IPCPR Legislative | Political Involvement in Tennessee

Political Involvement in Tennessee

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Requirements for Political Involvement in Tennessee

“Lobby” means to communicate, directly or indirectly, with any official in the legislative branch or executive branch for the purpose of influencing any legislative action or administrative action.

 

“Lobby” does not include:

  • communications with officials of the legislative or executive branches by an elected or appointed public official performing the duties of the office held
  • a duly licensed attorney at law acting in a representative capacity on behalf of a client appearing before an official of the executive branch for the purpose of determining or obtaining such person’s legal rights or obligations in a contested case action, administrative proceeding, or rule making procedure
  • an editor or working member of the press, radio or television who, in the ordinary course of business, disseminates news or editorial comment to the general public
  • communications by an incumbent or prospective contractor or vendor, or an employee of the contractor or vendor, while engaged in selling or marketing to the state, or any department or agency of the state, by demonstrating or describing goods or services to be provided or by inquiring about specifications, terms, conditions, timing, or similar commercial information.
    • However, the contractor or vendor, or employee of the contractor or vendor, will be deemed to be a lobbyist if actively engaged in selling or marketing to an official in the executive branch or an official in the legislative branch whose duty it is to vote for, let out, overlook, or in any manner to superintend any work or any contract so marketed or sold
  • communications by an employee of a school board, municipal utility, utility district, or any department, agency or entity of state, county or municipal government; provided, however, that, if the board, utility, district, department, agency or entity employs, retains or otherwise arranges for lobbyist services in this state by a contractor, subcontractor or other representative who is not an employee of such board, utility, district, department, agency or entity, then “lobby” includes communications by the contractor, subcontractor or other representative, and the contractor, subcontractor or other representative must comply with the lobbying registration and other provisions pertaining to lobbyists; provided further, however, that the board, utility, district, department, agency or entity that employs the contractor, subcontractor or other representative is not deemed to be an employer of a lobbyist
  • communications with officials of the executive branch by any person to promote, oppose, or otherwise influence the outcome of a decision related to the issuance or award of a bond, grant, lease, loan, or incentive
  • communications with officials of the executive branch by any person to promote, oppose, or otherwise influence the outcome of a decision related to any component of an economic development incentive package; provided, that any person who is otherwise required to register as a lobbyist

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(15)

 

“Lobbyist” means any person who engages in lobbying for compensation.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(17)

 

“Lobbying firm” means any firm, corporation, partnership, or other business entity that regularly supplies lobbying services to others for compensation.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(16)

 

“Legislative action” means introduction, sponsorship, debate, voting, or any other nonministerial official action or nonaction on any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report, or any other matter pending or proposed in a legislative committee or in either house of the general assembly.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(14)

 

“Administrative action” means the taking of any recommendation, report, or nonministerial action; the making of any decision or taking any action to postpone any action or decision; action of the governor in approving or vetoing any bill or resolution; the promulgation of a rule; or any action of a quasi-legislative nature, by an official in the executive branch of state government.

 

“Administrative action” does not include ordinary and routine permitting, licensing, or compliance decisions by an official of the executive branch of state government.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(1)

 

“Expenditure” means any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, pledge, or subscription of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-301(9)

Not later than 7 days after becoming a lobbyist or an employer of a lobbyist, the lobbyist or employer must electronically register with the Tennessee Ethics Commission at https://apps.tn.gov/ilobby/. Each year thereafter, the lobbyist or employer must register in the same manner. Each lobbyist is required to pay a $150 registration fee for each registration and a $40 training fee with his or her first registration. Each employer is required to pay a $150 registration fee for each registration. The registration year for lobbyists and employers is the period of January 1st through December 31st.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-302: Electronic registration of lobbyists and employers of lobbyists; lobbyist photographs; amendment of inaccuracies; consolidated statements; fees

 

Each employer must also electronically file a Semi-Annual Lobbying Expenditure Report for Employers of Lobbyists for the preceding 6-month period within 45 days after June 30th and December 31st.

 

Tenn. Code. § 3-6-303: Biannual employer disclosure reports

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