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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

June 2013

Still Fighting for the Cure

We have heard of Susan G. Komen, but do we know her history.

Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body, and soul. Through her diagnosis, treatments, and days in the hospital, she spent time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer. Her sister made her dream happen. Nancy Brinker promised her sister she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer…and, that was 30 years ago.

On July 28th, State and Federal Communications will participate in the second annual Race for the Cure at Firestone Golf Course. Our team named ST8PACS for a Cure is headed up by yours truly, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, and Nola Werren, a two-year breast cancer survivor.

The team includes our staff, family, and friends and our goal is to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer, celebrate cancer survivorship, and honor those who have lost the breast cancer battle. The last mile of the walk is of every survivor in line by number of years survived. Nola and I move up one row this year.

Join our team. We would love to have you join us in Akron on Sunday, July 28th and walk/race with us. Or, we would appreciate your financial support to ST8PACS for a Cure, which you can find on the Komen site, www.komenneohio.org.

Together we can and we will make a difference.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO


Georgia’s Lobbying Reforms in House Bill 142

by Michael Beckett, Esq.
Research
Associate
 

 

Governor Nathan Deal signed an important piece of ethics legislation aimed at increasing public confidence in state government on May 6, 2013. House Bill 142 restores rulemaking powers to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, clarifies and modifies the rules surrounding who qualifies as a lobbyist, and sets a gift limit of $75 per lobbyist gift. The bill becomes effective January 1, 2014.    

The commission’s rulemaking:

House Bill 142 grants to the commission the ability to adopt “any rules and regulations necessary and appropriate,” so long as no additional reporting requirements are imposed by the new rules. While the bill expressly removes the $300 annual lobbyist registration and renewal fee, it allows the commission to set and collect fees for lobbyist I.D. cards, supplemental registrations, and replacement I.D. cards. 

Lobbyist registration:

House Bill 142 makes substantial changes to the definition of lobbyist. The impact of the changes are most notable as they relate to registration thresholds and reporting obligations, as opposed to changes in who a person can communicate with (or lobby) without registering as a lobbyist. The bill maintains the five different types of lobbyists, but removes the 10 percent test currently relevant to many of the registration thresholds. The bill also adds a compensation threshold for state level lobbyists in the amount of $250 per year.

Changes have also been made to the lobbyist exemptions. An exemption for salespeople now matches a preexisting exception to the definition of lobbyist, an exemption for volunteer lobbyists of certain qualifying organizations is added, and the exemption for attorneys and staff not paid to lobby is expanded.

Lobbyist gifts:

House Bill 142 prohibits expenditures to a public officer or employee for the purpose of influencing a public officer. The definition of expenditure includes expenses exceeding $75 from any individual lobbyist such as transportation, travel, lodging, registration, food, beverages, and tickets given for less than face value. Permitted gifts and exceptions to the $75 limit include food and beverage produced in Georgia, food and beverage at a group event for all members of an agency, campaign contributions, and actual expenses for attending educational or charitable conferences. The bill does not limit the number of times a $75 gift may be given and does not explicitly prohibit splitting the cost of a gift among several lobbyists. Registered lobbyists will have to report the description and amount of all lobbying expenditures, regardless of value.
 


Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations

by John Cozine, Esq.
Research Manager
 

ARKANSAS: Governor Mike Beebe approved a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the November 4, 2014, general election ballot. House Joint Resolution 1009, the Arkansas Elected Officials Ethics, Transparency, and Financial Reform Amendment of 2014, passed both chambers shortly before the regular session recessed on April 24, 2013. If affirmed by the voters, the constitutional amendment will ban corporate and union gifts to political campaigns, ban lobbyist gifts to legislative and executive officials, and provide 16-year term limits for legislators. The amendment would also increase the time between when a legislator leaves office and when a legislator is permitted to become a lobbyist from one year to two years.

NEW YORK CITY: The New York City Campaign Finance Board won two court cases involving the city’s campaign finance laws. In one case, Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald sued the city in hopes of eliminating the city’s strict contribution limits and bringing them in line with the state’s limits. However, a state court held the city’s contribution limits legal and reasonable to keep money from influencing elections. In the other case, a federal court upheld the provisions limiting the amount of public funds available to candidates who do not face meaningful competition. This provision, dubbed the "sure winners" provisions by the Campaign Finance Board, was under attack in Ognibene v. Parkes, a suit filed in 2008. In a non-competitive race, the city is allowed to withhold public funds from a candidate.  While the court did find the city could not use the opponent’s financial activity as criteria for the appeals process, overall the decision was a clear victory for the Campaign Finance Board.

GEORGIA: Governor Nathan Deal signed two pieces of ethics legislation aimed at increasing public confidence in state government on May 6, 2013. House Bill 142 restores rulemaking powers to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, clarifies and modifies the rules surrounding who qualifies as a lobbyist, and sets a gift limit of $75 per lobbyist gift. House Bill 143 requires more campaign transparency for local races and allows for public notice of any campaign contributions given to members of the General Assembly leading up to the start of the legislative session. The bills become effective January 1, 2014.

NORTH DAKOTA: The Legislature adjourned sine die early Saturday, May 4, 2013. During this longest-ever legislative session, Governor Jack Dalrymple signed two campaign finance bills to establish registration and reporting requirements for independent expenditures. Senate Bill 2255 and Senate Bill 2299 expand definitions and reporting requirements for campaign entities making independent expenditures in North Dakota elections. Federal PACs making independent expenditures in excess of $200 in state races will be required to file a copy of the federal report detailing the expenditures. The bills become effective August 1, 2013.

ARKANSAS: Governor Mike Beebe approved a bill expanding restrictions on former public officials seeking to register as lobbyists. Senate Bill 331, now Act 486, prohibits statewide elected officers, certain state employees, and state agency executives from registering as a lobbyist for one year following expiration of employment. Previously, only members of the General Assembly were subject to this revolving door restriction.


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 2014
Lobbying Laws 220 47 8 26 4
Political Contributions 470 49 23 36 3
Procurement Lobbying 304 45 19 23 2

 


W  E  B  S  I  T  E     T  I  P

Quick Reference Information

A new quick reference chart, titled "Requirements for Federal PACs Active in the States," is available on the State and Federal Communications website. The chart covers the registration and reporting requirements for federal PACs making contributions to state candidates. As with all of the quick reference charts on our website, it is continuously updated as changes are made to the relevant parts of the individual state entries. Subscribers to the Executive Source Guide on Political Contributions can access the chart by clicking on the link to the Political Contributions Resource Page immediately after logging in to the website.


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.

I’m registered as a legislative lobbyist in Indiana.  How do the new changes in the law affect me?  

A.

Recently, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed Enrolled Act 1222, expanding the definition of lobbying and requiring lobbyists to file registrations and reports electronically. This bill also increases the annual lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $200 and syncs the lobbyist registration year to correspond with the current lobbyist reporting periods (November-April and May-October).  As such, one of the most significant changes requiring your attention is that registration statements issued for 2013 will expire on November 1, not on December 31.  

Most of the bill’s provisions will become effective July 1, 2013.  Here is a brief summary of important changes:

Lobbying Thresholds:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, the definition of legislative person includes all employees of the legislative department of state government for determining what communications constitute legislative lobbying.

  • For purposes of determining whether a person is a lobbyist, the annual registration fee is not to be considered when calculating the $500 compensation and expenditure registration thresholds.

Registrations:

  • As noted, current 2013 lobbyist registrations will expire on November 1, 2013. Registration will be required for each reporting year beginning on November 1, 2013, or within 15 business days after becoming a lobbyist, whichever is later. The commission may accept registration statements up to 60 days before the first day of the reporting year.

  • Effective November 1, 2013, the registration fee is $200. However, the registration fee is $100 if the lobbyist is a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, or an employee of a lobbyist nonprofit organization who performs lobbying services for the employer as part of the lobbyist's salaried responsibilities.

  • Effective November 1, 2013, electronic registration is required unless the commission grants an exception. 

Reporting:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, gift reports and purchasing reports need to be filed only with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission and the legislative person with respect to whom the report was made.

  • Effective January 1, 2014, electronic filing is mandatory unless the commission grants an exception.

June's Expert - Myra Cottrill Esq., Client Specialist


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 - 2013
 
Re-use-a-Shoe event in Savannah, Georgia at
the March SGAC event.
Summit County GO RED for WOMEN event offered a
venue of fun photos.  Our own Becky Campbell
and Nola Werren enjoyed these accessories.
 
Bill-Community Advocate and Virginia Albanese-FedEx Custom Critical, along with Elizabeth Bartz-State and
Federal Communications, Inc. and John Chames-Western-Southern Life at the GO RED for WOMEN Luncheon in Akron. 
Virginia and Elizabeth are Circle of Red Members and Bill and John are in the Red Tie Society.

 
Some of our I.T. Department attended the GO RED for WOMEN event.
Photographed:  Zack Koozer, Social Media Intern, Joe May, Social Media Coordinator, and David Jones, I.T. Intern.
Award
Laura Brelin - United Way of Summit County, dropped
by to present to Elizabeth Bartz a framed  “Excellence Award”
to State and Federal Communications.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. received the Community Support Award as "Champion for Children" from Summit County Children Services at the Fourth Annual Community Appreciation Breakfast on April 30, 2013.


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 30 - June 2, 2013

NCSL Executive Committee  
Boston, Massachusetts

June 2-5, 2013 Heartland Conference  
Louisville, Kentucky
June 21-24, 2013 CSG Leadership Meeting  
Washington, D.C.
July 14-18, 2013 CSG MLC Conference
St. Paul, Minnesota
July 27-August 1, 2013 CSG SLC Conference
Mobile, Alabama
July 30-August 3, 2013 CSG West
Las Vegas, Nevada

 


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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.

http://www.stateandfed.com/

 

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