About Michigan's Lobbyable Public Officials

The Michigan Lobby Registration Act - Lobbyable Public Officials

The Michigan Lobby Registration Act, Public Act 472 of 1978, was enacted in order to provide public disclosure of the activities of persons who attempt to influence the actions of state level public officials. Under Section 6(1) of the Act, a person is defined as "a business, individual, proprietorship, firm, joint venture, syndicate, business trust, labor organization, company, corporation, association, committee, or any other organization or group of persons acting jointly, including a state agency or a political subdivision of the state." The Lobby Act does not function as a licensing requirement for persons who intend to lobby public officials. The Lobby Act does require persons, who make expenditures or receive compensation or reimbursement for lobbying activities in excess of thresholds, specified under the Act, to register and report as lobbyists or lobbyist agents with the Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Elections.

Lobbying is defined as any direct contact with a lobbyable public official, whether face-to-face, by telephone, letter, electronic media, or any other means, the purpose of which is to influence the official's legislative or administrative actions. 

Lobbyable Public Officials are specified under Section (5) of the Act. Officials in the executive branch are specified under Section 5(9). Officials in the legislative branch are specified under Section 5(10). Lobbyable public officials are essentially those persons, defined under statute, who may use personal discretion in deciding whether or not to engage in some type of legislative or administrative action. Lobbyable Public Officials are defined in the following sections of the Michigan Lobby Registration Act:

SECTION 5(9) and SECTION 5(10) OF THE LOBBY REGISTRATION ACT
(9) "Official in the executive branch" means the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general; or an individual who is in the executive branch of state government and not under civil service; a classified director, chief deputy director, or deputy director of a state department. This includes an individual who is elected or appointed and has not yet taken, or an individual who is nominated for appointment to, any of the offices or agencies enumerated in this subsection. An official in the executive branch does not include a person serving in a clerical, non-policy-making, or non-administrative capacity.

(10) "Official in the legislative branch" means a member of the legislature, the auditor general, the deputy auditor general, an employee of the consumer's council, the director of the legislative retirement system, or any other employee of the legislature other than an individual employed by the state in a clerical or non-policy-making capacity.