Information now available on the lobbying ordinance
Louisville (April 21, 2023) – President Markus Winkler (D-17) encourages the public to review the new lobbying ordinance guidelines, which go into effect next month.
This week, the Metro Council was notified the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission finalized the handbook and regulations for the new Lobbying Ordinance, LMO 21.40-21.99.
The original requesting ordinance, O-058-22, was sponsored by former Councilmembers Bill Hollander and Cassie Chambers Armstrong and was unanimously passed by the Metro Council on November 11, 2022.
Beginning on Monday, May 15, 2023, each lobbyist and each direct and indirect employer of a lobbyist shall, within 7 days following engagement of the lobbyist, file with the Ethics Commission, without fee, an initial registration statement. That statement shall be valid through the next thirty-first day of December of an even-numbered year, unless the registration has been terminated before that date.
“I encourage the general public to educate themselves on this new ordinance. The intent is not to punish lobbyists, but to have more transparency on who is paid to influence local legislation,” said President Winkler.
What is lobbying? Lobbying is defined as direct communication with any Metro Officer or the staff of a Metro Officer for the purpose of influencing official decisions or official actions regarding policy, legislation, financial arrangements under which public funds are distributed by a Metro Officer, or spending public funds with respect to the award of a contract or lease.
What is a lobbyist? A lobbyist is any person engaged to conduct lobbying for an employer. This includes individuals employed or engaged by associations, coalitions, or public interest entities to spend a portion of that individual’s time influencing the decisions of Metro Officers.
A lobbyist does not include:
- Any person who limits his or her lobbying activities to appearing before public meetings or submitting public comments to an agency;
- A private citizen who expresses a personal opinion, petitions an agency for the redress of grievances, or who assembles together with other private individuals, and who receives no compensation for lobbying other than “lost time” from work payments and reimbursement or payment of reasonable travel expenses; or
- An elected or appointed officer or employee of a federal, state, or local government agency, or a political subdivision, who attempts to influence a Metro Officer in his or her fiduciary capacity as a representative of his or her agency, public college or university, or political subdivision.
The Ethics Commission has published the information online here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/ethics-commission/lobbying.
A direct link to the Louisville Metro Lobbying Handbook is here: https://louisvilleky.gov/ethics-commission/document/lmec-lobbying-handbook.
A direct link to the Lobbying Regulations is here: https://louisvilleky.gov/ethics-commission/document/lmec-lobbying-regulations.
The regulations include definitions, initial registrations of lobbyists and employers of lobbyists, registrations, prohibitions and standards of conduct, enforcement procedures, and penalties.
A direct link to the Lobbying Ordinance is here: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/louisvillemetro/latest/loukymetro/0-0-0-70604.
For additional information, or to contact the Ethics Commission, please contact Erica Burton, Metro HR Staff Liaison at (502) 574-5926 or email [email protected].