As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Administrative action” means the taking of any recommendation, report or nonministerial action; the making of any decision or taking any action to postpone any action or decision; action of the governor in approving or vetoing any bill or resolution; the promulgation of a rule; or any action of a quasi-legislative nature, by an official in the executive branch of state government; however, “administration action” does not include ordinary and routine permitting, licensing, or compliance decisions by an official of the executive branch of state government;
  2. Terms Used In Tennessee Code 3-6-301

    • Administrative action: means the taking of any recommendation, report or nonministerial action. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
    • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
    • Association: means any union, league, chamber of commerce, committee, club, or other membership organization. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Attorney general: means the attorney general and reporter. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Campaign contribution: means any contribution as defined by §. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Compensation: means any salary, fee, payment, reimbursement or other valuable consideration, or any combination thereof, whether received or to be received. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
    • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
    • employer: means any person or entity that employs, retains or otherwise arranges for a lobbyist to engage in lobbying on behalf of the person or entity for compensation. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Expenditure: means any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, pledge, or subscription of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Forbearance: A means of handling a delinquent loan. A
    • Immediate family: means a spouse or minor child living in the household. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
    • Legislative action: means introduction, sponsorship, debate, voting or any other nonministerial official action or nonaction on any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report or any other matter pending or proposed in a legislative committee or in either house of the general assembly. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
    • Lobbying firm: means any firm, corporation, partnership or other business entity that regularly supplies lobbying services to others for compensation. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Lobbyist: means any person who engages in lobbying for compensation. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Minor: means any person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
    • Official in the executive branch: means the governor, any member of the governor's staff, any member or employee of a state regulatory commission, including, without limitation, commissioners of the Tennessee public utility commission, or any member or employee of any executive department or agency or other state body in the executive branch. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Official in the legislative branch: means any member, member-elect, any staff person or employee of the general assembly or any member of a commission established by and responsible to the general assembly or either house of the general assembly who takes legislative action. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
    • Person: means any individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons. See Tennessee Code 3-6-301
    • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
    • Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
    • Representative: when applied to those who represent a decedent, includes executors and administrators, unless the context implies heirs and distributees. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • Subscription: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

  3. “Association” means any union, league, chamber of commerce, committee, club, or other membership organization;
  4. “Attorney general” means the attorney general and reporter;
  5. “Campaign contribution” means any contribution as defined by § 2-10-102;
  6. “Candidate for public office” means any individual who has made a formal announcement of candidacy or who qualified under the law of this state to seek nomination for election or elections to any state public office, or has received contributions or made expenditures, except for incidental expenditures to determine if one shall be a candidate, or has given consent for a campaign committee to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about that person‘s nomination for election or the election to state public office, and any individual who has been nominated for appointment as an official in the legislative or executive branch;
  7. “Compensation” means any salary, fee, payment, reimbursement or other valuable consideration, or any combination thereof, whether received or to be received; however, “compensation” does not include the salary or reimbursement of an individual whose lobbying is incidental to that person’s regular employment;
  8. “Employer of a lobbyist” or “employer” means any person or entity that employs, retains or otherwise arranges for a lobbyist to engage in lobbying on behalf of the person or entity for compensation. “Employer of a lobbyist” or “employer” specifically includes any such person or entity notwithstanding the lobbyist’s status as an employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor or other representative lobbying on behalf of such person or entity for compensation. “Employer of a lobbyist” or “employer” does not include the individual employees, officers, directors, or members of a corporation, labor organization, association, or membership organization other than the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer or comparable individuals within such corporation, labor organization, association, or membership organization. For purposes of employer registration and disclosure pursuant to this part, a lobbying firm is not deemed to be the employer of any lobbyist within the firm;
  9. “Executive agency” means any commission, board, agency, or other entity in the executive branch of the state government or any independent entity of the state government that is not a part of the legislative or judicial branch;
  10. “Expenditure” means any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, pledge, or subscription of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure;
  11. “Gift” means any payment, honorarium, subscription, loan, advance, forbearance, rendering or deposit of money or services, unless consideration of equal or greater value is received. “Gift” does not include a campaign contribution otherwise reported as required by law, a commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business, or a gift received from a member of the person’s immediate family or from a relative within the third degree of consanguinity of the person or of the person’s spouse, or from the spouse of any such relative. “Gift” does not include the waiver of a registration fee for a conference or educational seminar;
  12. “Immediate family” means a spouse or minor child living in the household;
  13. “Influencing legislative or administrative action” means promoting, supporting, influencing, modifying, opposing or delaying any legislative or administrative action by any means, including, but not limited to, the provision or use of information, statistics, studies, or analyses, but not including the furnishing of information, statistics, studies, or analyses requested by an official of the legislative or executive branch to that official or the giving of testimony by an individual testifying at an official hearing conducted by officials of the legislative or executive branch;
  14. “Investigatory audit information” means data obtained pursuant to a finding of probable cause to believe that an employer or lobbyist has violated this part, including information pertaining to the source or amount of employer or lobbyist income, expenditures, receipts, assets, liabilities, net worth, or related financial or proprietary information that is received by, recorded by, prepared by, or collected by or on behalf of the ethics commission during the course of any audit, investigation or other examination undertaken for the purpose of ensuring compliance with, or imposing civil or criminal sanctions for violation of, this part. “Investigatory audit information” does not include data in a form that cannot, either directly or indirectly, be associated with, or otherwise be used to identify, directly or indirectly, a particular employer or lobbyist;
  15. “Legislative action” means introduction, sponsorship, debate, voting or any other nonministerial official action or nonaction on any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report or any other matter pending or proposed in a legislative committee or in either house of the general assembly;
    1. “Lobby” means to communicate, directly or indirectly, with any official in the legislative branch or executive branch for the purpose of influencing any legislative action or administrative action;
    2. “Lobby” does not mean communications with officials of the legislative or executive branches by an elected or appointed public official performing the duties of the office held; a duly licensed attorney at law acting in a representative capacity on behalf of a client appearing before an official of the executive branch for the purpose of determining or obtaining such person’s legal rights or obligations in a contested case action, administrative proceeding, or rule making procedure; or an editor or working member of the press, radio or television who, in the ordinary course of business, disseminates news or editorial comment to the general public;
    3. “Lobby” does not mean communications by an incumbent or prospective contractor or vendor, or an employee of the contractor or vendor, while engaged in selling or marketing to the state, or any department or agency of the state, by demonstrating or describing goods or services to be provided or by inquiring about specifications, terms, conditions, timing, or similar commercial information. However, the contractor or vendor, or employee of the contractor or vendor, shall be deemed to be a lobbyist, solely for the purposes of § 3-6-305, if actively engaged in selling or marketing to an official in the executive branch or an official in the legislative branch whose duty it is to vote for, let out, overlook, or in any manner to superintend any work or any contract so marketed or sold;
    4. “Lobby” does not mean communications by an employee of a school board, municipal utility, utility district, or any department, agency or entity of state, county or municipal government; provided, however, that, if the board, utility, district, department, agency or entity employs, retains or otherwise arranges for lobbyist services in this state by a contractor, subcontractor or other representative who is not an employee of such board, utility, district, department, agency or entity, then “lobby” includes communications by the contractor, subcontractor or other representative, and the contractor, subcontractor or other representative shall comply with the lobbying registration and other provisions of this part pertaining to lobbyists; provided further, however, that the board, utility, district, department, agency or entity that employs the contractor, subcontractor or other representative is not deemed to be an employer of a lobbyist for purposes of this part;
    5. “Lobby” does not mean communications with officials of the executive branch by any person to promote, oppose, or otherwise influence the outcome of a decision related to the issuance or award of a bond, grant, lease, loan or incentive pursuant to §§ 4-3-701 — 4-3-733; and
    6. “Lobby” does not mean communications with officials of the executive branch by any person to promote, oppose, or otherwise influence the outcome of a decision related to any component of an economic development incentive package; provided, that any person who is otherwise required to register as a lobbyist under the provisions of the Comprehensive Governmental Ethics Reform Act of 2006, Acts 2006, ch. 1 of the extraordinary session of the 104th general assembly, shall not be deemed to fall within this exception;
  16. “Lobbying firm” means any firm, corporation, partnership or other business entity that regularly supplies lobbying services to others for compensation;
  17. “Lobbyist” means any person who engages in lobbying for compensation;
  18. “Ministerial action” means an action that a person performs in a prescribed manner in obedience to the mandate of legal authority, without regard to, or the exercise of, the person’s own judgment upon the propriety of the action being taken;
  19. “Official in the executive branch” means the governor, any member of the governor’s staff, any member or employee of a state regulatory commission, including, without limitation, commissioners of the Tennessee public utility commission, or any member or employee of any executive department or agency or other state body in the executive branch. “Official in the executive branch” also includes any administrative governmental official or employee of any county exercising the authority set forth in § 8-17-103(b);
  20. “Official in the legislative branch” means any member, member-elect, any staff person or employee of the general assembly or any member of a commission established by and responsible to the general assembly or either house of the general assembly who takes legislative action. “Official in the legislative branch” also includes the secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller of the treasury and any employee of those offices. “Official in the legislative branch” also includes any legislative governmental official or employee of any county exercising the authority set forth in § 8-17-103(b);
  21. “Person” means any individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons;
  22. “Random audit information” means information obtained pursuant to an examination of a lobbyist’s employment contract, job description or other documentation in order to determine that no contingency fee arrangement prohibited under § 3-6-304(k) is included and that the date of employment as a lobbyist is consistent with the registration statements filed by both the lobbyist and employer. “Random audit information” also means information obtained pursuant to a review of the total lobbying and lobbying-related compensation and expenses paid to the lobbyist by an employer that will be checked against the range of expenditures reported by the employer in a random audit. As provided in § 3-6-106(a)(4), information contained in statements filed with the commission for more than two (2) years shall not serve as the basis for a random audit. Nothing contained in this subdivision (22) shall prevent the commissioner, upon a finding of probable cause to believe that an employer or lobbyist has violated this part from initiating an investigatory audit; and
  23. “Solicit” means to entreat, to implore, to ask, to attempt, or to try to obtain.