The Great Seal of the State of Montana

2019 Legislative Session and Lobbying

Citizens Guide: How to Get Involved 

You have the constitutionally-protected right to have your voice heard by your elected officials.

The Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Montana ensure every citizen the right to speak on every public issue and to be heard by officials at every level of government.

The Montana Legislature extends that right to any bill (which includes any resolution). Montana’s Legislature functions in a completely open atmosphere. After full consideration and with comments and advice from the public, every vote by committee and by either house must be a public vote.

To learn more about the 2019 legislative session, the best resource is the Montana Legislative Branch website. At this website, you can find information about the status and substance of a bill, who your legislators are and how to contact them, livestream hearings, and more! Make sure to check out their 'Guide to the Montana Legislature' and their guide on how to make your voice heard.

Lobbying Information

The Commissioner of Political Practices also makes information about lobbying money in Montana publicly available. Any member of the public can see who is registered as a lobbyist, who is a principal (a person or entity that pays lobbyists to lobby on their behalf), and how money is spent to influence legislation and legislators.

See a list of registered principals and lobbyists for the 2019 legislative session here.

To see how money is spent, there are two databases to reference:

One database stores lobbying reports that are submitted digitally via the lobbying database. These digital reports from 2009-2019 can be found in our electronic database. Reports that are filed as paper hardcopies or are emailed or faxed are available on our 2009-2019 digitized hard copy platform.

You can also learn more about lobbying in Montana with our Lobbying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

 

Do you plan to lobby?

If so, first review and know all the information on this 2019 Lobbying Guide, which includes information on how to register, details on required financial reports, and more. Then check out our Lobbying FAQs for answers to popular questions!

Lobbying Training and Outreach Events

- January 18th, Legislator and Lobbyist "Open House" (8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at the COPP's office, 1209 8th Avenue
- February 11th, Lobbyist Compliance Training (12-1:00 p.m.), room 335 in the capitol. Powerpoint and PDF of the 2/11/19 training

Register and File L-5 Financial Reports

- Lobbying database (Register as a lobbyist or principal, and submit L-5 reports)
    *Principal's Guide  and Lobbyist's Guide to register in the database
- L-5 Lobbying Financial Report guide, PDF guide
Digital PDF L-5 lobbying financial report (able to submit electronically)
- Reporting Calendars
- Forms for Lobbyists and Principals
- All lobbying reports are uploaded and publicly accessible in one of two databases. One database stores lobbying reports that are submitted digitally via the lobbying database. These digital reports from 2009-2019 can be found in our electronic database. Reports that are filed as paper hardcopies or are emailed or faxed are available on our 2009-2019 digitized hard copy platform.

Laws, Rules, and Complaint Information

- Lobbying Laws (MCA)
- Lobbying Administrative Rules (ARM)
- Docket of Formal Complaints
- Complaint Procedure
- Decisions
- Advisory Opinions

Lobbying Guides for Government Employees

- General Lobbying Guide for Government Employees
- 2019 State Agency Employee Lobbying Guide

Lobbyist and Principal Forms

These forms can be submitted through the below fillable PDF links and work best in the Internet Explorer browser. These forms can also be printed off and mailed to the COPP office at P.O. BOX 202401, Helena, MT 59620-2401. Reference this Guide to Required Lobbying Form to see sample scenarios.

Form L-1, Lobbyist License Application
Form L-2, Principal Authorization Statement
Form L-3, Principal Registration Application
Form L-5, Lobbying Financial Report
Lobbyist License Fee Waiver Request

List of Registered Principals and Lobbyists for 2019-2020

Lobbying Report Due Dates

2018 Non-Session Year
 
- Feb. 15, 2019 - Non-Session Year End Report - (Report must cover Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018) 

2019 Legislative Year 
- Feb. 15, 2019: Mandatory L-5 report covering January
- Feb. 15, 2019 - Non-Session Year End Report - (Report must cover Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018) 
- March 15, 2019: L-5 report covering February that is required if you spent $5,000 or more in February
- April 15, 2019: L-5 report covering March that is required if you spent $5,000 or more in March
- End of session report: Mandatory L-5 report due 30 days after the session adjourns