April 05, 2001

To all interested persons:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(11), the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board takes the opportunity to issue its opinion on the issue of lobbyists and political committees making contributions during a special session. We note at the outset that the Board's jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 56 and 68B and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351. Whether some other statutory system, common law theory or agency rule applies to this issue is not covered by this opinion.


Iowa Code section 56.15A in pertinent part states:

"A lobbyist or political committee, other than a state statutory political committee, county statutory political committee, or a national political party, shall not contribute to, act as an agent or intermediary for contributions to, or arrange for the making of monetary or in-kind contributions to the campaign of an elected state official, member of the general assembly, or candidate for state office on any day during the regular legislative session, and in the case of the governor or a gubernatorial candidate, during the thirty days following the adjournment of a regular legislative session allowed for the signing of bills."

The issue has been raised concerning whether this prohibition extends to a "special session" of the General Assembly. We believe the phrase "regular legislative session" does not encompass a "special session". Thus, the prohibition does not apply to any "special session" of the legislature and lobbyists and political committees may make contributions during a "special session".


James Albert, Board Chair
1st Vice-Chair Geraldine Leinen
2nd Vice-Chair Gwen Boeke
Mark McCormick
Bernie McKinley
Phyllis Peters

Submitted by: W. Charles Smithson, Board Legal Counsel


Iowa Code s 56.15A is now 68A.504, see rule 8.15