Lobbying Disclosure – Score: 66.3 Grade: D Ranking: 20

Alabama got a 66.3 score in the Lobbying Disclosure category of the Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation, ranking it 20th in the country on that measure.

Alabama got high scores for requiring people who are paid to lobby any branch of government, including the executive branch, to register with the Ethics Commission. Those who are classified as lobbyists must file registration forms within 10 days of beginning lobbying activities.

Otherwise the state got a lot of grades in the middle of the spectrum. For instance, all lobbyists are required to file with the Ethics Commission quarterly reports declaring any money spent on public officials, employees or their families over the amounts set in law, or any other business associations they have with public officials, candidates or their families. However, they are not required to report their salaries or fees they are paid for their services. Lobbyists also must file quarterly disclosure statements that list the subjects on which they lobbied during the period along with financial transactions over certain thresholds with public officials. However, the disclosures do not require that lobbyists list which bills they lobbied on. Nor do they have to give detailed expense reports.

The public has access to much of this data. The list of registered lobbyists is available on the Ethics Commission website and is updated daily. Copies of the annual lobbyists’ registration forms and principals’ statements, and the quarterly reports from lobbyists and principals are available from the Ethics Commission on request.