Aurora lobbyist registration law takes effect; no penalties until 2022

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AURORA | Beginning this month, people or organizations that are lobbying in the city of Aurora must register with the clerk’s office.

The ordinance, sponsored by council member Angela Lawson, passed in March, with one “nay” vote from council member Marsha Berzins. It took effect Aug. 1.

Lobbyists will have to disclose their activities in public reports and submit a quarterly financial report with the city clerk. The first reports are due Oct. 15. 

The city will neither accept compliance complaints nor sanction anybody who violates the new rules until mid-January, according to a city news release. In the mean time, the clerk’s office will “focus on education and compliance in the regulation of lobbyists during the year the ordinance takes effect.” 

Lobbyists who skirt the new city rules could eventually lose the ability to influence city officials, including department heads, city staff, council members, board and commission members, and others.

Lawson said earlier this year her effort in one to enhance transparency in city government. Interested residents will be able to request and examine the reports, which will highlight which issues are luring in lobbyists.

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