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Lobbying Regulation in New York State

New York State first required lobbyists to register and disclose their efforts to influence legislation nearly one hundred years ago, in 1906.1 Proving, once again, that the more things change, the more they stay the same, the first person to register under the 1906 law was the Reverend A.S. Gregg, who represented the "International Reform Bureau of Washington" and was retained to lobby for an anti-gambling bill that would make gambling a felony within "racetrack inclosures."2 The 1906 law required that lobbyists register with the Secretary of State, and, at the end of the legislative session, disclose their expenses.3 This law remained in effect for seventy-one years until 1977 when the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying (the "Temporary State Commission") was created to receive lobbying filings and to issue advisory opinions on the application of the lobbying law.4 Subsequent to the 1977 law, what is now the Lobbying Act was amended numerous times, nearly each time creating new regulatory bodies to regulate the lobbying industry in response to a perceived scandal.

1 N.Y. Laws of 1906, Ch. 321.
2 First Lobbyist Register, N.Y. Times, May 1, 1906.
3 N.Y. Laws of 1906, Ch. 321.
4 N.Y. Laws of 1977, Ch. 937.

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