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Issue Guide

Taxpayer Funded Lobbyists

posted on April 30, 2019

The Problem:

If taxpayer money is being used for lobbying activities, the taxpayers deserve to know exactly how that money is being used.

ITR Solution:

The Iowa Legislature should require disclosure of official public stances cities and counties are taking.

What Has Happened:

  • A bill advanced through a Senate subcommittee and committee.
  • The House did not take action.

Work Left to Do:

Contact legislators and remind them not to forget taxpayers when funding the desires of government.

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Taxpayers Deserve to Know How Their Money is Being Used

Many local governments contract for lobbying services to represent their city or county. These contract lobbyists are not subject to the same open records laws as government employees, even for the purpose of executing their contract. If taxpayer money is being used for lobbying activities, the taxpayers deserve to know exactly how that money is being used so they can hold their local elected officials accountable for the official public stances of their local government.

The Iowa Legislature should require disclosure of official public stances cities and counties are taking in an easily-accessible manner for citizens and subject lobbyists employed via contract by local governments to the same open records laws as the local governments themselves for the purpose of executing the contract. It is in the taxpayers' interest to have a thorough understanding of the positions their local government is taking while utilizing their tax dollars so they are able to hold their local elected officials accountable for their official positions.