Lobbying Guidance

The New York State Lobbying regulations apply to attempts on behalf of the university to influence the below listed matters both directly (by contacts with public officials and their staff) and indirectly (through contacts with the press, social media or contacts with groups or individuals encouraging them to take a lobbying action). 


As an employee of RIT, you are prohibited from giving “gifts” to government officials. A gift is defined as anything of more than nominal value* given to a public official, a public employee, and/or anyone on the state or local payroll in any form including, but not limited to money, service, loan, travel, lodging, meals, refreshments*, entertainment, and discounts. 

*An official could accept refreshments if they were available to everyone at an event, for example, cookies or punch at a ribbon cutting ceremony. They could also accept an RIT-branded giveaway circulated at event, or trinket given at an event as a speaker thank you. 


RIT is currently registered to lobby in New York State. In New York, lobbying is defined as any attempt to influence:

  • The introduction of state legislation or resolutions
  • The passage or defeat of state legislation or resolutions
  • The adoption, issuance, rescission, modification, or terms of an executive order issued by the governor, or the chief executive officer of a municipality
  • The adoption or rejection of any state or local rules and regulations
  • The outcome of a ratemaking proceeding of the state or any municipality or subdivision thereof
  • Any determination by a public official/public employee or a person or entity working with a government official related to a governmental procurement
  • The approval, disapproval, implementation of tribal- state compacts or other tribal agreements

Federal Advocacy

It is critical that all advocacy taking place at the federal level be conducted in coordination with the Office of Government and Community Relations (GCR) to ensure compliance with federal regulations and alignment with RIT’s government relations strategy. Advocacy efforts, including indirect or direct oral or written exchange, must be vetted by GCR before they are implemented.

Advocacy materials and participation in Hill days. RIT employees may be a member of a national association or society that advocates on behalf of a profession or a particular cause.  Typically, national organizations prepare advocacy materials that are consistent in message and address issues of priority for their membership.  These materials are often used during a federal advocacy day, sometimes called a Hill Day, where a delegation of the national organization meets with elected officials and/or congressional staff.   If you are representing RIT and planning to engage in this type of advocacy, GCR would like to see any materials and talking points in advance to ensure they align with the university’s mission, goals and federal agenda. In order to comply with federal lobbying regulations, GCR requests that the national organization arrange all advocacy day meetings with public officials rather than having RIT employees schedule meetings.