Federal Lobby Reporting Changes: You Need to Know JACK
Lobbyists registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) are now required to disclose federal and state convictions of certain crimes. Under the "Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act of 2018," or "JACK Act," lobbyist registrants filing Form LD-1, and quarterly filers of Form LD-2 lobbying activity reports are required to disclose whether any of the listed lobbyists have been convicted of offenses involving bribery, extortion, embezzlement, an illegal kickback, tax evasion, fraud, a conflict of interest, making a false statement, perjury, or money laundering.
This past weekend, the House Clerk and Secretary of the Senate updated the lobbying disclosure forms to implement the law, effective with the first quarter lobby reports of 2019. The first quarter reports are due on April 22. For each lobbyist that has been convicted of one of the "predicate offenses" listed above, the reports require:
- the date of the conviction;
- the jurisdiction of the offense (federal judicial district, or specific county/municipal jurisdiction); and
- either a reference to the predicate offense(s) or the code section(s) under which the lobbyist was convicted, including the number of counts for each.
This information must appear on every subsequent report on which that lobbyist is listed.
Although the vast majority of lobbyists will never have anything to report, it is still important to take this new requirement seriously. Lobbyist registrants should specifically ask each of the lobbyists they are listing, and their outside consultants, whether they have any reportable convictions. Making false statements on LDA filings or omitting information required to be reported may be a violation of the law by the lobbyist registrant.