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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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Can a Skill Center re a lobbyist?

Customer Question

Can a Washington Skill Center hire a lobbyist?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

Hello

This is Samuel. Unless there is something within the school district regulations that preclude the hiring of a lobbyist, then there should not be a problem. Those regulations would not be online. And so you would need to discuss the hiring with the school district superintendent.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

Keep in mind, that in Washington, lobbying with state funds is limited to providing information, which includes advocating an agency's official position.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

HERE is the law

Washington

RCW 42.17A.635 Legislative activities of state agencies, other units of government, elected officials, employees.

(2) Unless authorized by subsection (3) of this section or otherwise expressly authorized by law, no public funds may be used directly or indirectly for lobbying: PROVIDED, This does not prevent officers or employees of an agency from communicating with a member of the legislature on the request of that member; or communicating to the legislature, through the proper official channels, requests for legislative action or appropriations which are deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business or actually made in the proper performance of their official duties: PROVIDED FURTHER, That this subsection does not apply to the legislative branch.

(3) Any agency, not otherwise expressly authorized by law, may expend public funds for lobbying, but such lobbying activity shall be limited to (a) providing information or communicating on matters pertaining to official agency business to any elected official or officer or employee of any agency or (b) advocating the official position or interests of the agency to any elected official or officer or employee of any agency: PROVIDED, That public funds may not be expended as a direct or indirect gift or campaign contribution to any elected official or officer or employee of any agency. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "gift" means a voluntary transfer of any thing of value without consideration of equal or greater value, but does not include informational material transferred for the sole purpose of informing the recipient about matters pertaining to official agency business. This section does not permit the printing of a state publication which has been otherwise prohibited by law....

(5) Each state agency, county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or special purpose district which expends public funds for lobbying shall file with the commission, except as exempted by (d) of this subsection, quarterly statements providing the following information for the quarter just completed:

(a) The name of the agency filing the statement;
(b) The name, title, and job description and salary of each elected official, officer, or employee who lobbied, a general description of the nature of the lobbying, and the proportionate amount of time spent on the lobbying;
(c) A listing of expenditures incurred by the agency for lobbying including but not limited to travel, consultant or other special contractual services, and brochures and other publications, the principal purpose of which is to influence legislation;
(d) For purposes of this subsection the term "lobbying" does not include:
(i) Requests for appropriations by a state agency to the office of financial management pursuant to chapter 43.88 RCW nor requests by the office of financial management to the legislature for appropriations other than its own agency budget requests;
(ii) Recommendations or reports to the legislature in response to a legislative request expressly requesting or directing a specific study, recommendation, or report by an agency on a particular subject;
(iii) Official reports including recommendations submitted to the legislature on an annual or biennial basis by a state agency as required by law;
(iv) Requests, recommendations, or other communication between or within state agencies or between or within local agencies;
(v) Any other lobbying to the extent that it includes:
(A) Telephone conversations or preparation of written correspondence;
(B) In-person lobbying on behalf of an agency of no more than four days or parts thereof during any three-month period by officers or employees of that agency and in-person lobbying by any elected official of such agency on behalf of such agency or in connection with the powers, duties, or compensation of such official: PROVIDED, That the total expenditures of nonpublic funds made in connection with such lobbying for or on behalf of any one or more members of the legislature or state elected officials or public officers or employees of the state of Washington do not exceed fifteen dollars for any three-month period: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the exemption under this subsection is in addition to the exemption provided in (A) of this subsection;
(C) Preparation or adoption of policy positions.

The statements shall be in the form and the manner prescribed by the commission and shall be filed within one month after the end of the quarter covered by the report.

(6) In lieu of reporting under subsection (5) of this section any county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi municipal corporation, or special purpose district may determine and so notify the public disclosure commission, that elected officials, officers, or employees who on behalf of any such local agency engage in lobbying reportable under subsection (5) of this section shall register and report such reportable lobbying in the same manner as a lobbyist who is required to register and report under RCW 42.17.150 and 42.17.170. Each such local agency shall report as a lobbyist employer pursuant to RCW 42.17.180.

(7) The provisions of this section do not relieve any elected official or officer or employee of an agency from complying with other provisions of this chapter, if such elected official, officer, or employee is not otherwise exempted.

(8) The purpose of this section is to require each state agency and certain local agencies to report the identities of those persons who lobby on behalf of the agency for compensation, together with certain separately identifiable and measurable expenditures of an agency's funds for that purpose. This section shall be reasonably construed to accomplish that purpose and not to require any agency to report any of its general overhead cost or any other costs which relate only indirectly or incidentally to lobbying or which are equally attributable to or inseparable from nonlobbying activities of the agency.

The public disclosure commission may adopt rules clarifying and implementing this legislative interpretation and policy.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have other questions in this regard. Otherwise, a positive rating will ensure I get credit for my time and information.