Montana ethics chief recommends bringing lobbying code ‘into the 21st century’

HELENA — Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan told a legislative committee this week that lawmakers should consider updating state lobbying rules to bring them “into the 21st century” by, for instance, requiring electronic filing for lobbying reports and clarifying whether regulations apply to “grassroots” lobbying like social media campaigns.


“You will find the word ‘telegraph’ in the current code as far as what lobbyists should be reporting — telephone and telegraph expenses. You won’t find the word ‘internet’ in there,” Mangan said.


Lawmakers on the State Administration and Veterans’ Affairs Committee voiced concern about the cost of administering new lobbying regulations, but voted to study the issue over the coming year and potentially draft bills for consideration in the 2021 Legislature.