Senate Bill 185 would require lobbyists to disclose the specific bill or agency regulation they are supporting or opposing and the client in which they are working for. Currently, lobbyists need only to announce they are working for a particular client.


Lobbyists looking to influence legislation in Delaware will need to take a few extra steps if a bill introduced by lawmakers Wednesday passes the Senate and House.

Senate Bill 185 would require lobbyists to disclose the specific bill or agency regulation they are supporting or opposing and the client in which they are working for. Currently, lobbyists need only to announce they are working for a particular client.

The bill has the support of Gov. Jack Markell, who spoke about the measure in his State of the State address.

“Everybody has a right to talk with legislators and public officials about the issues that matter to them, but as a Delawarean you shouldn’t necessarily have to be in the lobby of Legislative Hall or the offices of a state agency to know who’s shaping the laws that matter to you.”

Lobbyists would be given five business days after direct communication with a legislator or state official on a bill to disclose the required information. If that communication happens before a bill or regulation is introduced, the disclosure would need to happen within five business days of the introduction or publication.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Anthony DeLuca (D-Newark) said this is a big step in making Delaware government more transparent.

“Some of you may think it’s not big enough and some of you might think it’s too big, but if you look over what we’re trying to accomplish and look at the electronics involved in this and the fact that we’re getting an updated system that the public can easily access, that is a major thing.”

Rep. Don Blakey (R-Dover), one of several legislators who is supporting the measure, said

“The public has a right to know what we do it, why we do it and with whom we do it,” Blakey said.

Brian Selander, a spokesman for the governor, said the challenge will be getting the system online once the legislation passes.

“We have 300 registered lobbyists in Dover, so to have them ready be able to get their clients up and online within five days requires an infrastructure that we don’t necessarily have now,” he said.

Selander said if the legislation passes this session, the system could be up as early or as late as January.