Olympia Lobbyists http://www.kplu.org en Wash. Ethics Panel Gets Earful On Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-ethics-panel-gets-earful-lobbyist-paid-meals-lawmakers-0 <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/154845266&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin-bottom: 1.5em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: 14.40143871307373px;">How often is “infrequent” when it comes to state lawmakers accepting free meals from lobbyists? Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board spent nearly two hours Tuesday taking testimony on that issue and then grappling with the answer.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:15:06 +0000 Austin Jenkins 17220 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Ethics Panel Gets Earful On Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals http://www.kplu.org/post/ethics-board-consider-crackdown-lobbyist-paid-meals <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By next January, Washington state lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists. The state’s Legislative Ethics Board decided Tuesday to clarify the rules governing gifts in the form of food and beverage. The board’s action follows <a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/influence-game-lobbyists-wine-dine-lawmakers-after-hours">our investigation last year</a> into lobbyist-paid meals.</span></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:37:46 +0000 Austin Jenkins 16053 at http://www.kplu.org Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals State Senators Want Ethics Boards — Not Lawmakers — To Define ‘Infrequent’ Meals http://www.kplu.org/post/state-senators-want-ethics-boards-not-lawmakers-define-infrequent-meals <p>Washington’s ethics boards should define how often lawmakers can dine out at lobbyist expense, according to nearly a <span style="line-height: 1.5;">dozen state senators who’ve signed onto a proposal that would direct legislative and executive ethics panels to clarify the rules for lobbyist-paid meals.</span></p><p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 23:31:21 +0000 Austin Jenkins 12879 at http://www.kplu.org State Senators Want Ethics Boards — Not Lawmakers — To Define ‘Infrequent’ Meals Free Meal Complaint Against Lawmakers Dismissed, ‘Serious Concerns’ Remain http://www.kplu.org/post/free-meal-complaint-against-lawmakers-dismissed-serious-concerns-remain <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Five Republican state senators did not violate Washington ethics law when they accepted dozens of free meals from lobbyists earlier this year, according to a ruling made public Friday by Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board.</span></p><p>However, the board added the situation raises “serious questions” and an “enforceable” rule is needed.</p><p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 20:39:47 +0000 Austin Jenkins 11951 at http://www.kplu.org Free Meal Complaint Against Lawmakers Dismissed, ‘Serious Concerns’ Remain State Lawmakers to Get Clearer Guidance on Lobbyist-Paid Meals http://www.kplu.org/post/state-lawmakers-get-clearer-guidance-lobbyist-paid-meals <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington lawmakers will soon get clearer guidance on when it’s appropriate to accept free meals from lobbyists.</span></p><p>The state’s Legislative Ethics Board on Tuesday wrapped up a months-long review of lobbyist-paid meals. The move followed <a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/several-state-lawmakers-eat-frequently-lobbyists-dime">our investigation earlier this year</a> into lawmakers who regularly dine out at lobbyist expense.</p><p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 01:00:26 +0000 Austin Jenkins 11574 at http://www.kplu.org State Lawmakers to Get Clearer Guidance on Lobbyist-Paid Meals New Lobbyist Meal Form to Distinguish ‘Chowder’ from ‘Steak’ http://www.kplu.org/post/new-lobbyist-meal-form-distinguish-chowder-steak <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The staff at Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission has recommended changes to how lobbyists report their meals out with lawmakers. The move follows our investigation last spring with the Associated Press into lobbyist-paid entertainment.</span></p><p> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 20:15:09 +0000 Austin Jenkins 10110 at http://www.kplu.org New Lobbyist Meal Form to Distinguish ‘Chowder’ from ‘Steak’ Legislative Ethics Board to Investigate Lobbyist Paid Meals http://www.kplu.org/post/legislative-ethics-board-investigate-lobbyist-paid-meals <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has launched an investigation into lobbyist paid meals for lawmakers.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 1.5em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">The inquiry follows our reporting with the Associated Press on lawmakers who dine out the most with lobbyists.</p><p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:57:59 +0000 Austin Jenkins 9411 at http://www.kplu.org Legislative Ethics Board to Investigate Lobbyist Paid Meals Lawmakers fault lobbyists' expense-reporting system http://www.kplu.org/post/lawmakers-fault-lobbyists-expense-reporting-system <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A </span><a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/several-state-lawmakers-eat-frequently-lobbyists-dime" style="line-height: 1.5;">public radio investigation</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> into lobbyist-paid meals has prompted an ethics complaint against three state lawmakers.</span></p><p>The complaint was filed this week by an open government advocate named Arthur West, who alleges the two Republicans and one Democrat violated the rule that states lawmakers can accept free meals only on an “infrequent” basis.</p><p>Meanwhile, some legislators say they’re the victims of flaws in the system used by lobbyists report entertainment expenses.</p><p> Fri, 31 May 2013 23:00:26 +0000 Austin Jenkins 8964 at http://www.kplu.org Lawmakers fault lobbyists' expense-reporting system Several state lawmakers eat frequently on lobbyists' dime http://www.kplu.org/post/several-state-lawmakers-eat-frequently-lobbyists-dime <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington state lawmakers are barred from accepting gifts intended to influence their vote. But there’s an exception to that rule. Members of the Legislature are allowed to accept free food and drinks if it’s related to their official duties, but only on an “infrequent” basis.</span></p><p>However, a public radio investigation, conducted in cooperation with the Associated Press, reveals that dozens of state legislators frequently accept meals from lobbyists. And many of them do so even while collecting taxpayer-funded per diem payments.</p><p> Wed, 29 May 2013 19:17:10 +0000 Austin Jenkins 8921 at http://www.kplu.org Several state lawmakers eat frequently on lobbyists' dime State lawmakers defend frequent dinners with lobbyists http://www.kplu.org/post/state-lawmakers-defend-frequent-dinners-lobbyists <p></p><p>Two Washington state lawmakers are defending their frequent dinners with lobbyists. The meals show up in monthly reports filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission.</p><p><a href="http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-marcus-riccelli/">State Rep. Marcus Riccelli</a>&nbsp;is a freshman Democrat from Spokane. On four occasions from January through March, he dined out with Michael Temple, a lobbyist for the state’s powerful trial lawyers association.</p><p>When asked Riccelli about those dinners, Riccelli joked, “I’m an Italian kid. I have a big appetite.”</p><p> Fri, 03 May 2013 19:05:05 +0000 Austin Jenkins 8658 at http://www.kplu.org State lawmakers defend frequent dinners with lobbyists The influence game: Lobbyists wine, dine lawmakers after hours http://www.kplu.org/post/influence-game-lobbyists-wine-dine-lawmakers-after-hours <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session.</span></p><p>The spending begs the question: What are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?</p><p> Thu, 02 May 2013 19:09:42 +0000 Austin Jenkins 8630 at http://www.kplu.org The influence game: Lobbyists wine, dine lawmakers after hours Inside the world of business lobbying in Olympia http://www.kplu.org/post/inside-world-business-lobbying-olympia <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2013/03/030713AJ_BizLobbyists1_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. Fri, 08 Mar 2013 18:31:11 +0000 Austin Jenkins 7929 at http://www.kplu.org Inside the world of business lobbying in Olympia One month down, lots of work ahead on budget http://www.kplu.org/post/one-month-down-lots-work-ahead-budget <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-951719.mp3</p><p>Washington's legislature has hit the one-month mark. Budget writers say a deal is close at hand between the House and Senate to re-balance the current two-year spending plan. After that, attention will shift to the closing a multi-billion dollar shortfall in the next two-year budget.</p><p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 16:05:43 +0000 Austin Jenkins & KPLU News Staff 774 at http://www.kplu.org One month down, lots of work ahead on budget State agency lobbyists in Republican crosshairs http://www.kplu.org/post/state-agency-lobbyists-republican-crosshairs <p>Governor Chris Gregoire says she will call a budget-cutting special session of the legislature before the year is out. As the state’s budget crisis worsens, the governor and lawmakers are looking to save money anywhere they can. One target in the crosshairs: lobbyists for state agencies.</p><p> Tue, 07 Dec 2010 17:01:22 +0000 Austin Jenkins 299 at http://www.kplu.org State agency lobbyists in Republican crosshairs