CHAPTER 715 Vol. 60
HOUSE BILL NO. 1117
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS.
1 AND 2
SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND PART II, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR REGISTRATION OF LEGISLATIVE AGENTS, TO REQUIRE REPORTS BY LEGISLATIVE AGENTS, TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF COMPENSATION FOR LEGISLATIVE AGENTS, AND TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Amend Part II, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter, designated as Chapter 16, which new Chapter shall read as follows:
"CHAPTER 16. REGISTRATION OF LEGISLATIVE AGENTS"
(a) As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
(1) 'Legislative agent' means any individual who acts to promote, advocate, influence or oppose any matter pending before the General Assembly by direct communication with the General Assembly, and who in connection therewith either:
whole or in part from any person, or
(B) is authorized to act as a representative of any person who has as a substantial purpose the influencing of legislative action, or expends any funds during the calendar year for the type of expenditures listed in § 1605(c) of this Chapter.
(2) 'Compensation' means any money, service, facility, thing of value, or financial benefit which is received or to be received in return for or in connection with services rendered or to be rendered, whether in the form of a fee, salary, expense, forebearance, forgiveness or any other form of compensation.
(3) 'Employer' means any person on whose behalf a legislative agent acts.
(4) 'Person' means any individual or group of individuals, whether or not formally organized or incorporated.
(5) 'General Assembly' includes any member, committee, or subcommittee of either House of the General Assembly.
(b) The provisions of § 1601 (a)(1)-(A) and (B) shall not apply to:
(1) persons performing professional services in dialling, bills or in advising and rendering opinions to clients as to the construction or effect of proposed, pending or enacted legislation who do not otherwise at as legislative agents;
(2) persons testifying in public before the General Assembly at the specific invitation or request of the General Assembly who do not otherwise act as legislative agent.s;
(3) persons appearing pursuant to their official duties as elected officials of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, or of the United States, and not as representatives of any other person;
(4) persons who, in relation to the duties or interests of their employment or at the request or suggestion of their employer, communicate with the General Assembly concerning any legislation, if such communication is an isolated, exceptional or infrequent activity in relation to the usual duties of their employment;
(5) persons communicating with the General Assembly if such communication is undertaken by them as a personal expression and not as agent of their employers as to matters of interest to a person by whom or by which they are employed and if they receive no additional compensation or reward, in money or otherwise, for or as a result of such communication;
(6) persons testifying at public hearings conducted by the General Assembly who do not otherwise act as legislative agents.
(7) persons appearing on behalf of any religious organization with respect to subjects or legislation which directly relates to the religious beliefs and practices of that organization who do not otherwise act as legislative agents.
§1602. Registration of Legislative Agents with Legislative Council.
(a) Every legislative agent shall register with the Legislative Council in a Legislative Agent Docket and file, at that time, the authorization from his employer as required by §1603 of this Chapter. A person who qualifies as a legislative agent in accordance with §1601 (a)(1)(A) and (B) of this Chapter shall register prior to perforMing any acts as a legislative agent. A person who qualifies as a legislative agent in accordance with the provisions of § 1601
(a)(1)(C) of this Chapter must register within five days after so qualifying, if not already registered as a legislative agent.
(b) The information recorded in the Legislative Agent Docket shall include for each separate employer:
(1) the name, residence or business address, and occupation of each legislative agent;
(2) the name and business address of the employer of such legislative agent;
(3) the date on which the employment as legislative agent commenced;
(4) the length of time the employment is to continue; and
(5) the subject matter of legislation as to which the employment relates at that time.
(c) Upon any change in the information recorded in the Legislative Agent Docket, the legislative agent shall within ten business days report such changes to the Legislative Council, which shall record the change in the Docket.
(d) The Legislative Council shall promptly furnish copies of each entry in the Legislative Agent Docket to the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Governor upon request of such persons.
§1603. Employer's Authorization to Act.
Every employer of a legislative agent shall furnish to such agent a written and signed authorization to act, which shall be filed with the Legislative Council by the legislative agent at the time of registration as soon as available and not later than fifteen business days after the legislative agent has registered with Legislative Council. If
the employer is a corporation, association, or labor union, any authorized officer or agent who is not the legislative agent shall furnish and sign the written authorization. The authorization shall include the full and legal name and business addresses of both the employer and the legislative agent, the period of time during which the legislative agent is authorized to act, and the subject or subjects of legislation upon which the employer is represented.
§1604. Compensation of Agent not to be substantially dependent on outcome of legislative action of General Assembly.
No person shall employ a legislative agent nor shall any person be employed as a legislative agent pursuant to any compensation agreement which permits more than half of the compensation to be paid to such a legislative agent to be dependent upon the outcome of any legislative action of the General Assembly.
§ 1605. Reports by Legislative Agents.
(a) On or before the twentieth day of the month following each calendar quarter, each legislative agent shall file a written report covering the immediately preceding calendar quarter and containing the information required by this Chapter.
(b) A legislative agent shall file separate reports for each employer which he or she represents. Each report shall contain the total expenditures during the reporting period for all direct expenditures, costs or values, whichever is greater, for members of the General Assembly for the following:
(1) food and refreshment;
(2) entertainment, including the cost of maintaining a hospitality room;
(3) lodging expenses away from home for members of the General Assembly;
(4) fair value of travel provided members of the General Assembly if the trip exceeds 100 miles;
(5) recreation expenses provided members of' the General Assembly; and
(6) gifts or contributions excluding political contributions as defined in Chapter 80, Title 15 of the Delaware Code provided to members of the General Assembly.
(c) The information shall be reported on a form which shall be available from the Legislative Council and shall show the total expenditures for the reporting period and shall also list the recipient member of the General Assembly any time the expenditures exceed $50.00 per diem. The records shall be retained for a period of four years from the date of filing and shall be open to the public for inspection and copying in the office of the Legislative Council during normal business hours.
§1606. When report registration or reports or authorizations are considered as filed.
Any registration, report or authorization form shall be considered filed as of the date it is physically filed with the Legislative Council or is mailed if' sent by registered or certified mail.
§1607. Violation and penalties.
(a) Any person who knowingly fails to register as a legislative agent as required by this Chapter shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
(b) Any person who knowingly furnishes false information in any registration, authorization or report required by this Chapter shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
(c) Any person who fails to file an authorization for or report as required by Section 1605 of this Title shall be deemed to have voluntarily cancelled his or her registration as a legislative agent and shall be prohibited from reregistering or acting as a legislative agent until all delinquent authorizations and/or reports have been properly filed.
(d) The Speaker of the House, the presiding officer of the Senate, the Legislative Council or any member of the General Assembly shall refer or any other person may refer any suspended violation of this Chapter to the Attorney General of the State.
(e) The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all offenses under this Chapter."
Section 2. Should any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impaid or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its application to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this Act or the application thereof directly involved in the controversy in which judgment shall have been rendered, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.
Section 3. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 1977.
Approved August 23, 1976