House Bill 1005 passed Monday and now heads to the Senate. It requires lobbyists to file their reports with the Public Disclosure Commission electronically beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. Lawmakers amended the bill on the floor to delay the implementation from an original proposal of Jan. 1, 2015.
Detailed lobbyist reports are currently filed on paper, making it difficult to track details such as which lawmakers they are taking out to restaurants.
The bill also requires the PDC to make the lobbyist information searchable online.
The Associated Press and a consortium of public radio stations such as KUOW and KPLU coordinated over three weeks last year to get a glimpse into how often lobbyists provide free meals to lawmakers. Over a four-month span, the state's 50 most active lobbyists spent more than $65,000 on lawmakers.