This past Friday, September 26th, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced the availability on its website of the “Mandatory On-Line Training for Lobbyists” which must be completed by December 31, 2014. See: www.jcope.ny.gov/training/training_lobbyists.html

What is the training course?

The online training course requirement was included in amendments enacted in 2011, which also created JCOPE and established several additional requirements upon public officials and lobbyists.

In accordance with the enabling statute, the curriculum for the course shall include explanations and discussions of:

  • New York ethics statutes and regulations;
  • Summaries of JCOPE advisory opinions;
  • Underlying purposes and principles of the relevant laws; and,
  • Examples of practical application of the laws and principles.

​The training course should take less than one hour to complete.

Who Must Complete the Training?

Any person registered as a Lobbyist for the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Biennial Reporting Periods must complete the online training by December 31, 2014.

Lobbyists registered for the 2014-15 reporting period and each reporting period thereafter, must complete the online training course once every three years.

A person is a lobbyist if he or she receives more than $5,000 in a year to engage in lobbying activities described below ($5,000 for those engaged in New York City lobbying as well), which include attempts to influence:

  1. The passage or defeat of any legislation or resolution by the State Senate or Assembly including, but not limited to, the introduction or intended introduction of legislation or resolution or approval or disapproval of any legislation by the Governor;
  2. The adoption, issuance, rescission, modification or terms of a gubernatorial executive order or an executive order issued by the chief executive officer of a municipality;
  3. The adoption or rejection of any rule or regulation by a state agency;
  4. The outcome of any rate making proceeding by a state agency;
  5. Any determination:
  • ​by a public official, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official related to a governmental procurement (i.e., procurement lobbying), or,
  • by an officer or employee of the Unified Court System, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with an officer or employee of the unified court system related to a governmental procurement;
  1. The approval, disapproval, implementation or administration of tribal-state compacts, memoranda of understanding, or any other tribal-state agreements and any other state actions related to Class III gaming by a public official or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official;
  2. The passage or defeat of any local law, ordinance, resolution, or regulation by any municipality or subdivision thereof;
  3. The adoption or rejection of any rule, regulation, or resolution having the force and effect of a local law, ordinance, resolution, or regulation; or,
  4. The outcome of any rate making proceeding by any municipality or subdivision thereof.

NYC Lobbying is the attempt to influence the following types of actions:

  1. Any determination made by the City Council with respect to the introduction, passage, defeat or substance of any local legislation or resolution;
  2. Any determination made by the Mayor to support, oppose, approve or disapprove any local legislation or resolution whether or not such legislation has been introduced in the City Council;
  3. Any determination by an elected City official, City officer, or employee concerning:
    • the procurement of goods, services, or construction, the solicitation, award or administration of a contract;
    • the solicitation, award, or administration of a grant, loan; or,
    • agreement involving the disbursement of public monies.
  4. Any determination by the Mayor, the City Council, the City Planning Commission, a Borough President, Borough Board or a Community Board concerning zoning or the use, development, or improvement of real property subject to City regulation;
  5. Any determination by an elected City official, a City officer or employee concerning:
    • the terms of acquisition or disposition by the City of any interest in real property;
    • a license or permit for the use of real property of or by the City; or,
    • a franchise, concession, or revocable consent.
  6. The proposal, adoption, amendment, or rejection of any rule by an agency;
  7. The decision to hold, timing or outcome of a ratemaking proceeding before an agency;
  8. The agenda or any determination of a board or commission;
  9. Any determination regarding the calendaring or scope of any City Council oversight hearing;
  10. The issuance, repeal, modification or substance of a mayoral executive order; or,
  11. Any determination made by an elected city official or an officer or employee of the city to support or oppose any state or federal legislation, rule or regulation whether or not it has been formally introduced or proposed.

Engaging in these activities for which a person receives more than $5,000 requires that such person be registered to lobby with JCOPE (and Office of City Clerk, if engaged in NYC lobbying).

Note that if a person engages in lobbying activity and he or she owns, manages (including Board members) or is employed by a company, association or firm which is registered to lobby, such person must be included on (or added to) the Lobbyist Statement of Registration even if such person does not individually receive $5,000 in compensation for engaging in lobbying.

Who is Not Required to Complete the Training?

A company, association or firm that retains a lobbying firm, such as Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and does not have an in-house, registered lobbyist, is not required to file a Lobbyist Statement of Registration and would not be obligated to complete the online training course.

What If I Have Questions?

Questions related to enrolling in the online course or technical issues can be referred to JCOPE at (518) 474-3973 or helpdesk@jcope.ny.gov. The agency also has provided a useful resource at www.jcope.ny.gov/training/training_lobbyists.html.

Denise Wagner Furman