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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

March 2017   

Professional Development 2017

I cannot express how busy this year is with the new federal administration, new state governors and legislators, and it is hard to keep up with the number of new municipal officials. I keep track of a lot of road warriors on Facebook and Twitter and know how difficult it is to do the next right thing on your huge TO DO list.

Let’s not forget we need to take the time for our own learning—for us to be the best we can be at our organization.

Two of my favorite conferences are around the corner.

  1. Public Affairs Council National PAC Conference begins Monday in Miami Beach. This conference has for decades provided the tools needed to increase your PAC contributions and stay in compliance with all the reports due for those contributions. More info at www.pac.org.

  2. State Government Affairs Council will host its annual National Summit March 29th to March 31st in New Orleans. I am moderating a session on lobbying where we will discuss specific gifts which can be prohibited in the states. The panel will include Carol Laham from Wiley Rein and Mike Thompson from Personal Care Fragrance Association. More info at www.sgac.org.

There are other meetings throughout the year. We list the events we are attending on the left side of the email of Compliance Now, within Compliance Now, as well as on our website. I have always believed in professional development and many of you who see us out and about know this as I travel with an entourage of staff who also attend events for their professional development.

If you ever have any questions about conferences we are attending, do not hesitate to reach out. We will share any information you need so you can join us.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO
@elizabethbartz


Denver Amends Lobbyist Registration
and Reporting Requirement
 

Katlin Newman, JD
Research Associate

Denver City Council has passed an ordinance amending the city’s lobbying rules. Council Bill No. CB16-0920 narrows the definition of lobbying and makes changes to registration and reporting requirements. The ordinance, signed by the mayor on January 4, is retroactively effective beginning January 1, 2017.

The new definition of lobbying provides for an additional exception to registration requirements. Persons not otherwise required to register as lobbyists are not required to register if limiting their activity to giving testimony or providing information to council, at public hearings, or at the request of public officials or employees. The exception applies provided the persons clearly identify themselves and the entity for whom they are testifying or providing the information. For those required to register, a lobbyist registration renewal will no longer be required on the registrant’s anniversary date. Rather, every lobbyist will be required to renew his or her registration annually by January 15.

The ordinance also replaced a monthly reporting requirement with a bimonthly requirement. Reports are due on the 15th day of each even-numbered month, covering the 60 days prior to the bimonthly report deadline. Such reports must include an itemized list and the estimated value of all gifts, entertainment, and direct or indirect expenditures to, on behalf of, or benefitting a covered official for lobbying purposes.

Denver lobbyists should also expect one additional reporting requirement. Although there is no mention of it in the city code or in the revised lobbying ordinance, the city clerk and recorder will require an annual report to be filed beginning with the 2017 calendar year. The first annual report will be due January 15, 2018. An annual report form is expected to be available closer to the 2018 due date.

[The details for this article can be found on our website under the Lobbying Compliance Laws and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for Denver, Colorado.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

ALBERTA, CANADA: The Legislative Assembly passed Bill 35, the Fair Elections Financing Act. The bill made several sweeping campaign finance changes affecting the Elections Finance and Contribution Disclosure Act, the Election Act, and the Legislative Assembly Act. Residents of Alberta are now limited to making political contributions of up to $4,000 per calendar year, in the aggregate, to political parties, constituency associations, nominated candidates, candidates seeking nomination, and party leadership contestants.  Third party political advertisers are now required to file quarterly contribution reports. Additionally, the chief electoral officer may serve an administrative penalty requiring payment to the Crown if he or she believes a person, political party, constituency association, or third party fails to comply with a direction of the chief electoral officer.

FEDERAL: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) published the 2017-2018 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 non-multicandidate PAC contribution limit to federal candidates will remain at $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 have increased from $33,400 to $33,900 per calendar year. Individuals may now contribute $101,700 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 new limits are effective retroactively to January 1, 2017.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1069 into law. The passage of this bill repeals Initiated Measure 22, which was the voter approved ethics and campaign finance overhaul that established various lobbying and campaign finance restrictions. Initiated Measure 22 was not in effect since it was enjoined by a circuit court on December 8, 2016.

TENNESSEE: The Registry of Election Finance recently published updated contribution limits for 2017 and 2018 elections. The changes, mandated by state statute, are based on the changes in the consumer price index. Individuals may now contribute $4,000 per election to statewide candidates. The limit for individuals contributing to local, state legislative, or other state candidates remains unchanged. PACs may contribute $7,800 per election to local candidates and to candidates for state House, criminal court judge, circuit court judge, chancellor, probate court judge, district attorney general, or public defender. They may contribute $11,800 per election to statewide candidates and to candidates for state Senate. The aggregate PAC limit for all non-statewide elections was increased to $118,100. Primary and general elections are considered separate elections for the purpose of campaign contribution limits.

VERMONT: The state has increased contribution limits to candidates, PACs, and political parties. By statute, contribution limits are re-evaluated and adjusted based on the consumer price index. A 2.1 percent increase was implemented allowing statewide candidates and PACs to receive $4,080 per election cycle; state senator candidates to receive $1,530; and state representative candidates to receive $1,020. Each limit applies to contributions from a single source or PAC. This change is effective for two years. Thereafter, increases will apply for the term of two two-year general election cycles.

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 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.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2018
Lobbying Laws 141 30 4 0 0
Political Contributions 207 37 1 0 0
Procurement Lobbying 200 33 4 0 0

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

Every month subscribers to the State and Federal Communications website receive the Summary of Changes, which is a list of all the changes and additions made to the website in the course of the prior month. In all publications, a year’s worth of Summary of Changes can be accessed by clicking on the "Summary of Changes" link on the left-hand side of the entry’s website page. Below the link is a convenient chart entitled “Year End Summary,” which reviews the highlights and major changes of 2016. 

Jurisdiction Added to our Website

The number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients.

In that effort, we have 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 relations work.

The new jurisdiction is:

Will County, Illinois

 

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 experts@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 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.
 

My company is in the process of retaining a lobbying firm in New York City. Are there any steps I must take to ensure the firm is properly registered on our behalf?

New York City has some unique requirements when it comes to client filings. Your company must select a designated person, called a principal officer, to certify and submit all filings on its behalf. There is a two-step process for the initial registration of lobbyists and employers. The first step is enrollment in New York City’s e-Lobbyist system, as electronic filing is mandatory. Enrollment must be completed by both the lobbyist and the client before a lobbyist may file a statement of registration. To begin the process, the principal officer must obtain her login information for the e-Lobbyist system and submit an enrollment for the company.

[The information from this response can easily be found on our website in the “Registration” section of the New York City entry. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.]

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James Warner, Esq., Sr. Compliance Associate

 



State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook

Elizabeth Z. Bartz is always proud to share her connection to two important people; her father, James Bartz and her friend and fellow Ohioan, Senator Sherrod Brown. At the WGR Governors Reception held at
The National Press Club, Elizabeth Z. Bartz
caught up with
Katrina Iserman, Sunovion and
Fred Zeytoonjian, Apple.

 
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Celebrates Employee Anniversaries

Ren Koozer, Executive Director,
celebrating 19 years of service.

 

Sarah Gray, Compliance Assistant Coordinator,
celebrating 8 years of service.

Renae Bomba, Esq., Research Associate,
celebrating her first year.

Ken Kelewae, I.T. Assistant,
 reached his 8 year mark.

Each month at our staff meeting, Elizabeth acknowledges the employment anniversaries of our staff.
In January and February we acknowledged four team members.
These employees are essential members of the staff.  Congratulations to you all.

 

Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.

 

Events

March 1, 2017 Ohio Birthday Party,
Washington, DC

March 1, 2017

Money in Politics, Polarization, and a Way Forward with Former FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel,
Washington, DC
March 2, 2017 AEI: The vital role of government statistics: Strengthening research, governance, and innovation,
Washington, DC
March 3, 2017 POLITICO's Playbook Interview with Nancy Pelosi,
Washington, DC
March 6 - 9, 2017 PAC National PAC Conference,
Miami Beach, Florida

March 7, 2017

NCSL Foundation Lunch,
Washington, DC
March 7, 2017 Women in Government Relations Leadership Program Session #3, Washington, DC

March 9, 2017

Montgomery County Council - African Affairs Advisory Group Meeting, Silver Spring, Maryland
March 12 - 14, 2017 NASPO Exchange - How to Market to State Governments,
St. Louis, Missouri
March 14, 2017 WGR Toastmasters, Washington, DC
March 23, 2017 NCSL Foundation and SGAC Annual Roundtable,
Washington, DC
March 23 - 25, 2017 American Copy Editors Society National Conference,
St. Petersburg, Florida
March 28, 2017 WGR Toastmasters,
Washington, DC
March 29-31, 2017 SGAC National Summit,
New Orleans, Louisiana
 

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 | 330-761-9960 | 330-761-9965-fax | 888-4-LAW-NOW| http://www.stateandfed.com/

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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www.stateandfed.com