Rep. Dave Williams Fights to End Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying
From Bill Summary, Colorado General Assembly Website
End Taxpayer-funded Lobbying Act
Concerning restrictions on lobbying activities on behalf of certain agencies of state government.
SESSION: 2019 Regular Session
SUBJECT: State Government
The bill prohibits a state agency from expending any public funds to undertake, on behalf of the agency, lobbying of the general assembly, any of the staff agencies of the general assembly, or any member of the general assembly. The bill also prohibits the agency from contracting with any lobbying firm or any other private organization or entity that provides lobbying services for the purpose of lobbying on its behalf the general assembly, any of the staff agencies of the general assembly, or any member of the general assembly.
The bill defines "state agency" to mean every executive department, board, commission, committee, bureau, and office of state government including the departments of state, law, and treasury; the office of the governor; the office of the lieutenant governor; and the judicial branch of state government.
The bill also permits a state agency to employ a legislative liaison on its behalf but prohibits the legislative liaison from undertaking any lobbying on behalf of the agency. In connection with the consideration of any official matter before state government, the bill specifies that a legislative liaison employed by an agency is not undertaking lobbying on behalf of the agency as long as a liaison restricts his or her personal activities to giving testimony or providing information in various settings, the liaison clearly identifies himself or herself and the agency for which the liaison is testifying or providing information, and the liaison does not express his or her personal support of or opposition to any such matter or the agency's position with respect to any such matter.
The bill permits an elected public official to express his or her personal opinion in support of or in opposition to any matter before the government of the state.
The bill makes conforming amendments to the existing statutory provision authorizing executive departments to designate one person to lobby on behalf of the department.