Ethics Code: Lobbying
Jacksonville Muncipal Code, Chapter 602, Part 8. LOBBYING
Sec. 602.801. Registration of lobbyists; registration statements. (As amended August 2008 and Jan. 2009)
(a) For purposes of the registration provisions of this Part, lobbying is defined as the attempt to influence the governmental decision making of an officer or employee of the City, or of an independent agency, or the attempt to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any legislation, proposal or recommendation of the City or of an independent agency, or of an officer or employee of the City or of an independent agency. Lobbying shall not include the following:
(1) Legal or settlement discussions directed toward an attorney for the City or of an independent agency; or
(2) Participation in a quasi-judicial proceeding involving the City or an independent agency (except that all ex-parte communication to a decision maker or non-lawyer city or independent agency employee constitutes lobbying).
(b) Each person who lobbies, for compensation as a lobbyist, any officer or employee of the City, or of an independent agency, shall, prior to commencement of lobbying activities on any issue, register his or her name, the person or entity for which the lobbying is taking place (principal), and the purpose and issue for which the lobbying is taking place, with the City's Council Secretary. Registration may be for an annual period or for a lesser, stated period, but no person may lobby unless he or she is first registered. A person may register as a lobbyist on his or her own volition or he or she may be required by any officer or employee to register before he or she addresses such officer or employee if he or she is not already registered with the Council Secretary. The Council Secretary shall maintain a book in which the registration statements and oaths submitted by lobbyists shall be entered, together with corrections and amendments as herein authorized and required. If a person shall cease to be a lobbyist, his or her registration statement and oath shall be removed from the book of active lobbyists and shall be placed in a book of inactive or former lobbyists; but no person may have a registration statement and oath on file in both books.
(1) When a person registers as a lobbyist, he or she shall file a registration statement and oath in the form developed from time to time by the Office of General Counsel, in consultation with the City Ethics Officer, the Council Secretary and the Ethics Commission. The Council Secretary, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, is authorized to reject or strike non-conforming registrations. No person may commence or continue lobbying activity related to a rejected or stricken registration statement until such time as a corrected registration statement is submitted and accepted by the Council Secretary.
(2) A registration statement may be corrected or amended at any time by the registrant by the submission of a subsequent registration statement and oath setting forth the correcting or additional information that the registrant wishes to place on file. A statement that the subsequent registration statement corrects or amends the previous registration statement shall be inserted in the body of the statement, above the lobbyist's signature, noting the substance of the correction or amendment. A registration statement shall be corrected or amended if any material fact concerning the purpose for which or persons on whose behalf the registrant filed the registration statement changes.
(3) A registration statement and oath that is not renewed by the end of the period for which it is filed shall expire and may not thereafter be relied upon by the lobbyist in support of lobbying activities.
(d) The following persons shall not be required to register as lobbyists:
(1) A public official, City or independent agency employee or salaried employee of a public agency acting in his or her official capacity or in connection with his or her job responsibilities or as authorized or permitted to lobby pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement; Substituted 1/13/09 10
(2) A person who only addresses the Council or independent agency board during it's the 'public comment' portion of the Council its meeting agenda;
(3) A person who appears at the specific request or under compulsion of the Council or a Council committee; or of the board or committee of the board of an independent agency;
(4) Expert witnesses and other persons who give factual testimony about a particular matter or measure, but do not advocate passage or defeat of the matter or measure or any amendment thereto;
(5) A person, not exempt under paragraphs (1) through (4) and otherwise meeting the definition of a lobbyist who received no compensation as a lobbyist;
(6) A Principal or an officer or employee of a principal who performs lobbying activities as part of his or her assigned duties.
(e) This section is limited to registration issues only, and nothing contained in this section shall be interpreted to limit the gift and honoraria solicitation and acceptance prohibitions set forth in Part 7 of this Chapter.
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Sec. 602.802. Restricted activities.
No information obtained from registration statements required by Section 602.801, Jacksonville Ordinance Code, or from lists compiled from such statements, shall be sold or utilized by any person for the purpose of soliciting campaign contributions or selling tickets to a testimonial or similar fund-raising affair or for commercial purposes.
(Ord. 97-890-E, § 1)
Sec. 602.803. Fee disclosure.
A lobbyist who attempts to persuade or influence a Council Member, a Council committee, or the Council as a whole; or an independent agency board member, committee, or the independent agency as a whole; on any project, contract, development, ordinance, or resolution, or agenda item, shall, prior to commencing lobbying efforts, file with the City's Council Secretary a disclosure revealing whether the lobbyist has a financial interest in the contract, development or project that extends beyond its approval, and the percent of that interest.
Sec. 602.804. Penalties. A person who, knowingly and willfully:
(a) Being at the time required to register as a lobbyist and not exempt from registration, fails or refuses to do so; or
(b) Having registered as a lobbyist, fails or refuses to properly file with the Council Secretary a corrected or amended registration statement when required by Section 602.801(c) to do so; or fails to disclose on the registration statement any information required by this Part;
(c) Continues to act as a lobbyist after the expiration of the period for which the registration statement was filed with the Council Secretary; or
(d) Commits, or procures or acquiesces in the commission of, any violation of this Part; shall be guilty of a class D offense against the City.