at the local level don’t have to file anything or disclose who they are working for before lobbying local officials.

Republican Sen. Kimberly Yee of Phoenix wants to change that.

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