Lobbying: How It Works

On the Lobbyist Page, you’ll find a list of individuals who have been hired to represent an organization’s interests in Austin. We refer to organizations who hire lobbyists as Lobbyist Clients. 

Typically, the lobbyist advocates for legislation that benefits their client in some way. They meet with lawmakers to attempt to persuade them and often take lawmakers out to meals, sporting events and other entertainment.

On the Lobbyist Clients page, you’ll find a list of organizations that hire lobbyists to advocate for the organization’s interest in Austin. 

We have categorized the Lobbyist Clients into two groups: Private and Taxpayer-Funded

Private organizations are those which receive their funding primarily from private enterprise. 

Taxpayer-Funded organizations are those which receive all or almost all of their funding from taxing authorities. 

Lobbyist compensation. Lobbyists are allowed to report their compensation in three categories: Prospective (after they have been hired by the client but not yet done the work), Earned (after they have done the lobbying but not yet received compensation), and Paid (after they have actually received the compensation). Once lobbyists have filed a Prospective report, they are not required to amend the report with actual earnings by filing the Earned or Paid reports. Because the Prospective reports are the most comprehensive, the numbers you’ll find on our site reflect Prospective compensation only. 

Payment Ranges – Lobbyists are allowed to report their compensation in ranges. We have included a screenshot from the Texas Ethics Commission’s lobbyist reporting form as an example. We have reported the lobbyist’s compensation at the high end of the range he or she selected. These amounts include not only income to the lobbyist for their work, but also reimbursements to the lobbyist for money spent to entertain politicians.

At Transparency USA, we strive to provide citizens with the best, most complete and most accurate data possible, but millions of transactions are included on our site. If you see something you believe is inaccurate, let us know. We want to make it right. Contact us at editors@transparencyusa.org.