New Pay-to-Play Takes Effect Today in DC - State and Federal Communications

November 9, 2022  •  

New Pay-to-Play Takes Effect Today in DC

Washington D.C. City Hall

Today, a new pay-to-play law takes effect in the District of Columbia. Originally, the law was to go into effect on November 4, 2020, but was delayed due to the District choosing not to fund the implementation of the law until its 2022 budget.

Now, any business entity, or a principal of a business entity, seeking or holding a contract or multiple contracts with the district government is prohibited from making political contributions with an aggregate value of $250,000 or more to certain government officials. A principal of a business entity includes senior officers of that business entity, such as president, executive director, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer. Government officials prohibited from receiving contributions from contractors can include, depending on the type of contract sought, the mayor and mayoral candidates, the attorney general and candidates for the position of attorney general, and councilmembers and councilmember candidates.

When seeking an exemption or abatement of a tax, contractors may have to disclose the estimated aggregate value of the exemption or abatement, if it is $250,000 or more, with a list of the contributions made.

A contractor violating pay-to-play restrictions may be considered to have breached the terms of any existing contract with the district. At the discretion of the contracting authority, any existing contract of the contractor may be terminated. The contractor may also be disqualified from eligibility for future District contracts, including the extension or modification of any existing contract, for a period of four calendar years after the date of determination that a violation has occurred.

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