Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     5-7-102. Definitions. The following definitions apply in this chapter:
     (1) "Appointed state official" means an individual who is appointed:
     (a) to public office in state government by the governor or the chief justice of the Montana supreme court and who is subject to confirmation by the Montana senate;
     (b) by the board of regents of higher education to serve either as the commissioner of higher education or as the chief executive officer of a campus of the Montana university system; or
     (c) by the board of trustees of a community college to serve as president.
     (2) "Business" means:
     (a) a holding or interest whose fair market value is greater than $1,000 in a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed person, holding company, joint-stock company, receivership, trust, or other entity or property held in anticipation of profit, but does not include nonprofit organizations; and
     (b) present or past employment from which benefits, including retirement allowances, are received.
     (3) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of political practices.
     (4) "Docket" means the register of lobbyists and principals maintained by the commissioner pursuant to 5-7-201.
     (5) "Elected federal official" means a person elected to a federal office, including but not limited to a member of the United States senate or house of representatives. The term includes an individual appointed to fill the unexpired term of an elected federal official and an individual who has been elected to a federal office but who has not yet been sworn in.
     (6) "Elected local official" means an elected officer of a county, a consolidated government, an incorporated city or town, a school district, or a special district. The term includes an individual appointed to fill the unexpired term of an elected local official and an individual who has been elected to a local office but who has not yet been sworn in.
     (7) (a) "Elected state official" means an individual holding a state office filled by a statewide vote of all the electors of Montana or a state district office, including but not limited to public service commissioners and district court judges. The term includes an individual appointed to fill the unexpired term of an elected state official and an individual who has been elected to a statewide office but who has not yet been sworn in.
     (b) The term does not include a legislator.
     (8) "Elected tribal official" means an elected member of a tribal council or other elected office filled by a vote of tribal members. The term includes an individual appointed to fill the unexpired term of an elected tribal official and an individual who has been elected to a tribal office but who has not yet been sworn in.
     (9) "Individual" means a human being.
     (10) "Legislator" means an individual holding public office as a representative or a senator in the Montana legislature. The term includes an individual who has been elected to the legislature but who has not yet been sworn in.
     (11) (a) "Lobbying" means:
     (i) the practice of promoting or opposing the introduction or enactment of legislation before the legislature or legislators; and
     (ii) the practice of promoting or opposing official action of any public official or the legislature.
     (b) The term does not include actions described in subsections (11)(a)(i) and (11)(a)(ii) when performed by a public official, an elected local official, an elected federal official, or an elected tribal official while acting in an official governmental capacity.
     (12) (a) "Lobbyist" means a person who engages in the practice of lobbying.
     (b) Lobbyist does not include:
     (i) an individual acting solely on the individual's own behalf;
     (ii) an individual working for the same principal as a licensed lobbyist if the individual does not have personal contact involving lobbying with a public official or the legislature on behalf of the lobbyist's principal; or
     (iii) an individual who receives payments from one or more persons that total less than the amount specified under 5-7-112 in a calendar year.
     (c) Nothing in this chapter deprives an individual who is not a lobbyist of the constitutional right to communicate with public officials or the legislature.
     (13) (a) "Payment" means distribution, transfer, loan, advance, deposit, gift, or other rendering made or to be made of money, property, or anything of value:
     (i) to a lobbyist to influence legislation or official action by an elected local official, a public official, or the legislature;
     (ii) directly or indirectly to a lobbyist by a principal, such as salary, fee, compensation, or reimbursement for lobbying expenses; or
     (iii) in support of or for assistance to a lobbyist or a lobbying activity, including but not limited to the direct payment of expenses incurred at the request or suggestion of the lobbyist.
     (b) The term does not include payments or reimbursements for:
     (i) personal and necessary living expenses; or
     (ii) travel expenses, unless a principal is otherwise required to report expenses pursuant to 5-7-208.
     (14) "Person" means an individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership, state or local government or subdivision of state or local government, or other organization or group of persons.
     (15) "Principal" means a person who employs a lobbyist or a person required to report pursuant to 5-7-208.
     (16) (a) "Public official" means an elected state official or an appointed state official acting in an official capacity for state government or a legislator.
     (b) The term does not include those acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity or performing ministerial acts.
     (17) "Unprofessional conduct" means:
     (a) violating any of the provisions of this chapter;
     (b) instigating action by a public official or the legislature for the purpose of obtaining employment;
     (c) attempting to influence the action of a public official or the legislature on a measure pending or to be proposed by:
     (i) promising financial support; or
     (ii) making public any unsubstantiated charges of improper conduct on the part of a lobbyist, a principal, or a legislator; or
     (d) attempting to knowingly deceive a public official or the legislature with regard to the pertinent facts of an official matter or attempting to knowingly misrepresent pertinent facts of an official matter to a public official or the legislature.

     History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 157, L. 1959; R.C.M. 1947, 43-802; amd. Sec. 2, I.M. No. 85, approved Nov. 4, 1980; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 568, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 498, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 52, L. 2003; amd. Secs. 1, 7(1), Ch. 572, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 402, L. 2007.

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