Committee Reports

Legislation requiring electronic filing of all lobbying filings

SUMMARY

The City Bar, along with several good government groups, supports legislation that will require electronic filing of all lobbying filings.  As expressed in the memorandum in support, the legislation “will save state time and resources, reduce the potential for fraud, waste and abuse, and help increase transparency.” The bill was proposed by the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG), the agency responsible for handling all New York lobbying filings.

BILL INFORMATION

S.9009 (Sen. Skoufis) – Requires electronic filing of all lobbying filings with the commission on ethics and lobbying in government (NYS 2023-24).

REPORT

MEMO OF SUPPORT

S9009 (Skoufis)

Requires electronic filing of all lobbying filings

May 10, 2024

TITLE OF BILL
An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to requiring electronic filing of all lobbying filings.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS
Section 1 renumbers §1-u and §1-v of the Legislative Law, and inserts a new §1-u providing that all lobbying filings shall be done electronically.

Section 2 states that the act takes effect 30 days after becoming law.

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
Our groups support this legislation because it will save state time and resources, reduce the potential for fraud, waste and abuse, and help increase transparency. The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) reports that it receives
about 1,000 paper lobbying filings annually. This is an unjustifiably high number and totally outdated in an era when more than 90% of Americans have smartphones and 86% rely on them for some or all of their news, according to Pew.

New York State law still allows lobbyists to file their lobbying statements on paper. This creates an artificially complex filing process that can be exploited by bad actors, delays the publication of filings, wastes taxpayer funds, and burdens the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) with hundreds of hours of manual data entry, which is why they’ve proposed a change to the law.

Passing this bill will increase transparency, save public funds, and bring NY lobbying filings into the digital age. We urge the Legislature to pass the bill and the Governor to sign it.