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The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)



Opinion No. 6289

April 26, 1985


Registration and reporting of member of Commission on Services to the Aging

A member of the Commission on Services to the Aging who engages in lobbying activities must register and file reports as required by the lobbyist and lobbying regulation act.

Honorable Joe Conroy

State Senator

403 State Capitol

Lansing, Michigan 48909

You have asked my opinion on whether a member of the Commission on Services to the Aging is required to be registered as a lobbyist and file reports as required by the lobbyist and lobbying regulation act.

The Commission on Services to the Aging is established within the Office of the Governor and consists of 15 members appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of three years. MCL 400.583(1), MSA 2.638(53)(1). A member of the Commission is entitled to receive per diem compensation and actual and necessary expenses while acting as an official representative of the Commission. MCL 400.583(3); MSA 2.638(53)(3). Among the duties of the Commission are to advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and Office of Services to the Aging relative to state programs serving older persons; to participate in the preparation of a state plan for submission to the federal administration on aging as provided in 95 Stat 1597 (1981); 42 USC 3027; to review and approve grants; to designate planning and service areas; and to enter into contracts and agreements that are deemed necessary to discharge its duties. MCL 400.585; MSA 2.638(55).

As indicated in its title, the lobbyist and lobbying regulation act regulates 'lobbyists, lobbyist agents, and lobbying activities' by requiring registration, the filing of reports and the keeping of records. In MCL 4.415(2); MSA 4.1704(5)(2), 'lobbying' is defined as 'communicating directly with an official in the executive branch of state government or an official in the legislative branch of state government for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.'

Pursuant to MCL 4.415(4); MSA 4.1704(4)(5), and MCL 417(1); MSA 4.1704(7)(1), a person is required to register as a lobbyist if, in any 12-month period, he/she expends more than $1,000 for lobbying or more than $250 for lobbying a single public official, or receives compensation or reimbursement of actual expenses, or both, in a combined amount in excess of $250.00 in any 12-month period for lobbying, unless the person is specifically excluded from the registration and reporting requirements under the Act.

Persons exempt from the requirements of the Act are identified in MCL 4.415(7); MSA 4.1704(5)(7), which, in pertinent part, states:

'Lobbyist or lobbyist agent does not include:

'(b) All elected or appointed public officials of state or local government who are acting in the course or scope of the office for no compensation, other than that provided by law for the office.'

'(c) For the purposes of this Act, subdivision (b) shall not include:

'(v) Appointed members of state level boards and commissions.'

Members of the Commission are state officers subject to the Act and are not exempt from the Act and the provisions for registering and reporting apply to its members. However, it should be noted that a Commission member must be engaged in the activities that constitute lobbying and exceed the minimum expenditure or receipt of compensation requirement.

OAG, 1983-1984, No 6266, p 435 (December 20, 1984), concluded that a legislator serving by virtue of his office as legislator as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Library of Michigan is exempt from registration and reporting as a lobbyist under MCL 4.415(7); MSA 4.1704(7). Since your question on the Commission on Services to the Aging does not concern a member of the Legislature serving as a member of the Commission on Services to the Aging, this opinion is inapplicable.

It is my opinion, therefore, that a member of the Commission on Services to the Aging is not exempt from registration and reporting as a lobbyist, provided that the member engages in lobbying as set forth in MCL 4.415; MSA 4.1704(5).

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General

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