Up for the Troops—Doing our Fair Share
of the best parts of being involved with State Government
Affairs Council is its dedication to help others. In November at
its Leaders Policy Conference, the group raised money for Tee It
Up for the Troops with a golf tournament.
Problem is I don’t golf. I have tried. I don’t golf. I can drive
the golf cart, but to go out on the course…I look like Rodney
Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
Thanks to SGAC and Tee It Up for the Troops we were able to help
by bidding on a golf bag. In this case it was a bidding war with
Chris Badgley from Daiichi Sankyo until the group offered to
throw in another bag if I matched his bid. So, I now have a golf
Tee It Up for the Troops was established in 2005 and has donated
nearly $4 million to honor, remember, respect, and support
veterans and their families. This past year the group has:
Assisted more than 22,000 military families, saving families
more than $35 million in lodging costs alone, plus food and
Helped nearly 4,000 veterans to restore a sense of self,
family, and hope;
Served more than 1,500 of the most severely wounded service
members with year-round programs in more than 30 different
sports nationwide; and
Reunited more than 50 wounded veterans who were separated
due to battlefield injuries, changes in rehabilitation, or
other reasons beyond their control.
State and Federal Communications knows when we team up with
others we help make a difference. If you are so inclined, check
www.teeitupforthetroops.org to see how you can help.
Until next month, see what you can do to help others less
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Illinois Governor Signs Executive
Order 15-09 to Ensure Ethics in Government
Newman, J.D., Research
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-09 on
January 13, 2015, to ensure a more ethical and responsive
government. Primary provisions include the implementation of a
revolving door policy for state employees and a restriction on
gifts for the same individuals.
revolving door provision affects employees, officers, and board
members of any state agency seeking to lobby after leaving their
agency positions. Such individuals, while still employed by a state
agency, may not negotiate for employment or other compensation with
any person or entity registered as a lobbyist or lobbyist entity if
said lobbyist or entity identified the agency on its registration
form. Moreover, no former agency employee, officer, or board member
may, within one year after leaving his or her position with an
agency, accept compensation from any person or entity for lobbying
any state agency. These restrictions are in addition to, and not in
the place of, any restrictions set forth in the State Officials and
Employees Ethics Act and the Illinois Procurement Code.
State Officials and Employees Ethics Act currently sets forth a gift
ban for state employees. Specifically, members of the General
Assembly, constitutional officers in either the executive or
legislative branches of state government, and state agency employees
may not intentionally solicit or knowingly accept any gift from any
prohibited source. Prohibited sources include, but are not limited
to, lobbyists, those seeking to do business with the state, and
anyone seeking official action or who has an interest that may be
substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of
there are statutory exceptions to the gift ban, Executive Order
15-09 restricts the applicability of those exceptions. Legislative
officers and members of the General Assembly may receive gifts with
a cumulative value of less than $100 in a calendar year from
prohibited sources. They may also receive food or refreshments
valued at $75 or less in a single calendar day, provided it is
either catered or consumed on the premises where it is purchased.
Executive Order 15-09 eliminates these exceptions for employees,
officers, and board members of any state agency. Such individuals
may now only accept de minimis meals or refreshments served
at a business meeting or reception attended by the employee,
officer, or board member in the course of his or her official
duties, provided the employee, officer, or board member adheres to
any rules issued by the governor's Office of Management and Budget
or his or her state agency.
Statutory exceptions to the gift ban also allow public officials to
accept educational materials or missions as well as travel expenses
for a meeting to discuss state business. Pursuant to Executive Order
15-09, these exceptions no longer apply to agency employees,
officers, or board members. However, such individuals may allow a
prohibited source to pay
for the cost of registration fees, travel, lodging, or meals,
provided the prohibited source makes or arranges payment or
reimbursement of such costs directly with the state agency and the
trip is approved in writing in advance by the executive director of
the Ethics Commission. All other statutory exceptions to the gift
ban contained in 5 I.L.C.S. 430/10-10 remain applicable to state
agency employees, officers, and board members.
The revolving door provisions of Executive Order 15-09 took effect
February 15, 2015; all other provisions were applicable January 13,
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
John Cozine, Esq., Research
Election Commission (FEC) published the 2015-2016 election
cycle contribution limits, which have been indexed for
inflation. As required by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
of 2002, the FEC must adjust certain contribution limits
every two years. The individual and nonmulticandidate
political action committee contribution limit to federal
candidates increased from $2,600 to $2,700 for both primary
and general elections, allowing for a total of $5,400 for a
federal candidate. The limits on contributions by
individuals to national party committees increased from
$32,400 to $33,400 per calendar year. Individuals may now
contribute $100,200 per calendar year to committees of a
national political party for presidential nominating
conventions, to committees of a national political party for
preparation for and the conduct of election recounts and
contests and other legal proceedings, and to committees of a
national political party for the construction, purchase,
renovation, operation, and furnishing of one or more
buildings for party headquarters. The lobbyist bundling
disclosure threshold increased to $17,600 for 2015 from
$17,300 in 2014.
HOUSTON, TEXAS: On
January 9, 2015, a federal court issued a preliminary
injunction enjoining the city from enforcing its ordinance
prohibiting political contributions until the first day of
February prior to the day of an election. In Gordon v.
City of Houston, the United States District Court for
The Southern District of Texas found the city did not
present any evidence showing the ordinance advanced the
city’s interest of preventing the appearance of corruption.
Because this is a preliminary injunction, the court found
the public interest would not be "disserved" by its
issuance, concluding, “Any harm caused to defendants by
issuing the injunction does not outweigh the more serious
harm that will be suffered by Gordon if the challenged
ordinance is enforced against him.”
MISSOURI: House Speaker
John Diehl will no longer allow food paid for by lobbyists
in committee hearings. Although he made no formal change to
House rules, Diehl believes his new policy will be followed
because the committee chairmen serve at his pleasure. Diehl
also banned House committees from meeting outside the
Capitol in an effort to curb the practice of lobbyists
providing catered meals to committee members as they
NEW BRUNSWICK: Premier
Brian Gallant again questioned a long running delay in
implementing a lobbyist registry in the province. The
Legislative Assembly in New Brunswick passed the Lobbyists'
Registration Act in May 2014, however, in order to take effect,
the Cabinet must first proclaim the act and promulgate
regulations for its operation. The act is similar to the
federal government and other provinces in requiring
lobbyists to register publicly, disclose who they represent,
and disclose who they meet with and what topics are
discussed. It has been seven years since former Premier
Shawn Graham first initiated a push for a law regulating
promised, Gov. Tom Wolf signed two executive orders to bring
about ethics reform. The first order bans all employees,
appointees, and officials of the executive branch from
soliciting or accepting gifts from individuals attempting to
influence decisions. The second creates a prohibition on
no-bid contracts to law firms, requiring competitive bidding
procedures be used for all legal services contracts. Gov.
Wolf signed the orders immediately following his
inauguration address. Both executive orders were effective
Jurisdictions Added to our
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.
effort, we have recently added abridged jurisdictions to
our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited
number of relevant local laws, provide the core
information our clients need for their government
The new jurisdictions
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
State and Federal Communications offers a publication addressing
lobbying, gift, campaign finance, and procurement issues in Canada. As
you would expect, there are substantial differences in how Canadian
jurisdictions address these issues. For instance, in most Canadian
jurisdictions with lobbying rules, with the notable exception of the
federal government, there are no set reporting dates. Instead,
registrations and reports (usually known as returns) are filed using the
same document and are due a set number of days following the filing of
the last return. Although a majority of Canadian provinces and
territories have moved to fixed-date elections, an election being held
before the scheduled date is always possible if the government loses the
confidence of the legislature or the government is dissolved.
Subscribers to Canadian Compliance for U.S. Companies have access to all
of the critical information needed to stay ahead of the game in Canada.
Federal Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions
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.
Many of the state legislatures I lobby
are currently in session. Does this affect when my lobbying
reports are due?
While some states have reporting schedules that do not vary from
year to year, others tie their lobbyist reporting schedules to
their legislatures activity. Currently, 11 states have
reporting schedules that vary to some degree with their
legislative sessions: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia,
Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North
Carolina, and Rhode Island. Some of these states require
additional reports during the legislative session, while others
tie reporting dates to the session’s adjournment.
example, Georgia requires legislative lobbyist reports twice per
month while the Legislature is in session. Reporting frequency
decreases to once per month once the Legislature adjourns.
Connecticut, Arkansas, and Alaska all require monthly
legislative lobbyist reports while their legislatures are in
Other states have reports tied to the official adjournment of
the legislature. Mississippi requires an end-of-session report
10 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die. Some
legislatures, such as Mississippi and Nebraska, have the
flexibility to change their planned adjournment date, in which
case a report may be due earlier or later than previously
announced. It is also important to note only official
adjournment dates affect the reporting schedule. State
legislatures concluding business for the year, but not
officially adjourned, may still require a lobbyist to use the
“in session” reporting schedule. Rhode Island, for example, requires monthly reports
only when the Legislature is in session, but
the Legislature does not officially adjourn until January of the
Special legislative sessions may also trigger a lobbying report.
States such as Nebraska and Hawaii require an additional report
following the adjournment of a special legislative session. In
states requiring special session reports, a report may be
required even if the full legislature did not convene in special
jurisdiction’s statutory reporting schedule is different. Be
sure to know your state’s reporting schedule and whether a
legislative session will change your requirements.
Expert - Jennifer Zona, Esq., Compliance Associate
Larry O'Brien and John O'Brien were
guests of Elizabeth Z. Bartz for an exciting
at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
State and Federal Communications
employees acknowledged on their anniversary.
January brought about the
first recognition of 2015’s staff
Ken Kelewae (middle) celebrates six
years on staff in the I.T. Department
maintaining all office hardware. David
Jones, our I.T. Intern,
celebrates his third year on staff as he
attends Stark State University.
Congratulations to both
of these dedicated computer specialists.
We couldn’t do what we do without you.
State and Federal Communications
employees at PAC Grassroots
State and Federal Communications, Inc. is always
in attendance for the Public Affairs Council
Grassroots conference. The 2015 Conference
was held in Key West, Florida. Attending
were [photo on left - l to r] Michael Beckett,
Research Associate; Dan Frydl, Marketing and
Sales Manager; Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and
CEO; Renold Koozer, Executive Director; and Joe
May, Social Media Manager. At the Resource
Market Place [photo on right - l to r] Dan Frydl,
Renold Koozer, and Michael Beckett.
Plan to say hello at future
events where State and Federal
will be attending and/or
speaking regarding compliance issues.
Ohio Birthday Party, Washington, DC
Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN
ACES National Conference,
NASPO Conference--Marketing to
State Governments, Philadelphia, PA
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