Training and Outreach: Lobbyists

Every individual who registers as a lobbyist in California must periodically attend a lobbyist ethics course conducted by the Assembly Legislative Ethics Committee and the Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics. The course is held at least twice each year and the course fee is $50.

When an individial registers as a lobbyist or when a currently registered lobbyist renews registration, the lobbyist must complete a certification statement (Form 604) confirming that he or she has taken the ethics course during the previous 12 months. If the lobbyist has not taken the course within the previous 12 months, the lobbyist's certification is "conditional" and will become void unless:

  • The new lobbyist takes the course within 12 months of registering as a lobbyist and files an amended certification indicating the date the course was taken.
  • The renewing lobbyist takes the course by June 30 of the following year and files an amended certification indicating the date the course was taken.
If the course is not completed in a timely manner, the lobbyist's certification becomes void and the individual may not engage in lobbying activities until he or she takes the course and amends the certification.
 
If a lobbyist fails to take the required ethics course or fails to timely file the original or amended certification statement (Form 604), he or she is prohibited from lobbying in California. Any lobbyist who violates this provision may be subject to substantial fines and criminal penalties.
 
There is no provision for a waiver of the ethics training requirement, and other than the timeframes set forth above, there are no conditional extensions of time to complete the course or to submit the certification statement (Form 604) to the Secretary of State. Non-filers are referred to the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission for non-compliance.
 
For more information and to sign up for the 2017-2018 Legislative Session Ethics Course, please see the Lobbyist Ethics Course Requirement information sheet.