2015 Amendmentsto IC 2-7
Charles W. Harris, JDExecutive Director & General CounselIndiana Lobby Registration Commission
The new definition of “close relative” is much more limited. It includes an individual’s spouse, parents and children. It also treats a relative by adoption, half-blood, marriage, or remarriage as a relative of whole kinship.The new definition is used in place of the former definition of “immediate family” when determining which relatives of a member or employee of the General Assembly or a candidate for election to the Assembly are to be considered “legislative persons” under IC 2-7-1-8.
Amendments to Definition of “Close Relative”—IC 2-7-1-1.7 and IC 2-2.2-1-3
"Family business" means a business entity in which an individual and the individual's spouse own at least eighty percent (80%) of the business, either of the voting stock or other measure of ownership of that type of business entity, regardless of whether all or a portion is owned jointly or severally.The term is applicable when determining whether a lobbyist is required to file apurchase reportunder IC 2-7-3-7.
New Definition of “Family Business”—IC 2-7-1-3.5
The definition of “immediate family” included and individual’s spouse and dependent children. The term previously was used in IC 2-7-1-8 when determining which relatives of a member or employee of the General Assembly or of a candidate for election to the Assembly are to be considered “legislative persons.” The term “immediate family” has been replaced by the term “close relative” in IC 2-7-1-8.
Definition of “Immediate Family” Repealed—Formerly IC 2-7-1-5
The 2015 amendments replace the term “immediate family” with the term “close relative” in the definition of “legislative person.” As a result, more relatives of members of, employees of, and candidates for election to the General Assembly are now considered legislative persons for whom lobbyists must track and report expenses. The table that follows illustrates those family members included in the definition before and after the 2015 amendments.
Amendments to Definition of “Legislative Person”—IC 2-7-1-8
Table of Relatives Defined as “Legislative Persons” before and after 2015 Amendments
Theterm “relative” includes an individual’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, great grandparents, and great grandchildren as well as such a relative of the individual’s spouse.Arelative by adoption, half-blood, marriage, or remarriage is to be considered as a relative of whole kinship.In IC 2-7-2-3 and IC 2-7-2-4 a lobbyists is required to list the name of a member of the General Assembly who is a “relative” of the lobbyist on the lobbyist’s registration statement.
New Definition of “Relative”—IC 2-7-1-16.5 and IC 2-2.2-1-17
In IC 2-7-3-3.3, IC 2-7-3-3.5, IC 2-7-3-7, and IC 2-7-5-8, the new definition of “relative” is used to determine whether certain transactions between “relatives” are reportable or whether a legislative person’s informed prior consent is required for a gift from a lobbyist who is a “relative” of the legislative person.
New Definition of “Relative”—Continued
The amendments remove the former requirement that a compensated lobbyist list the phone number and address of any temporary quarters in Marion County.A compensated lobbyist is now required to list on the lobbyist’s registration statement the name of any member of the General Assembly who is a “relative” of the lobbyist.
Compensated Lobbyist’s Registration Statement--IC 2-7-2-3
An employer lobbyist is now required to list on the lobbyist’s registration statement the name of any member of the General Assembly who is a “relative” of the lobbyist.
Employer Lobbyist’s Registration Statement--IC 2-7-2-4
The amendment provides that a lobbyist is not required to include charges for electronic communications in the lobbyist’s activity report.
Lobbyists’ Activity Reports—IC 2-7-3-3
A separate gift report is required if the value of a gift that a lobbyist makes to a legislative person is $50 or more. The report is to be filed not later than 15 business days after the gift is made.The amendments impose a late fee of $100 per day not to exceed $4,500 for a late gift report. A lobbyist can appeal the late fee but must do so at the same time that the late gift report is filed.The amendments also provide that such a report is not required for a gift between “relatives”.
Separate Gift Reports—IC 2-7-3-3.3
The amendments provide that a lobbyist’s activity report is not to include expenditures or gifts between “relatives”.
Lobbyist’s Activity Report—Transactions Between “Relatives”—IC 2-7-3-3.5 (g)
Subject to a significant exception, a lobbyist is required to file a purchase report if the lobbyist pays more than $100 to purchase goods or services from a member of the General Assembly, a candidate for election to the General Assembly, or such a member’s or candidate’s sole proprietorship or “family business”.The reporting requirement does not apply if the lobbyist pays the same price for the goods or services that the general public would pay in the ordinary course of business.The amendments impose a late fee of $100 per day not to exceed $4,500 for a late purchase report. A lobbyist can appeal the late fee but must do so at the same time that the late purchase report is filed.
Purchase Report—IC 2-7-3-7
Each state college or university is required to file an annual report of the type of entertainment and gift expenses that a registered lobbyist must report in Section E of the lobbyist’s activity report, i.e. expenditures of $50 or more in one day or more than $250 in a reporting year that benefit a specific legislative person.The report is due each November 30thand is to cover the preceding November 1 through October 31 reporting year.
New Reporting Requirement for State Colleges and Universities—IC 2-7-3.5
The annual report from a state college or university is to include expenditures made by:the college or university;an affiliated entity of the college or university, i.e. an institutionally related foundation; oran employee of the college, university or affiliated entity who is reimbursed for the expenditure.
Reporting by State Colleges and Universities Continued—IC 2-7-3.5
The first reports are due November 30, 2015 and are to cover November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2015.A late fee of $100 per day not to exceed $4,500 is imposed for an annual report that is filed after the November 30th due date. A state college or university can appeal the late fee but must do so at the same time that the late report is filed.
Reporting by State Colleges and Universities Continued—IC 2-7-3.5
This section requires a lobbyist to secure a legislative person’s informed prior consent before making a gift valued at $50 or more to the legislative person.The amendments provided that the informed prior consent requirement does not apply to gifts made between “relatives.”
Informed Prior Consent Requirement for Gifts—IC 2-7-5-8
The amendments to this section provide that a lobbyist will not be subject to criminal sanctions for failure to file a required statement or report if the lobbyist files a late statement or report not more than 10 days after receiving a written notice of failure to file from the Commission.The amendments also provide that the Commission is required to send such a notice of failure to file by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Decriminalizing Late Filings—IC 2-7-6-2