Vendor Lobbyist vs. Vendor Gift Disclosure
While the language used may be unclear, there is a distinction between VENDOR LOBBYISTS and those who are required to file VENDOR GIFT DISCLOSURES.
A VENDOR LOBBYIST is a registered lobbyist who is paid, either individually or part of his/her salary, specifically to influence the selection of a vendor to supply any goods or services to any state agency (and who spends more than 10% of his/her working hours doing this). The definition of Vendor Lobbyist specifically excludes employees who only assist in soliciting a bid, preparing a written bid/proposal/ etc. relating to a potential sale to a state agency as well as bona fide salespeople who sell to/contract with a state agency (and who do not otherwise engage in lobbying). Vendor lobbyists must disclose any/all expenditures made for, to, or on the behalf of Public Officers (which is defined to include every elected state, county and municipal official as well as the executive head and members of every state agency, board, commission, authority). To disclose these expenditures, Vendor Lobbyists are required to file lobbyist reports, according to the filing schedule for vendor lobbyists,
VENDOR GIFT DISCLOSURES come into play when a vendor (for this portion of the law, a vendor is a person who sells goods or services to any branch of state government) gives gifts to one or more PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (this definition includes employees of the legislative, judicial or executive branches but NOT elected officials) that have a total combined value of $250.00 or more in a calendar year (this is the total of all gifts given by the vendor). At that point, the Vendor is required to file a Vendor Gift Disclosure report with the Commission.
There are circumstances where both a lobbyist disclosure form and vendor gift disclosure form are required to be filed with the Commission. For instance, if an individual qualifies as a Vendor Lobbyist and gives gifts with an aggregate value of $250.00+ in a calendar year to one or more Public Employees who are also Public Officers under the Act, he/she must disclose both the lobbyist expenditure and the vendor gift on the separate lobbyist and vendor gift disclosure forms.
However, if someone who does not otherwise fall into the definition of a VENDOR LOBBYIST gives gifts to one or more PUBLIC EMPLOYEES and those gifts have an aggregate value of $250.00+ in a calendar year, he/she must file only the Vendor Gift Disclosure Report.