McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

There are mainly two types of lobbying at the state level in California – legislative and regulatory. Some advocates may add budgetary and procurement lobbying to this list, but the main two types involve lobbying the legislative and executive branches of state government. At its core, legislative lobbying is advocating for or against legislation while regulatory lobbying is lobbying for or against regulations. Today, we’re looking at a brief overview of legislative lobbying.

A legislative lobbyist, versus a regulatory lobbyist or a procurement lobbyist, is focused on the state legislature. He or she represents clients before the legislative branch of government and expresses those clients’ positions on pending legislation including budgetary matters being considered by the legislative branch of government.

Legislative lobbyists in California interact with the 80 members of the State Assembly and the 40 members of the State Senate. In addition, they lobby the staff of these legislators as well as the staff of the more than 50 Assembly and Senate policy and fiscal committees.

As a part of lobbying state legislation, these lobbyists will also interact with the Governor’s office, as well as state agencies and departments that have jurisdiction over the particular subject matters of their lobbying. These legislative lobbyists may work for a single employer, such as a company or an association, or they may work for a firm that represents several clients. Their goals are to educate officials and staff about their clients’ interests and attempt to influence decisions of those officials that impact their clients.

Lobbyists prepare briefing materials, such as one page explanations to in depth policy papers explaining important issues as well as positions on pending legislation. They prepare advocacy documents including position letters and committee testimony. Their educational and advocacy efforts are intended to explain the likely ramifications or impacts of pending legislation and what will happen to their clients individually, or perhaps an industry as a whole, due to the implementation of the proposed legislation.

Legislative lobbyists also work with their clients throughout the process to explain the impact of these bills and recommend a course, or courses, of action as the measures wind their way through the legislative process. When changes are made that may result in a change in position, the clients need to be made aware of them, as well as legislators and their staff.

You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.