TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg that would require lobbyists hired by government entities to report the amount they receive for the purpose of influencing governmental processes was approved today by the Senate.
“Towns and counties have access to state government officials on any number of issues, so when these entities hire a lobbyist to advocate on their behalf, the taxpayers should have access to that information including the amount paid for these services. The same should be true if the state hires a governmental affairs agent,” said Senator Weinberg. “This provides transparency in these kinds of arrangements and accountability of public entities that enter into them.”
Under the bill (S-1404), a governmental affairs agent employed or retained by any state or local government agency, department, board, bureau, commission, authority, board of education, institution of higher education, or any other government entity in New Jersey, would be required to report the amount received or to be received on the notice of representation form already required to be filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). The bill would require ELEC to post on its website each notice of representation containing information on the dollar amount paid to a governmental affairs agent by a State or local government entity.
The bill was approved by a vote of 36-0. It next heads to the Assembly for consideration.