IPCPR Legislative | Political Involvement in Michigan

Political Involvement in Michigan


Requirements for Political Involvement in Michigan

“Lobbying” means communicating directly with an official in the executive branch of state government or an official in the legislative branch of state government for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.


The term “lobbying” does not include the providing of technical information by a person other than a lobbyist agent or an employee of a lobbyist agent when appearing before an officially convened legislative committee or executive department hearing panel. “Technical information” is empirically verifiable data provided by a person recognized as an expert in the subject area to which the information provided is related.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(2)


“Influencing” means promoting, supporting, affecting, modifying, opposing or delaying by any means, including the providing of or use of information, statistics, studies, or analysis.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(3)


A “lobbyist” is any of the following:

  • A person whose expenditures for lobbying are more than $1,000.00 in value in any 12-month period
  • A person whose expenditures for lobbying are more than $250.00 in value in any 12-month period, if the amount is expended on lobbying a single public official
  • The state or a political subdivision which contracts for a lobbyist agent


For the purposes of the first two definition of a “lobbyist” groups of 25 or more people will not have their personal expenditures for food, travel, and beverage included, providing those expenditures are not reimbursed by a lobbyist or lobbyist agent.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(4)


A “lobbyist agent” is a person who receives compensation or reimbursement of actual expenses, or both, in a combined amount in excess of $250.00 in any 12-month period for lobbying.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(5)


The terms “lobbyist” or “lobbyist agent” do not include:

  • A publisher, owner, or working member of the press, radio, or television while disseminating news or editorial comment to the general public in the ordinary course of business
  • All elected or appointed public officials of state or local government who are acting in the course or scope of the office for no compensation, other than that provided by law for the office, excluding:
    • Employees of public or private colleges, community colleges, junior colleges or universities
    • Employees of townships, villages, cities, counties or school boards
    • Employees of state executive departments
    • Employees of the judicial branch of government
  • A member of a lobbyist, if the lobbyist is a membership organization or association, and if the member of a lobbyist does not separately qualify as a lobbyist


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(7)


A “representative of the lobbyist” is any of the following:

  • An employee of the lobbyist or lobbyist agent
  • A member of the lobbyist or employee of a member of the lobbyist, when the lobbyist is a membership organization or association, and when the lobbyist agent or an employee of the lobbyist or lobbyist agent is present during any part of the period during which the purchased food or beverage is consumed
  • A person who is reimbursed by the lobbyist or lobbyist agent for an expenditure, other than an expenditure for food or beverage, which was incurred for the purpose of lobbying


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(6)


“Legislative action” means introduction, sponsorship, support, opposition, consideration, debate, vote, passage, defeat, approval, veto, delay, or an official action by an official in the executive branch or an official in the legislative branch on a bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report, or any matter pending or proposed in a legislative committee or either house of the legislature.


The term “legislative action” does not include the representation of a person who has been subpoenaed to appear before the legislature or an agency of the legislature.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.415(1)

Each individual, group, or organization meeting the definition of a lobbyist or lobbyist agent must register with the Michigan Department of State by filing a Lobby Registration Form. A lobbyist must register within 15 days of meeting the definition, while a lobbyist agent must register within 3 days.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.417: Registration forms; filing; contents, failure to register; late registration fee; penalty; notice of termination.


All lobbyists and lobbyist agents must file signed Financial Report Summary Forms on January 31st and August 31st of each year, even if there are no expenditures to report. Lobbyists and lobbyist agents may also be required to file an Itemized Expenditures Form if certain thresholds are met.


Mich. Comp. Laws § 4.418: Signed report; filing; form.


Lobbying registration forms and financial reports may be filed through e-Lobby, the Lobby Electronic Filing Program (http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_11945-122563–,00.html).


Michigan Lobby Registration Act
Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 4.411-4.431


Michigan Department of State: Lobby Disclosure Website


Lobby Registration Act Manual


Lobbyist Registration Form and Instructions


Lobbyist Financial Report Summary Form and Instructions


Lobbyist Itemized Expenditures Form and Instructions



e-Lobby: Lobby Electronic Filing Program Instructions

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