Sacramento, CA — California may take a step towards cracking down on illegal lobbying at the state capitol.
The Fair Political Practices Commission will vote today whether to give state officials the power to mandate that suspected lobbyists to show evidence of whether they are being paid to influence lawmakers. Lobbyists are currently required to register with the state if they make over $2,000 in a given month for efforts to sway the opinions of lawmakers. However, there are limited mechanisms to enforce the rules, and the Associated Press reports that most people targeted by probes just claim that they do not qualify as lobbyists, and the investigation ends. The change would allow investigators to require suspects to provide documented evidence. The move has the support of commission chairwoman Jodi Remke.
Opponents, however, argue the change would make the rules too complicated for the common innocent citizens that want to visit the capitol and speak to lawmakers. They would now have the burden of having to keep records to prove they are not paid lobbyists.