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  • 09/18/2014 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    This morning, Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) disapproved the Department of State’s proposed increase to the biennial lobbyists registration fee which would have increased fees for lobbyists, lobbying firms and principals from $200 to $400.  DOS had originally proposed to increase the registration fee from $200 to $700 but revised its proposal based on comments and feedback from stakeholders, including PAGR and several PAGR members. 

     

    In our conversations with the Department of State and the IRRC over the last year and a half, PAGR registered significant concerns with the proposed increase. An increase of this magnitude would  create a disincentive for citizens to engage in the democratic process with Pennsylvania lawmakers and members of the Administration.  We asserted that increasing the lobbying registration fee  would create barriers to transparency; would make compliance with the Lobbyists Disclosure Act more of a burden for smaller entities, particularly nonprofits; and would restrict the voices of Pennsylvanians who may opt not to exercise their abilities to communicate with legislators because fees are beyond their reach.

     

    In PAGR’s many discussions with DOS, the Department cited the increased cost of doing business as one of the

    reasons for the proposed increase. As you know well, PAGR members, their registered staff and their principals (all of whom would be subject to this increase) also live with the same limited resources and the same challenges of doing more with less.

     

    PAGR represents not only lobbyists and lobbying firms, but also government relations staff who advocate for small businesses and nonprofits. We believed there was an assumption on the part of DOS that all registered lobbyists can simply pass the increased costs down to their clients, or absorb it within their own infrastructure; this is simply not the case.

     

    DOS also told us that the burden of maintaining the lobbyist registration database and website should not rest solely on the general public and the General Fund. PAGR respectfully disagreed. We support transparency and compliance with the Lobbyist Disclosure Act. However, since the database and website are meant for the public benefit, it is appropriate that taxpayer dollars support it. PAGR reminded DOS that lobbyists are already subject to a tax on lobbying services. PAGR recommended that funds from the lobbying services tax be earmarked for maintaining the infrastructure needed to support the Lobbyists Disclosure Act.

     

    I would like to personally thank all of PAGR’s members who added their voices to this effort, and to the Board members who helped craft PAGR’s responses, joined me in meetings with both the Department of State and the IRRC,  and who added testimony to this morning’s hearing. A very special thank you to Judy Eschberger and Katie Dotto.

     

    PAGR will always support transparency and compliance with the Lobbyist Disclosure Act. But we have an obligation to ensure that increased fees don’t create unnecessary barriers to either.  We see today as a win, not just for the lobbying community, but for all Pennsylvanians who advocate with members of the Legislature and the Administration for issues that matter to them. 

     

    Thank you again for your support as PAGR members. Please share this communication with your colleagues who may not be a part of the only association for lobbyists and GR professionals in Pennsylvania yet.

  • 09/12/2014 7:13 AM | Anonymous

    Members of the PAGR Board met with the IRRC this morning to discuss the proposed lobbyist registration fee increase from $200 to $400. As you’ll see in the comments linked here (and soon to be on the IRRC website), while we appreciate the outreach from the Department of State, their willingness to meet with PAGR to discuss some of our recommendations, and the fact that they have amended their proposed increase from $700 to $400, PAGR continues to oppose this proposed fee increase. 

     

    The IRRC noted that they had received very few comments on the updated proposed regulation. So please, if you are able, share your thoughts with the IRRC – even if it is restating comments your organization submitted in June 2013 or PAGR’s own comments. Please don’t let the IRRC assume the regulated community is ok with this increase if you are not.

     

    Thanks very much to PAGR members who have already submitted comments and shared them with us (http://www.irrc.state.pa.us/regulations/RegSrchRslts.cfm?ID=3018). And a thank you in advance to anyone who will be able to attend the September 18th Hearing (http://www.irrc.state.pa.us/documents/uploads/meetings/09-18-2014_Agenda.pdf). 

     

  • 09/02/2014 7:56 AM | Anonymous
    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Capitol Happy Hour Sponsors
    • September 10th Capitol Happy Hour
    • October 6th Membership Meeting

    To view the newsletter, click here.
  • 08/25/2014 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Our last Capitol Happy Hour is two weeks away and members are invited!

    Wednesday, September 10 - PAGR Capitol Happy Hours with the Senate.

    5:00 - 7:00 pm at The Sturges Speakeasy, 2nd floor, Harrisburg.

    Network with members of the Senate at the third of three events.

    Sponsors of the event (see list below) are allotted two tickets.  Sponsorship is the only way non-PAGR members can attend.  If you would like to sponsor the last event of the year ($150), contact Christine Corrigan at info@pagr.org.  PAGR members are $40 to attend.

    Current Sponsors of this event are:

    2014 HH sponsors

    COMPANY

    APSCUF

    BRAVO GROUP

    BROADBAND CABLE ASSOCIATION OF PA

    COLUMBIA GAS of PA

    CROWNE PLAZA HARRISBURG

    Duane Morris Government Stategies

    F.C. BROWN & ASSOCIATES

    FIRSTENERGY CORP

    GMEREK GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

    GREENLEE PARTNERS

    HIGHMARK INC

    MILLIRON & GOODMAN, LLC

    NOVAK STRATEGIC ADVISORS

    PA ASSN of REALTORS

    PA BANKERS ASSOCIATION

    PA BAR ASSN

    PA BEER ALLIANCE

    PA CHAMBER of BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

    PA CREDIT UNION ASSOCIATION

    PA FOOD MERCHANTS ASSN

    PA INSTITUTE of CPA's

    PA MEDICAL SOCIETY

    PA NEWSMEDIA ASSOCIATION

    PA RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

    PA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSN

    PAR - PA Advocacy & Resources

    PUGLIESE ASSOCIATES

    S.R. WOJDAK & ASSOCIATES

    STEVENS & LEE

    THE ASSOCIATION of GLOBAL AUTOMAKERS

    THE HOSPITAL & HEALTHSYSTEM ASSN of PA

    UNIVERSITY OF PA, Office of Gov & Comm Affairs

    WANNER ASSOCIATES, INC.

  • 05/29/2014 12:43 PM | Anonymous
    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Capitol Happy Hour Sponsors
    • PAGR contributes to the YMCA’s Youth & Governnment Program
    • June 2nd Membership Meeting
    • June 12th Capitol Happy Hour

    To view the newsletter, click here.
  • 03/31/2014 7:34 PM | Anonymous
    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Capitol Happy Hour Sponsors
    • 2014 Meeting Schedule
    • April 7th Meeting

    To view the newsletter, click here.

  • 03/06/2014 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    PAGR is very excited to announce our first ever Capitol Happy Hours.  We have planned three separate "PAGR member" only events designed to put our members together with the top staffers of the House, Senate and the Administration.  This is your chance to entertain these important colleagues in a fun, relaxed and affordable atmosphere.

    The linked form details how you can be a part of this unique opportunity by sponsoring one or all three events. 

  • 02/06/2014 6:40 AM | Anonymous
    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Happy Hour Schedule
    • 2014 Meeting Schedule
    • In Memory of Bill Bacon

    Click here to open Newsletter (pdf).

  • 12/12/2013 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Recapping Lobbypalooza 2013
    • 2014 Meeting Schedule
    • 2014 PAGR Board

  • 09/05/2013 4:48 PM | Anonymous
    In this issue:
    • President Gabrielle Sedor's Message
    • Lobbypalooza 2013
    • October 2013 Meeting
    • Lobbyist Registration Fees
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