The members of a citizens advisory committee will only be required to register and report as lobbyists under Initiative No. 276 if (1) their activities are such as to constitute "lobbying" as defined in RCW 42.17.020(16), and (2) they are compensated in connection with those activities in a manner other than as employees of the legislature.
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May 3, 1974
Honorable Fred H. Dore
State Senator, 45th District
1424 Washington Building
Seattle, Washington 98101 Cite as: AGLO 1974 No. 52
Dear Senator Dore:
By recent letter you have inquired as to the applicability of what you have referred to as the "Washington State Lobbying Act" to the members of a citizens advisory committee ". . . helping draft up a report . . ." We respond to this question in the manner set forth below.
We would assume by the foregoing reference that the law which you have in mind is that portion of Initiative No. 276 which currently regulates the activities of lobbyists in this state; i.e., chapter II, now codified as RCW 42.17.150-42.17.230. In order for the provisions of this chapter of the initiative to be applicable, however, one would first have to make a determination that the activities in which the committee members are engaged are such as to constitute "lobbying" as defined in RCW 42.17.020(16), which reads as follows:
"'Lobby' and 'lobbying' each mean attempting to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the legislature of the state of Washington, or the adoption or rejection of any rule, standard, rate or other legislative enactment of any state agency under the state Administrative Procedure Acts, chapter 34.04 RCW and chapter 28B.19 RCW."
In addition, even if certain of the activities of the members of a citizens advisory committee were such as to constitute "lobbying" as thus defined, those members could, nevertheless, be exempt from the lobbyist registration and reporting requirements of the law by virtue of RCW 42.17.160. See, in particular, so much of this statute as provides that:
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
"The following persons and activities shall be exempt from registration and reporting under RCW 42.17.150, 42.17.170, 42.17.190, and 42.17.200:
". . .
"(3) Lobbying without compensation or other consideration: . . .
"(7) Except as provided by RCW 42.17.190(1), persons employed by the legislature for the purpose of aiding in the preparation and enactment of legislation."
If the individuals involved are serving solely as uncompensated volunteers ‑ receiving no compensation from either the legislature or from any private employer in connection with their activities as members of the advisory committee ‑ the exemption provided for in subsection (3), supra, would appear to be applicable. Conversely, if those individuals should happen to be serving on the advisory committee as compensated employees of the legislature itself, subsection (7) would be applicable ‑ assuming that there is compliance with RCW 42.17.190(1) which provides that:
"(1) Every legislator and every committee of the legislature shall file with the commission quarterly reports listing the names, addresses, and salaries of all persons employed by the person or committee making the filing for the purpose of aiding in the preparation and enactment of legislation during the preceding quarter. The reports shall be made in the form and the manner prescribed by the commission and shall be filed between the first and tenth days of each calendar quarter.
In summary, then, the members of a citizens advisory committee such as you have described will only be required to register and report as lobbyists under Initiative No. 276 if:
(1) Their activities are such as to constitute "lobbying" as defined in RCW 42.17.020(16), supra; and
(2) they are compensated in connection with those [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] activities in a manner other than as employees of the legislature.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.