A slew of prominent communications firms may be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposal by the state ethics commission.
The plan would force private consulting groups that have helped craft messages for lobbying efforts to register with the state. Until now, their activities have not been considered lobbying.
Under a proposed advisory opinion by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a person or firm would be required to publicly disclose their activities with the state if they helped set up a meeting with a public official, had direct interaction with an official in connection with an advocacy campaign, or provided substantive or strategic input on both the content and delivery of a message.
The Joint Public Commission on Public Ethics is seeking comments through Dec. 4 on its proposal. At some point after that, the commission will decide whether to approve it.