- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on California’s political ethics panel approving a change to state lobbying rules (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

California’s political watchdog panel has voted to change state rules in an attempt to curb unreported lobbying.

The Fair Political Practices Commission voted 3-1 Thursday to revise a rule allowing some people to lobby state officials but duck reporting requirements.

People who are paid more than $2,000 in a month to influence state officials or spend one-third of their work time attempting to sway politicians must register as lobbyists and file quarterly reports.

But there’s an exemption for so-called experts who attend meetings with elected officials and registered lobbyists.

The regulation has been criticized for allowing former lawmakers to lobby their colleagues after leaving office.

Thursday’s vote attempts to toughen the rule. However, FPPC attorney Heather Rowan says executives who have occasional contact with lawmakers can still avoid disclosure.

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9:35 a.m.

California regulators are considering revising a rule they say allows some lobbyists to have influence without following the state’s lobbying rules.

The Fair Political Practices Commission will consider the proposal Thursday.

People who are paid more than $2,000 a month to directly communicate with public officials about legislation are required to register as lobbyists and submit quarterly reports. But a state rule provides an exemption for so-called experts who often attend meetings with elected officials and registered lobbyists.

FPPC Chairwoman Jodi Remke says the regulation is one way for former lawmakers to legally skirt a mandatory one-year waiting period for lobbying after they leave office.

Critics of the change say the proposal is too vague. They worry it would apply to executives who have occasional contact with lawmakers.

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