E-News from State and Federal
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President and CEO
Florida Enacts Ethics Package
The major themes of the 2013 Florida legislative session
were ethics and campaign finance. Two expansive bills made
it to Governor Rick Scott’s desk by the end of the session,
and he signed both on May 1.
The first of the two bills, Senate Bill 2,
unanimously passed both houses of the legislature. It
prohibits members of the legislature from acting as
lobbyists for compensation before an executive branch
agency, agency official, or employee for two years after
leaving office, although a previous version of the bill
would have prevented legislators from becoming lobbyists or
principals of lobbying firms lobbying the legislature. The
bill also adds vendors to the list of individuals covered by
the gift restrictions for reporting individuals and
procurement employees, and extends additional enforcement
powers to the state ethics commission, including fines of up
to $5,000 for executive branch lobbyists who fail to
disclose required material facts or knowingly provide false
information. The bill also allows the ethics commission to
investigate whether a lobbyist has made a prohibited
expenditure if a complaint is filed. These reforms became
effective upon Governor Scott’s signature.
Reforms from the second bill, House Bill 569, will take
effect later this year. The most talked-about reform in
Florida’s campaign finance law eliminates committees of
continuous existence, or CCEs, frequently used by
legislators as “slush funds.” CCEs will be prohibited from
accepting contributions after August 1, and will have their
certifications revoked as of September 1. Other reforms will
take effect beginning November 1, including significant
increases in contribution limits from $500 to $3,000 for a
candidate for statewide office or retention as a justice of
the state supreme court and from $500 to $1,000 for a
candidate for legislative office, retention as a judge of a
district court of appeal, or circuit judge. The bill also
adds more frequent reporting requirements in the months and
weeks leading up to an election and eliminates limits on
contributions to political committees.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
ALABAMA: The Alabama Legislature passed, and the Governor
signed, major changes to the state's Fair Campaign
Practices Act. The most significant change is the
elimination of limits on corporate contributions to
candidates and political action committees. Under the
new law, corporations will be permitted to contribute in
the same manner as individuals, who are not subject to
any contribution limits, with the exception of retaining
the state's pay-to-play prohibition on contributions to
the Public Service Commission by utilities the
commission regulates. The bill also makes 527
organizations subject to the ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers
and adds enforcement and penalty provisions. The
Secretary of State's office will release information
regarding the effective date of these provisions because
the law must first receive Department of Justice
preclearance before it becomes enforceable.
MAINE: The Maine State Legislature passed, and Governor Paul
LePage signed, Legislative Document 184. The bill
requires legislators to wait one year after their terms
end before engaging in activities requiring registration
as lobbyists or lobbyist associates..
Exempted from this prohibition are those former
legislators who wish to engage in lobbying activities,
but do not receive compensation. If a legislator does
engage in compensated lobbying activities during the
restricted period, he or she is subject to a $1,000
civil penalty. The law will not take effect until the
start of the 127th Legislature, which will begin in
WASHINGTON: Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law
increasing disclosure in political advertising. Senate
Bill 5258 requires a series of political advertisements
supporting or opposing ballot measures sponsored by the
same political committee, each of which is under $1,000,
to include information on the advertisement’s top five
contributors once the cumulative value of the
advertisements reaches $1,000. Under the current law,
information on the top five contributors is only
required for individual advertisements in excess of
$1,000. This law will take effect on July 28, 2013
OREGON: Governor John Kitzhaber signed a bill to change
regulations for lobbyist registration and reporting.
House Bill 2078 modifies the time frame for registration
and tightens the period for registration renewals.
Compensated lobbyists will need to register within 10
days of meeting a threshold or after agreeing to lobby.
Currently, lobbyists only have three days to register,
but the clock does not begin after agreeing to lobby.
Registration renewals will be required by January 31 of
even-numbered years, moving from the current March 31
deadline. An entity with more than one lobbyist will
have to report expenditures for each lobbyist. The bill
becomes effective January 1, 2014.
MONTANA: Governor Steve Bullock named a new commissioner of
political practices. Jonathan Motl began service as the
commissioner to complete the final three years of a
six-year term left vacant by prior unconfirmed
appointees. A Senate confirmation hearing for the
position will not be held until early 2015.
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 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.
Number of Jurisdictions
E B S I T E
T I P
Subscribers to the Lobbying Laws and Procurement Lobbying publications
have no doubt noticed that some jurisdictions, such as Kentucky, New
York City, and the Federal government, have multiple lobbying
registration, reporting, and/or gift rules, designated by colored
headings such as "Executive" or "Local." These are known as "branch"
jurisdictions, because you need to be cognizant of what branch of
government you are dealing with. The classic example is a state like
Kentucky, which has completely separate registration, reporting, and
gift laws for the legislative and executive branches. Lobbyists and
their employers need to be aware that registering with one branch does
not cover activity in the other branch, nor do the gift laws of one
branch cover officials in the other. Several jurisdictions, including
the Federal government, have a unified lobbying law, but have gift laws
that differ by branch and, in the case of the Federal government, also
by house of Congress. Finally, New York City represents a small subset
of jurisdictions with two levels of lobbying and gift laws that must
both be followed. In other words, registration and reporting is required
by both the state and local authorities. Note that subscribers to
Procurement Lobbying do not see legislative branch laws in that
publication, as procurement is typically an executive branch function.
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:
(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.
As a federal lobbying
registrant, we have some employees who engage in a minimal
amount of lobbying during the course of the quarter. What is
our obligation to identify these employees and report
expenditures associated with their activities?
lobbying disclosure requirements, registrants are required to
include expenditures (i.e. compensation, reimbursed expenses
etc…) associated with any employee’s lobbying
activity during the quarter. However, registrants are not
required to identify specific employees (by
listing them on the LD-2 report) or the issues on which they
lobbied unless they meet the statutory definition of a
“lobbyist”—which includes spending at least 20% of their time
engaged in reportable lobbying activities.
House and Senate
guidance is consistent in advising that registrants need to make
a good faith effort to capture and include the expenditures
associated with non-lobbyist employees. Establishing a regular
process and sound methodology by which to identify lobbying
activities of this nature is critical to demonstrating adherence
to the good faith standard in this regard.
July's Expert -
Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Scrapbook - 2013
Chad Wilson, Nationwide, and Nola Werren, Esq.,
Compliance Specialist, at the Nationwide
Memorial Golf Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
The Staff of State and Federal Communications
planned a surprise "Happy Anniversary" celebration as we
kick-off the 20th Anniversary of the company.
We believe in our
100% Participation in the United Way Campaign & Day of Action
For the 5th year, several of our staff at State
and Federal Communications, Inc., have chosen to volunteer for
United Way Day of Action. This year the East Akron YMCA
was our assignment.
Participating were: Ken Kelewae, Kimberly Crowley, David Jones,
Myra Cottrill, Esq., Joanna Kamvouras, Joe May,
Alessandra Dickos, Cristina Dickos, John Cozine, Esq., Susan
Stofka, Michael Beckett, Esq., Sarah Kovit, Esq.,
Shamus Williams, Esq., and Becky Campbell.
Welcome to our 2013 Summer Interns of State and
Alessandra Dickos [The Ohio State University], Cristina Dickos
[The Ohio State University],
Kimberly Crowley [Boston College], Zack Koozer [Kent State
University], Joanna Kamvouras [Kent State University],
and David Jones [Stark State University].
State and Federal
Communications is participating
in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Team ST8PACS for the Cure
is looking for your support.
To join the team or make a
click on this link.
SUPPORT ST8PACS FOR THE CURE!
Make your checks payable to:
Susan G. Komen
or make your payment online.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
July 25, 2013
20th Anniversary Celebration at the Washington Nationals vs.
Pittsburgh Pirates Game
30-August 3, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
Relations Society of America
Tangiers in Akron, Ohio
Legislative Summit Booth 921
Kansas City, Missouri
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