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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

May 2012


Go Red For Women

I have definitely  learned a lot since joining the Go Red For Women campaign in Akron. This photo was shot at Macy’s one evening. The escalators were turned off for this great group of people to have a photo taken of those of us involved with the American Heart Association.

Did you know American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity?  [That is about 22 minutes per day.] Here are some easy ways you can add physical activity into your daily life:

  • Use  coffee breaks to take 5- or 10-minute walks. My office is furthest from the kitchen, which means I do have to get up to refill my coffee or grab a glass of water.  And my assistants will no longer get it for me!

  • In parking lots, park your car as far away as you can. At State and Federal Communications, I have parking space #1 so I need to make sure I am walking up the stairs during the day to see the folks on the second floor—instead of the elevator.

  • Get your personal heart-health status and learn how regular physical activity can help improve your health. Take the American Heart Association's My Life Check assessment at mylifecheck.heart.org.

  • Walk a flight of stairs 10 times a day. I bought a Fitbit and it keeps track of not only my steps but the flights of stairs I take in a day.

  • Use a pedometer to count how many steps you take each day.  Each week aim to increase your daily step count by 1,000 steps until you reach 10,000 steps a day.

  • Visit startwalkingnow.org to download the new Walking Path mobile phone application and find nearby walking paths, track your steps, and motivate your walking friends.

The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. 

Until next month, why don’t you join the fight against women's #1 killer—Heart Disease by donating now at: https://ahaakron.ejoinme.org/akrongoredforwomen2012.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
 


Lobbying Reporting Begins in Manitoba

by George Ticoras, Esq.
Research
Associate

 
On April 30, 2012, the Lobbyists Registration Act came into force in the Canadian province of Manitoba. The act requires lobbyists to file returns using an electronic registry system. Although the act was originally passed in 2008, it came into force only this year upon proclamation, allowing the lobbyist registrar the opportunity to create the system with its online component.

The act categorizes lobbyists as either consultant lobbyists or in-house lobbyists. Consultant lobbyists are individuals who, for pay or other benefit, undertake to lobby on behalf of a client. An in-house lobbyist is defined as an employee, partner, or sole proprietor of an organization who lobbies, or has a duty to lobby, on behalf of the organization. However, to be designated as an in-house lobbyist, an individual’s lobbying or duty to lobby has to constitute a significant part of his or her activities, which the regulations define as meeting or exceeding 100 hours annually. Additionally, if an individual’s lobbying, together with lobbying by others in the organization, meets or exceeds 100 hours annually, the senior officer of the organization must file a return.

The act defines lobby to mean communicating with a public official in an attempt to influence the development of a legislative proposal; introducing a bill or resolution before the assembly; making or amending a regulation; developing, amending, or terminating a program or policy; or awarding a financial benefit. For consultant lobbyists the definition of lobby also includes arranging a meeting with a public official or communicating with a public official in an attempt to influence the award of a contract.

Consultant lobbyists already lobbying before April 30th have 30 days to begin filing. If lobbying begins after April 30th, consultant lobbyists have 10 days to file. A senior officer filing on behalf of an organization with in-house lobbyists has two months in which to file, regardless of whether lobbying begins before or after April 30th. Additionally, the officer must file returns within two months after the end of each six-month period after filing the previous return.


Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations

by John Cozine, Esq.
Research Manager
 

FEDERAL: A federal district court has declared a Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulation regarding disclosure for electioneering communications invalid. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found FEC regulation 11 C.F.R. §104.20(c)(9), which requires disclosure only of those making contributions more than $1,000 to an entity for the purpose of furthering electioneering communications, contradicts the statute that requires disclosure of all donors making contributions more than $1,000. Concluding the FEC does not have the authority to narrow the disclosure requirement required by law, the court declared the regulation invalid by granting the plaintiff, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, summary judgment.

OREGON: The governor signed Senate Bill 1518, which is intended to improve transparency in the procurement process. The bill prohibits a vendor from writing the specifications of a project and then turning around and bidding on the project. Bidders will be able to include information on the number of jobs created if the bid is chosen for the project. In addition, the department of administrative services will have to report to the legislature about special procurements, a contracting procedure that allows state agencies to bypass competitive bidding rules. Although the bill took effect upon passage, the operative date for the listed provisions is January 1, 2013.

ILLINOIS: U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen has removed limits on political contributions to groups that make independent expenditures on behalf of or against a candidate. The decision in Personal PAC v. McGuffage specifically overturns the annual limits of $10,000 per individual, $20,000 per corporation or union, and $50,000 from a political action committee to an independent expenditure committee. Noting the U.S. Supreme Court struck down such limits in the Citizens United case, Judge Aspen concluded that preventing actual and apparent corruption cannot justify restrictions on independent expenditures.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners has passed an ordinance requiring registered lobbyists to complete ethics training. Registered lobbyists must, within 60 days of registration, submit to the clerk of the board a certificate of completion for an ethics course offered by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Lobbyists must also complete a refresher course every two years. The cost of the ethics course will be $100. The requirement is not applicable to municipal lobbyists in the county unless the municipality has adopted an ordinance requiring ethics training and an agreement with the county authorizes the county ethics commission to provide an ethics training course. The executive director of the Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission may waive the ethics course requirement for a particular lobbyist when it is determined the lobbyist has taken an initial or refresher ethics course offered by a municipality satisfying the county’s requirements.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission raised campaign contribution limits for candidates in the upcoming municipal election. Candidates for city council may accept $700 per donor per election cycle, up from a $500 limit. Candidates for citywide offices including mayor, city attorney, and city controller may accept $1,300, up from $1,000. The new limits went into effect right away, giving candidates in the March 2013 election the opportunity to contact donors who have already reached the old contribution maximums.


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 2013
Lobbying Laws 224 42 3 33 0
Political Contributions 398 44 13 58 0
Procurement Lobbying 245 41 9 53 1

 


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.

Q. 

Some of the state lobbying reports ask about my travel expenses.  What does this include?

A.

Travel expenses” is a phrase used by several states. It can refer to two different types of expenditures.


Some states require the disclosure of personal, reimbursed expenses incurred while lobbying. This would include food and beverage, hotels, cab fare, and travel expenses for a lobbying trip. Iowa, for instance, requires lobbyist employers to disclose all reimbursements made to their lobbyists. So, if a lobbyist lives in Topeka and flies to Des Moines to communicate with a legislator, the airfare is a reportable expense. Note, however, this generally only applies if the primary purpose of the trip is lobbying as defined by the state. A trip during which the lobbying contacts made were incidental to the main purpose of the travel would usually not need reported.

Other states, however, require the reporting of airfare or other travel costs paid by a lobbyist on behalf of a legislator or other public official. In Idaho and Mississippi, for example, a lobbyist or lobbyist employer may pay for a public official to travel to an event or to the company’s facilities, and the cost of the travel must be reported.

In all of these cases, the state reports request “travel expenses.” As you can see, it is very possible for the same words to have different meanings in the eyes of different states. When in doubt, lobbyists and employers can always contact us for guidance.


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.

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

 



State and Federal Scrapbook
Elizabeth Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, was the Honorary Captain at the
April 10  Cleveland Cavaliers game! We are quite certain
the Cavs won that game…because Elizabeth shook
Antawn Jamison’s hand!

Elizabeth Z. Bartz accompanied by her parents,
James and Madeline Bartz, at the Go Red for Women event
in Summit County.

Dennis Brown [Equipment  Leasing & Finance], Elizabeth Z.  Bartz, and Carol Laham [Wiley Rein LLP] at SGAC Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Elizabeth Z. Bartz with Ab Basu [Bio] and
Luke Rollins [Reed Elsevier].
Ed Greismer [Multi State], John Steele [TYCO], Gerard Dehrmann [Walmart], Any Trincia [Multi State], and Elizabeth Z. Bartz
at the SGAC Meeting at
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.


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.

                 Events

 May 2-4, 2012 OSBA Conference
Cincinnati, Ohio
 May 17-20, 2012 CSG Spring Leadership Conference
LaQuinta, California
 May 21-23, 2012 US Chamber Small Business Summit
Washington, D.C.

 


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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.

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