June 21, 2011 •
Iowa will begin implementing its new lobbyist reporting structure on July 1, 2011.
All lobbyists, for both the legislative and executive branches will file their reports with the legislative branch. Executive branch lobbyists will not have to register with the legislature as legislative branch lobbyists. They will, however, have to register for the online reporting system used by the legislative branch.
The legislative branch will be sending a letter with directions and passwords for the new system to all registered executive branch lobbyists and their clients. The online system will open to executive branch lobbyists on July 1st, 2011.
April 28, 2011 •
Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 126 into law on Tuesday.
This law, taking effect on July 1, 2011, requires lobbyist registration and reporting only with the legislative branch.
Lobbyists will indicate on this registration whether they will also engage in lobbying executive officials.
Employer reports will still be due each July 31st.
Photo of Governor Branstad courtesy of the official website for the Office of the Governor.
April 27, 2011 •
Lobbyists in the Hawkeye State may soon have a streamlined registration and reporting process.
House File 126 has passed both houses of the Iowa Legislature and now awaits approval from Governor Terry Branstad.
This bill would change the state’s law to require lobbyists to register and report with the legislative branch only; currently there is separate registration and reporting for the legislative and executive branches.
Lobbyists would indicate on the registrations whether they will lobby executive officials in addition to lawmakers. Lobbyists would have a combined annual report due each July 31st and registration would open in December for the following calendar year.
March 23, 2011 •
Political contributions and advertisements may be targeted
A bill has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature to impose a five percent “fee” on contributions in excess of $250 per year received by a PAC, candidate, or candidate’s committee from a single source.
Additionally, House File 140 would apply the same fee to political advertisements made by candidates or their committees and independent expenditures made by corporations.
The funds raised would be used to help offset the cost of operating the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
Photo of the Iowa State Capitol by Iqkotze on Wikipedia.
December 9, 2010 •
Charlie Smithson is leaving to become Iowa House’s chief clerk.
The Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board has hired Megan Tooker as its new executive director. Tooker was unanimously selected by the six-member board and will assume the role on January 1, 2011. Before joining the agency, she graduated from Drake law school and clerked for former state supreme court Justice Michael Streit.
The outgoing director, Charlie Smithson, is stepping down from the position to become the Iowa House’s new chief clerk. Smithson had been with the board since 1998 and was originally its legal counsel. The Ethics and Campaign Disclosure board administers and advises on state lobbying, campaign and ethics laws and, to a certain extent, local ethics rules.
September 14, 2010 •
A pro-life group has filed suit in federal court challenging aspects of Iowa’s legislative response to “Citizens United.”
The new law requires groups like The Iowa Right-to-Life Committee, which is organized as a corporation, to form a PAC if they wish to make independent expenditures. The group claims this requirement and the new disclosure requirements are an unconstitutional burden on their First Amendment rights.
Supporters of the law are calling this suit a “political stunt.”
Photo of the Iowa Capitol by Cburnett on Wikipedia.
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