Watchdog group says Idaho should have stricter lobbyist reporting

From the Idaho Reporter:

One national group that urges people to “follow the money” when it comes to state politics says Idaho’s sunshine law for lobbyists leaves out some key information that other states require, including lobbyists’ take-home pay from groups and companies that hire them.

The National Institute on Money in State Politics says Idaho is one of 17 states that don’t report lobbyists’ compensation. Idaho is also among the majority of states that don’t perform routine checks on lobbying reports – only a dozen states do such audits.

“If you don’t have to report that, then you’re missing out on what a company spent on lobbying, because most of it is that they pay a lobbyist to advance their interest,” said Denise Roth Barber, the institute’s managing director. The institute, which runs the website, kicked off its efforts at tracking state lobbyists’ activities by releasing a breakdown of state’s laws and ease of access to lobbying data.

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