PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, joined by Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea and Representative Robert B. Jacquard, today signed the Rhode Island Lobbying Reform Act.
This Act simplifies and clarifies the rules governing lobbying. It maximizes transparency, promotes a user-friendly registration and recording system, and strengthens lobbying enforcement.
"These reforms will help us build the public's trust and grow our economy," said Raimondo. "I'm thankful to Secretary of State Gorbea and the General Assembly for taking action on this important issue."
The bill signing at the State House Library follows the passage of H7388 SUB A, sponsored by Rep. Jacquard in the House, and S2361 SUB A, sponsored by Sen. Lynch Prata in the Senate.
"When I first entered office, I identified the need for a comprehensive reform of the state's lobbying laws as a priority of my administration," Gorbea said. "This law is the result of our efforts to clarify, streamline and strengthen those statutes. I thank Governor Raimondo, Speaker Mattiello, Senate President Paiva Weed, our sponsors Representative Jacquard and Senator Lynch Prata and the entire General Assembly for working with me to make Rhode Island a leader in openness and transparency."
"The people of Rhode Island deserve to know that the decisions being made at the State House are not being corrupted by lobbyists who refuse to follow the rules," Lynch Prata said. "This legislation enables the public to easily discern who is lobbying on behalf of an issue or organization, as well as gives the Secretary of State the means to root out those who are undermining the democratic process through unethical lobbying behavior. I thank Secretary of State Gorbea for her advocacy on this issue and thank Governor Raimondo for signing this legislation into law."
"Reforming our state's system of lobbying helps to ensure the integrity of our government. Transparency and accountability to the taxpayers is crucial to reforming the public's trust in government," Jacquard said. "The public deserves to know who is trying to influence the decisions of policy makers and this new law makes that possible in an easy and transparent way."