Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 031490
   

File Number: 031490 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 03-107 Control: County Commission
File Name: ORDINANCE RELATING TO LOBBYING Introduced: 5/6/2003
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/6/2003
Agenda Date: 5/6/2003 Agenda Item Number: 6A
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. (also see 031166) Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 2-11.1(S) OF CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO LOBBYING; AMENDING DEFINITION OF LOBBYIST; ELIMINATING ISSUE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT AND FEE; PROVIDING FOR ANNUAL LOBBYIST REGISTRATION AND FEE; PROVIDING FOR AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF LOBBYISTS WHO FAIL TO FILE EXPENDITURE REPORTS BY SEPTEMBER 1 OF EACH YEAR; PROHIBITING USE OF CONTINGENCY FEES TO COMPENSATE LOBBYISTS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: LOBBYISTS
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 5/15/2003 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez 5/15/2003

Board of County Commissioners 5/6/2003 6A Adopted as amended P
REPORT: In response to Commissioner Sosa's inquiry regarding the changes that were made to the foregoing proposed ordinance by the Governmental Operations and Environment Committee, Commissioner Sorenson noted these changes were incorporated into the proposed ordinance. Following discussion among members of the Board on the foregoing ordinance, it was moved by Commissioner Sorenson that this ordinance be adopted. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman. Commissioner Moss noted he would like to review the lobbyist requirement for not-for-profit organizations. Chairperson Carey-Shuler asked that appropriate legislation be prepared to exempt not-for-profit organizations from registering as lobbyists. Commissioner Martinez suggested that the Community Action Agency (CAA) notify not-for-profit organizations that they were required to register, pending an amendment to the foregoing ordinance to exclude these organizations from registering as lobbyists. Chairperson Carey-Shuler suggested, and Commissioner Sorenson as sponsor of the ordinance concurred, that the ordinance be amended on the floor today to exclude not-for-profit organizations from registering as lobbyists. The foregoing ordinance was amended to eliminate "lobbyist" in the first two sentences of Section 2-11.1(s) (7), and to insert "person"; and to exclude not-for-profit Community Based Organizations from registering as lobbyists.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 2-11.1(s) OF CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO LOBBYING; AMENDING DEFINITION OF LOBBYIST; ELIMINATING ISSUE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT AND FEE; PROVIDING FOR ANNUAL LOBBYIST REGISTRATION AND FEE; PROVIDING FOR AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF LOBBYISTS WHO FAIL TO FILE EXPENDITURE REPORTS BY SEPTEMBER 1 OF EACH YEAR; PROHIBITING USE OF CONTINGENCY FEES TO COMPENSATE LOBBYISTS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 2-11.1(s) of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec. 2-11.1. Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance.

* * *

(s) Lobbying.

(1) >>(a)<

>>(b) As used in this section,<< "Lobbyist" means all persons, firms, or corporations employed or retained by a principal who seeks to encourage the passage, defeat, or modifications of (1) ordinance, resolution, action or decision of the County Commission; (2) any action, decision, recommendation of >>the County Manager or<< any County board or committee; or (3) any action, decision or recommendation of County personnel during the time period of the entire decision-making process on such action, decision or recommendation which foreseeably will be heard or reviewed by the County Commission, or a County board or committee. "Lobbyist" specifically includes the principal[[,]] >>as well as any employee whose normal scope of employment includes lobbying activities<< [[as described above, as well as any agent, officer or employee of a principal, regardless of whether such lobbying activities fall within the normal scope of employment of such agent, officer or employee]]. >>The term "Lobbyist" specifically excludes the following persons: attorneys or other representatives retained or employed solely for the purpose of representing individuals, corporations or other entities during publicly noticed quasi-judicial proceedings where the law prohibits ex-parte communications; expert witnesses who provide only scientific, technical or other specialized information or testimony in public meetings; any person who only appears as a representative of a neighborhood association without compensation or reimbursement for the appearance, whether direct, indirect or contingent, to express support of or opposition to any item; any person who only appears as a representative of a not-for-profit community based organization for the purpose of requesting a grant without special compensation or reimbursement for the appearance; and employees of a principal whose normal scope of employment does not include lobbying activities.<<

(2) All lobbyists shall register with the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners within five (5) business days of being retained as a lobbyist or before engaging in any lobbying activities, whichever shall come first. Every person required to so register shall:

(a) Register on forms prepared by the Clerk;

[[(b) Pay a registration fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00);]]

[[(c)]]>>(b)<< State under oath his or her name, business address[[,]] >>and<< the name and business address of each person or entity which has employed said registrant to lobby[[, and the specific issue on which he or she has been employed to lobby]]. If the lobbyist represents a corporation, >>the corporation<< shall also be identified. Without limiting the foregoing, the lobbyist shall also identify all persons holding, directly or indirectly, a five (5) percent or more ownership interest in such corporation, partnership, or trust. [[Separate registration shall be required for each specific issue. Such issue shall be described with as much detail as is practical, including but not limited to a specific description (where applicable) of a pending request for a proposal, invitation to bid, public hearing number, etc. The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners shall reject any registration statement which does not provide a description of the specific issue on which such lobbyist has been employed to lobby]]. Registration of all lobbyists shall be required prior to >>January 15 of each<< [[October 1 of every even-numbered]] year and each person who withdraws as a lobbyist for a particular client shall file an appropriate notice of withdrawal. The fee for >>annual<< [[biennial]] registration shall be >>four<< [[five]] hundred >>and ninety<< dollars >>($490.00)<< [[($500.00). Initially, all lobbyists shall register on or before June 1, 1991. In addition, e]]>>E<>,<< transcribing, administration and other costs incurred in maintaining these records for availability to the public. There shall be no fee required for filing a notice of withdrawal and the Board of County Commissioners may, in its discretion, waive the registration fee upon a finding of financial hardship.

[[(d)]]>>(c)<< Prior to conducting any lobbying, all principals must file a form with the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, signed by the principal or the principal's representative, stating that the lobbyist is authorized to represent the principal. Failure of a principal to file the form required by the preceding sentence may be considered in the evaluation of a bid or proposal as evidence that a proposer or bidder is not a responsible contractor. Each principal shall file a form with the Clerk of the Board at the point in time at which a lobbyist is no longer authorized to represent the principal.

* * *

(4) Any person who only appears as a representative of a not>>-<>-<
(5) Any person who appears as a representative for an individual or firm for an oral presentation before a county certification, evaluation, selection, technical review or similar committee, shall list on an affidavit provided by the County, all individuals who may make a presentation. The affidavit shall be filed by staff with the [[c]]>>C<
(6) (a) Commencing July 1, 1986, and on July 1 of each year thereafter, the lobbyist shall submit to the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners a signed statement under oath, as provided herein, listing all lobbying expenditures in excess of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the preceding calendar year. A statement shall be filed even if there [[has]] >>have<< been no expenditures during the reporting period. The statement shall list in detail each expenditure by category, including food and beverage, entertainment, research, communication, media advertising, publications, travel, lodging and special events.

(b) The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners shall notify any lobbyist who fails to timely file an expenditure report. In addition to any other penalties which may be imposed as provided in subsection (s)[[(8)]]>>(9)<<, a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day shall be assessed for reports filed after the due date. Where a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day is assessed, the Ethics Commission shall not impose a fine as provided in subsection [[(u)]]>>(z). Any lobbyist who fails to file the required expenditure report by September 1st shall be automatically suspended from lobbying until all fines are paid unless the fine has been appealed to the Ethics Commission.<<

(c) The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners shall notify the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust of the failure of a lobbyist >>or principal<< to file a report and/or pay the assessed fines after notification.

(d) A lobbyist >>or principal<< may appeal a fine and may request a hearing before the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. A request for a hearing on the fine must be filed with the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the notification of the failure to file the required disclosure form. The Commission on Ethics and Public Trust shall have the authority to waive the fine, in whole or part, based on good cause shown. The Commission on Ethics and Public Trust shall have the authority to adopt rules of procedure regarding appeals from the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.

>>(7) No person may, in whole or in part, pay, give or agree to pay or give a contingency fee to another person. No person may, in whole or in part, receive or agree to receive a contingency fee. As used herein, "contingency fee" means a fee, bonus, commission, or nonmonetary benefit as compensation which is dependent on or in any way contingent on the passage, defeat, or modification of: (1) an ordinance, resolution, action or decision of the County Commission; (2) any action, decision or recommendation of the County Manager or any County board or committee; or (3) any action, decision or recommendation of County personnel during the time period of the entire decision-making process regarding such action, decision or recommendation which foreseeably will be heard or reviewed by the County Commission, or a County board or committee.<<

[[(7)]]>>(8)<< The Clerk shall publish logs on a quarterly and an annual basis reflecting the lobbyist registrations which have been filed in accordance with this subsection (s). [[The Clerk shall publish logs for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1989-90 and the first quarter of fiscal year 1990-91 as soon as practicable after the effective date of this ordinance.]] All logs required by this ordinance shall be prepared in a manner substantially similar to the logs prepared for the Florida Legislature pursuant to Section 11.045, Florida Statutes.

[[(8)]]>>(9)<< The Ethics Commission shall investigate any person engaged in lobbying activities who may be in violation of this subsection(s). In the event that a violation is found to have been committed the Ethics Commission may, in addition to the penalties set forth in subsection [[(u)]]>>(z)<<, prohibit such person from lobbying before the County Commission or any committee, board or personnel of the County as provided herein. Every lobbyist who is found to be in violation of this section shall be prohibited from registering as a lobbyist or lobbying in accordance with the following schedule:

1st violation for a period of 90 days from the date of determination of violation;

2nd violation for a period of one (1) year from the date of determination of violation;

3rd violation for a period of five (5) years from the date of determination of violation;

A bidder or proposer shall be subject to the debarment provisions of Section 10-38 of the Code of Miami-Dade County as if the bidder or proposer were a contractor where the bidder or proposer has violated this section, either directly or indirectly or any combination thereof, on three (3) or more occasions. As used herein, a "direct violation" shall mean a violation committed by the bidder or proposer and an "indirect violation" shall mean a violation committed by a lobbyist representing said bidder or proposer. A contract entered into in violation of this section shall also render the contract vio[[l]]>>d<
[[(9)]]>>(10)<
[[(10)]]>>(11)<>(9)<<, the validity of any action or determination of the [[b]]>>B<>C<>C<>C<
Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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