(Robert Davis) – Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill on Thursday that overhauls the state’s lobbying regulations and reporting requirements.
Assembly Bill 110 requires lobbyists who participate in the legislative session remotely to register with the Legislative Council Bureau and submit reports relating to their lobbying activities. Only lobbyists who participated in person were previously required to register under state law.
The legislation also excludes people who “confine their lobbying activities to communicating directly with one or more members of the Legislative Branch only on an infrequent or irregular basis,” according to the bill’s text.
AB 110 was sponsored by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Brittney Miller, D-Las Vegas.
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, told ABC affiliate KOLO that the bill is designed to bring more transparency to the lobbying process. The virtual world can make it difficult to know whether someone attending a committee meeting or hearing is a member of the public or a lobbyist.
“Other than our conversations, which you know, most folks you can take their word for it. But I think in an effort that we ensure transparency who is operating in this building on behalf of whom to us about bills; make sure that the public knows who is in this building doing those things. We really need to address the law,” she said, according to KOLO.
Some lobbying groups across the state supported the bill because it provides them access to lawmakers during an unprecedented time. However, Melissa Clement of Nevada Right to Life, a pro-life lobbying organization, said it doesn’t address the real issue facing the legislature—namely, opening the building for public access.
“I’m just a disembodied voice that you can easily ignore,” she told lawmakers in a committee hearing held on Zoom. “It’s a little more difficult for you to ignore when I ride up in an elevator with you.”
Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor