Lawmakers take aim at disclosure loopholes in Colorado lobbying laws

The Colorado Sun: Colorado lawmakers have introduced a measure to eliminate loopholes in lobbying laws and require more disclosure to the public, part of an effort to address long-standing concerns about transparency.

The legislation — House Bill 1248 — would require more frequent reporting by lobbyists what bills they were hired to track and the position taken by their clients. Lobbyists would need to file any changes in their positions on legislation within 48 hours during the session. Now, those updates are required only once a month.

The legislation also aims to close loopholes that some lobbyists appear to use to avoid reporting income from clients. In particular, it would require lobbyists who are also attorneys to file disclosures that list their lobbying clients. And it would require individual lobbyists to not only disclose the firms where they work, but all the clients that hired them.

“I think we as elected officials are caretakers of the public trust for so long as we are in our office,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, an Aurora Democrat and the bill’s sponsor. “One has a responsibility to (instill) confidence in representative government when you are an office. That is why I’m bringing this bill, to fortify public confidence in what we do at the Capitol.”

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