E-News from State and Federal
SGAC’s Leaders' Policy Conference —
It’s the place you want to be!
The place—Wigwam in Arizona. The year—2000. The event—SGAC’s
Leaders' Policy Conference. I walked in and my professional
career was changed forever.
The Leaders' Policy Conference is produced with the State
Government Affairs Council (SGAC) Foundation, NCSL, and CSG as
an educational initiative for states’ legislative leadership and
state government relations professionals from America’s leading
businesses, associations, and service providers. It is designed
to encourage dialogue on issues of importance between state
legislative leaders and private sector representatives. The
public sector includes the legislative leadership from all of
the 50 states and U.S. territories, the NCSL and CSG Executive
Committees, ALEC’s Board of Directors, and chairs of key
committees in the states.
Private sector attendance is for SGAC members only. However, if
joining SGAC is on your 2014 bucket list, you can attend as a
The specifics for the 2013 LPC are the following:
November 23-26, 2013
Turnberry Isle, Miami, Florida
Registration fee is $795 and guests can attend for $295
If you are interested in attending the 2013 Leaders Policy
Conference, call SGAC at 703-684-0967 and anyone on staff can
help you. You can also find additional information at
www.sgac.org. In addition, if I can be of any assistance
with this event, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In the meantime, remember we are all about relationships and I
believe SGAC can assist you in developing those relationships
with key leaders in the states.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
New Ethics Ordinance for an Old Ethics Mandate
by Michael Beckett,
Annapolis, Maryland City Council passed the
Public Ethics and Financial Disclosure Ordinance (O-41-12)
as required by a 2011 state law. The General Assembly
enacted legislation (Senate Bill 315) during the 2010
legislative session requiring county and
to abide by ethics provisions at least as stringent as those
applying to state officials. The city’s ordinance was
pre-approved by the State Ethics Commission in late October 2012, although Senate Bill 315 originally required
compliance by October 1, 2011. The ordinance does not change
lobbyist registration or reporting dates, but does add
definitions, gift restrictions, and penalties for
violations. Ordinance O-41-12 becomes effective January 1, 2014.
lobbying is defined by the ordinance to include not just
direct communications, but also activities having the
purpose of soliciting others to communicate with city
officials or employees when having the intent to influence.
However, even though grassroots activities are included in
the definition of lobbying, they have not been added to
registration or reporting requirements. Reporting
obligations remain focused on expenditures for the benefit
of officials and employees.
Previously, officials and employees could
accept tickets to sporting events and unlimited food and
drink. The ordinance prohibits all tickets to sporting
events unless the official or employee receives a
professional or college sporting ticket from a fellow
official, agency, or other government entity. Meals and
beverages are still permitted, but are limited to $35 and
only if consumed in the presence of the donor, unless
provided at a meeting where the official is participating.
The ordinance grants additional enforcement
powers to the Annapolis Ethics Commission. The commission
may require a lobbyist to file additional reports and may
impose a fine of $5,000 for each violation. If the lobbyist
has knowingly or willfully violated the lobbying provisions,
the commission may suspend the registration.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
MISSOURI: The Ethics
Commission announced James Klahr as the new executive
director for a six-year term beginning September 13,
2013. Klahr has worked for Gov. Jay Nixon since
1997, most recently as the administration’s legislative
liaison in the Department of Public Safety. Klahr
replaces Julie Allen, who became the elections director
for Secretary of State Jason Kander in January. Stacey
Heislen will remain on the commission’s staff after
serving as acting director.
FEDERAL: On August
19, 2013, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) issued a
legal advisory to designated agency ethics officials
stating it will interpret the terms marriage and
spouse to include a same-sex marriage and a
same-sex spouse where those terms appear in federal
ethics provisions, regardless of the employee’s state of
residency. The OGE will also interpret the term
relative to include same-sex spouses. The directive
was created as a result of United States v. Windsor, a
U.S. Supreme Court decision issued this summer striking
down part of the Defense of Marriage Act as
unconstitutional. The OGE consulted with the U.S.
Department of Justice before making the Legal Advisory,
which took effect on the date of the directive, August
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA:
The City Council has scheduled a special election to
replace Mayor Bob Filner on November 19, 2013. Filner
resigned on August 29 following sexual harassment
allegations from more than a dozen women. If one
candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the
person will assume office December 17, 2013. If no
candidate wins a majority of the vote, a runoff election
will be held within the 49-day period called for by the
Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 589 into law on
August 12, 2013. The bill, which has been heavily
criticized by voter’s rights groups, will require voters
to show identification at the polls starting with the
2016 elections. House Bill 589 also increases the
contribution limits from $4,000 per election to $5,000
per election, effective January 1, 2014; and requires an
adjustment to the contribution amount based on the
consumer price index in every odd year thereafter.
Additionally, beginning October 1, 2013, the bill makes
it illegal for lobbyists to collect checks from one or
multiple donors and deliver them to state candidates.
Previously, only collecting checks from multiple donors
and delivering them to a state candidate was illegal.
DUPAGE COUNTY, ILLINOIS:
The county repealed its pay-to-play provisions
after learning from the state's attorney's office the
provisions were unenforceable. As a non-home rule
county, the county did not have the power to limit
campaign contributions because it was not specifically
granted that power by the state Legislature. The changes
were enacted as part of an otherwise minor update to the
county's ethics code. Provisions requiring disclosure of
campaign contributions by contractors remain in place.
Legislation We Are
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 State and Federal
Communications' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying and can be found in the client
portion of our website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly email updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regard to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
Municipalities Added to our
The number of municipalities and regional
governments our research associates track continues to grow.
We now cover more than 230 municipalities and local
governments. This is part of a continuous effort to
better serve the needs of our clients.
We recently added four municipalities
for which our clients will find comprehensive, timely, and
accurate information that includes: complete calendars of
reporting deadlines, critical statutory citations, extensive
directories of contact information, summaries of each state
law, detailed reference charts on goods and services
contributions, highlights of every statute, copies of all
required forms, and much more.
Pinellas County, Florida
E B S I T E
T I P
of State and Federal’s publications include a Definitions section. This
is important because every jurisdiction differs in how important terms
are defined. Even subtle differences in definitions can have a major
impact on issues such as whether registration as a lobbyist is required,
whether you are required to file campaign finance reports, or whether
pay-to-play restrictions apply to your company. In all publications, the
Definitions section can be accessed by clicking on the "Definitions"
link on the left-hand side of the webpage. It is important for you to
access the definitions to ensure you have a complete understanding of
the jurisdiction’s requirements.
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.
Send your questions to:
(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 email us with questions about your particular
company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly
provide answers or information you need.) Our replies are not legal advice,
just our analysis of
laws, rules, and regulations.
I am a registered lobbyist with a
personal relationship with a state legislator.
I would like to
give her a gift for a special occasion. Is this permissible?
As a registered lobbyist, you should always be
aware of the restrictions placed on you for providing things of
value to a state official. A number of jurisdictions have
strict “no gift” laws in place. Wisconsin prohibits a lobbyist
from providing things of pecuniary value to a legislator with
very limited exceptions.
A gift can be permissible based on the personal
relationship between the lobbyist and the legislator. Texas and
Florida allow gifts between a registered lobbyist and a
legislator if they are related to a certain degree. Please note
that jurisdictions can examine the circumstances of the gift
such as the extent of the relationship between the lobbyist and
the legislator. The lack of a history of gift giving between
the parties or evidence of a personal relationship may render
the gift impermissible. The federal “friendship” exception also
does not apply to state and local jurisdictions.
A registered lobbyist may be allowed to give a
gift based on the special occasion or reasoning behind it. In
Massachusetts, a lobbyist may give a legislator gifts on certain
occasions of religious or personal significance. Connecticut
allows gifts for certain major life events. Be sure to confirm
if any occasions are excluded. Massachusetts does not consider
a birthday to be an occasion of personal significance!
A gift may not be prohibited even if you are a
registered lobbyist. Confirm whether an intended gift is
permissible with your state’s ethics office.
October's Expert -
James G. Warner, Esq., Sr. Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Scrapbook - 2013
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and
Federal Communications, brought
part of her team to the Executive Women’s Day at
Firestone Country Club.
[Pictured above are, from left to right, Joanna Kamvouris, Kim Crowley, Alessandra
Dickos, Cristina Dickos,
Alexa Livadas, Christine Morgan, and Elizabeth Bartz.]
State and Federal Communications, Inc. is honored
to be one of the recipients of the
2013 Pinnacle Awards of Summit County.
The company received
the award in the “Private Sector, Small Company” category.
According to the United Way of Summit County website,
“The Pinnacle Awards of Summit County is
Summit County’s exclusive opportunity to honor those individuals
organizations that are serving the greater good.”
[Pictured above, from left to right,are Dave McPeek, David Jones,
Ken Kelewae, Melissa Coultas,
Joe May, and Mark Sedmock.]
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
September 30 - October 1
PLI Corporate Political
Activities Conference, Washington, D.C.
Sponsor, Washington, DC
PAC Fall Board Meeting,
Paradise Valley, Arizona
ALL State Lobbying
Session, Washington, D.C.
ALL Annual Meeting,
November 23-November 26
SGAC Leaders Policy
Conference Turnberry, Miami Beach, Florida
NCSL Fall Forum
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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
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.