In accordance with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Act, all lobbyist principals must file an Annual Report with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (“Board”) on or before March 15, 2017. A lobbyist principal is any individual or group that either hires a lobbyist or spends $50,000 or more in any calendar year to influence governmental action in the State of Minnesota.
The lobbyist principal report must disclose the total amount of money spent by the principal on lobbying efforts in Minnesota from January 1 through December 31, 2016. To calculate the amount to be disclosed, the lobbyist principal must consider the following expenses:
- All payments to lobbyists;
- All spending for advertising, mailing, research, analysis, compilation and dissemination of information and public relations campaigns related to legislative action, administrative action or the official action of any metropolitan governmental unit; and
- All salaries and administrative expenses attributable to lobbying activities.
On the report, the total amount that the principal spent must be divided into the following two categories:
- The total amount related to lobbying the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on cases of rate setting, power plant and power line siting, and granting of certificates of need including application preparation and support activities; and
- The total amount spent on all other lobbying activities.
The total amount spent on lobbying may be rounded to the nearest $20,000. According to the Lobbyist Handbook that is published by the Board, an organization that spends $3,000 on lobbying may round this number to $0. Similarly, if the principal’s total lobbying expenditures total $36,000, the organization may report the total as $40,000. Rounding, however, is not required and the Board will accept principal reports that include the actual amount spent on lobbying without rounding.
The Annual Report of Principal Lobbyist may be filed with the Board by electronic mail (email@example.com) or by facsimile (651-539-1196 or 1-800-357-4114). Reports may also be filed electronically at www.cfboard.state.mn.us/lobby/reportPrin.htm. A username and password to use the online reporting system is sent to each lobbyist principal in February of each year. If you have misplaced your username or password, you may obtain a new one from Board staff by calling 651-539-1187. All reports are available for viewing by the public.