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Overview of the RI Lobbying Reform Act

In 2016, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea worked to pass landmark legislation that simplifies, clarifies, and strengthens lobbying laws in Rhode Island, which became effective January 1, 2017. You can view the entire statue (§ 42-139.1) online or request a printed copy from our Public Information Office. The new Rules and Regulations are also available online or in our Public Information Office.   


Clarifies the definitions of who does and does not have to register their lobbying relationships. The Lobbying Reform Act has combined all previous types of lobbying activity into one category and the requirements are the same whether you are lobbying the executive branch or the legislative branch of our state government.


Simplifies the registration and reporting process for those engaged in lobbying activity. The new Lobbying Registration Desk makes it easier to keep track of and report on “money” and “anything of value” given to certain public officials and improves the accuracy of how compensation to lobbyists and firms is displayed to the public.


Strengthens penalties for violations. Anyone found not in compliance with the law can be fined up to $5,000 and debarred from lobbying in Rhode Island for up to three years.