It’s that time of year again — national legislative conferences (American Legislative Exchange Council, National Conference of State Legislatures, etc.) are in full swing. Throughout the summer, lobbyists, legislators and their staff will attend national conferences hosted in various cities.

A national conference is defined as a gathering of any organization to which the General Assembly, a legislative agency, a state institution of higher education, any other state agency, any political subdivision, or any office or agency of a political subdivision pays membership dues.

Although lobbyists have a $75 annual limit on providing public officials and their staff meals and beverages, meals and beverages provided at a national conference do not count toward this limit and are reported separately.

Ordinarily, employers of lobbyists are required to report all meals and beverages provided to public officials. However, the exception for meals and beverages provided at a national conference also applies to employers and is only reported in the aggregate.