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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

 April 2011

Texas-sized Fun at NCSL Ohio Night!

Planning on attending NCSL and want to be involved with Ohio Night in San Antonio? Look no further. State and Federal Communications, Inc. is overseeing the planning of Ohio Night at Biga on the Bank, next to the Westin on the Riverwalk. We will have a great space with a fabulous view to interact with the Ohio legislators attending the event. My assistant with this event is none other than Former Ohio Senate President Finan, now with Calfee Halter.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 10 at Biga on the Bank. If you are interested in joining, please complete the form, and we will include you in our austere group of sponsors.  [Click here for Ohio Night form.]

Until next month, check out the meetings being held all over the country and plan on joining us at the event of the summer, Ohio Night at NCSL.

 

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.stateandfed.com


 Legislation We Are Tracking

At any given time, more than 1,000 legislative bills, which can affect how you do business as a government affairs professional, are being discussed in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. These bills are summarized in the State and Federal Communications’ digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying, and can be found in the client portion of the State and Federal Communications' website.

Summaries of major bills are also included in monthly e-mail updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the number of bills we are tracking in regards to lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2012
Lobbying Laws 106 36 0 17 0
Political Contributions 207 40 2 46 0
Procurement Lobbying 104 25 0 16 0

 


It Is Time to Comply with SEC Rule 206(4)-5

by John Cozine, Esq.
Research Manager

The first of two compliance dates for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 206(4)-5, which had an effective date of September 13, 2010, passed on March 14, 2011.

The rule prohibits investment advisers from providing investment advisory services for compensation to a government entity within two years after a contribution to an official of that government entity is made, either by the investment adviser or by any covered associate of the investment adviser.  This prohibition does not apply to contributions made by a covered associate to officials for whom the covered associate was entitled to vote at the time of the contributions if the contributions did not exceed $350 in the aggregate to any one official, per election.  The prohibitions also do not apply to contributions made by a covered associate to officials for whom the covered associate was not entitled to vote at the time of the contributions if the contributions did not exceed $150 in the aggregate to any one official, per election. 

An additional prohibition prevents an investment adviser from providing or agreeing to provide, directly or indirectly, payment to any person to solicit a government entity for investment advisory services unless that person is a regulated person or is an executive officer, general partner, managing member, or employee of the investment adviser.  Nor may such advisers coordinate or solicit any person or political action committee to make a contribution to an official of a government entity to which the adviser is providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services or payment to a political party of a state or locality where the investment adviser is providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services to a government entity.

The rule has two important compliance dates.  The March 14, 2011 date applied to investment advisers subject to the rule.  The other compliance date, September 13, 2011, is when investment advisers will no longer be able to use third parties to solicit government business except in compliance with this rule.  Additionally, advisers to registered investment pools have until the September 13 date to comply with this rule.


Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations

by John Cozine, Esq.
Research Manager
 

CALIFORNIA: Directors of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) adopted several new ethics proposals. Among the proposals are rules to regulate fee payments to placement agents, who help funds gain access to CalPERS decision makers, and rules to ensure the same staff members who negotiate investment deals do not monitor their success. Additionally, the directors approved a requirement for investment partners to hold meetings in modest office settings instead of vacation resorts. The directors postponed making a decision on a proposal that would reduce or eliminate travel, gifts, and other accommodations provided to board members by outside investment firms.  A decision was also postponed on a proposal that would impose a two-year "revolving door" ban on certain CalPERS employees.  The directors postponed decisions on proposals to reduce or eliminate travel, gifts, and other accommodations outside investment firms provide board members, and to impose a two-year "revolving door" ban on certain CalPERS employees. These regulations are in line with legislation taking effect earlier this year requiring placement agents to register as lobbyists and regulating how the agents are paid.

CONNECTICUT: Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proposed reducing the number of budgeted state agencies from 87 to 57 in a move intended to increase efficiency and save the state money. Included in the reduction plan is a proposal to combine the Office of State Ethics, Elections Enforcement Commission, Contracting Standards Board, Freedom of Information Commission, and Judicial Review Council into a new agency to be named the Office of Governmental Accountability. While not detailing how these agencies would be capable of functioning as one or where any cost savings would be seen, Malloy did question in a press release why all these agencies are presently separate.

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Starting July 1, those seeking to influence county government will be required to register with the Board of Supervisors. Under the new law, county lobbyists must register within 10 days of commencing lobbying activity and renew these registrations annually. The registration fee will be $75 for an initial registration and $50 for each annual renewal thereafter. The regulation does not apply to those lobbying on behalf of nonprofit organizations.

AKRON, OHIO: Candidates for mayor and city council will be allowed to accept larger donations for the first time in 12 years. On February 14, 2011, the Akron City Council passed legislation to increase the city’s contribution limits. Those running for mayor or an at-large council seat will be able to take contributions of $450, and ward candidates will be allowed to accept contributions of $200. The previous limits were $300 and $100, respectively. Under the language of a charter amendment passed by voters in November, city council will review and adjust the contributions limits every two years beginning in 2012.

VARIOUS:  Several jurisdictions raised contribution limits based on changes in the cost of living index.  Among them, the Federal Election Commission raised the amount an individual and certain PACs can contribute to a candidate from $2,400 to $2,500 and to a national party committee from $30,400 to $30,800. The previous biennial limit of $115,500 has been adjusted upward to $117,000, of which $46,200 may be contributed to candidates and $70,800 total to federal PACs and all other political party committees. In Ohio, the new limits, which will be in effect through February 24, 2013, feature very modest increases in each category. For instance, an individual may now donate $11,543.70 to a PAC, a statewide candidate, or state-level legislative candidate; the previous amount was $11,395.56. Maximum individual contributions to statewide parties increased from $34,186.68 to $34,631.11.  New limits in Tennessee include a biennial aggregate limit of $113,700 on contributions to state and local candidates and PACs. Individuals may contribute no more than $44,800 to state and local candidates and no more than $68,900 to all PACs (including parties) during the two year cycle. Lobbyist gift limits have increased to $55 per event and lobbyist employers are limited to gifts with a cumulative value of $110 during a calendar year.


ASK THE EXPERTS

State and Federal Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc. You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com. (Of course, we have always been available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

Cash versus Accrual Method of Reporting

Question

If I receive an invoice from my contract lobbyist for services rendered during one reporting period, but I do not make payment on the invoice until the next reporting period, how do I know when to accurately report the payment?

Answer

You need to determine whether your particular state uses the cash or accrual method of disclosure. 

The cash method is based on when money is actually transacted; in other words, when funds in point of fact change hands from client to contract lobbyist.  In direct contrast to the cash method, the accrual method focuses on the obligation to pay as opposed to when funds actually change hands. Essentially, when you receive the invoice from your contract lobbyist, you are obligated to pay. 

So which date do you use for reporting purposes?  Is it the date you actually mail the check to the contract lobbyist, or the date you receive the invoice?  These rarely, if ever, occur on the same date and therein lies the issue:  what happens when these dates fall in different reporting periods?

Some states, such as Tennessee and Texas, specifically provide by statute or rule the method of disclosure that should be followed.  When the law is silent, the most prudent thing to do is call the disclosure office for that particular jurisdiction and get an answer.  Be sure to take the name and title of the person you spoke with and keep it in your records.  You may often hear, “It doesn't matter; report the expense however you choose.”  This sounds great, but in reality is very frustrating. Whichever method you choose, be consistent. If you decide upon the cash method, document that and use it for all future reports.

When it comes to your contract lobbyists, be sure they are using the disclosure method required by law. This can be important in an audit when the state looks to see if your report aligns with the contract lobbyist's report.  If the method is optional, discuss with your contract lobbyist which method they intend to use and be consistent.

 


Wealth of Information at www.lobbycomply.com

Want to interact with your fellow government affairs and procurement colleagues? Then jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at www.lobbycomply.com.

Once there, you can join the exchange of ideas and view solutions to common challenges and problems. Also, State and Federal Communications continually adds content to the blog, including ‘hot topics,’ which are summaries of important news items you need to know about.

Join the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.

 


State and Federal Scrapbook

 
Elizabeth Bartz and staff members attended Akron’s State of the City Address, which was presented
by Mayor Don Plusquellic. The luncheon was held at the Tangier Restaurant.

 

The American League of Lobbyists has awarded
State and Federal Communications' Megan Huber
the A.L.L. Professional Lobbying Certificate.

Friend of State and Federal Communications, Inc.,
Ken Gross of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, visits at
the PAC Grassroots Conference in Key West, FL.


See Us in Person

Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.

April 3-5, 2011

NASPO, Boston, Massachusetts

April 14-16, 2011 NCSL Spring Forum, Washington, D.C.

April 20, 2011

DiversityBusiness.com Award, Washington, D.C.

May 5-6, 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Annual Convention, Booth 5, Columbus, Ohio

May 5-7, 2011

NCSL Spring Executive Committee Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts


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State and Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South Summit St., Suite 100 | Akron, OH 44308 | 330-761-9960 | 330-761-9965-fax | 1-888-4-LAW-NOW| http://www.stateandfed.com/


The Mission of State and Federal Communications is
to make sure that your organization can say, "I Comply."

We are the leading authority and exclusive information source
on legislation and regulations surrounding campaign finance
and political contributions; state, federal, and municipal lobbying; and procurement lobbying.

Contact us to learn how conveniently our services will allow you to say "I Comply" for your compliance activities.

http://www.stateandfed.com/