E-News from State and Federal
Months – It’s a New Website
am the last person who should compare the redevelopment of a
corporate website to the birth of a baby, since I have not
successfully done the latter, but it certainly feels as if it is
On Friday, November 1st, barring any issue with the
World Wide Web, State and Federal Communications’ newly
developed website will be launched. It is important to know all
of the compliance information previously included is still
there. What’s new are the following:
New bookmarking capabilities;
Easier access to News You Can Use and
Daily updates; and
Viewable from any mobile device.
That last bullet is very important to me and I am sure it is to
you, too. I am a walking IT department with my laptop, iPad,
iPhone, Microsoft phone, and even my iPod. Truly over connected
at times, but I know I will always have access to
www.stateandfed.com for important updates in the states,
municipalities, federal, and Canadian governments.
State and Federal Communications is hosting a launch forum on
November 12th and November 13th at the
National Press Club in Washington, DC. If you are interested in
learning more about our site from the folks who have put it all
together, please give Elliott Postlewait a call at 330-761-9960
or e-mail him at
firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a time for the
program. We welcome you and your staff to our program.
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
The same expertise, a new web
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
New Federal Rules for Contractors’ Employment of Veterans
and Persons with Disabilities
in March 2014, contractors with the federal government
will have additional disclosure requirements concerning the
hiring and employment of veterans and individuals with
One regulation change sets up a hiring goal for individuals
with disabilities. The goal is for federal contractors and
subcontractors to have seven percent of each job group in
their workforce staffed with qualified individuals with
disabilities, according to the U.S. Labor Department press
release released August 27, 2013.
The Labor Department identifies the seven percent goal as an
“aspirational utilization goal” and states “the goal is not
a quota.” The rule also specifies actions vendors must take
in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping, and
policy dissemination. The U.S. Labor Department identifies
these rules as being similar to those currently required to
promote workplace equality for women and minorities.
Additionally, regulations concerning the Vietnam Era
Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act have been amended to
include hiring benchmarks, data collection, and access to a
contractor’s documentation related to compliance by the
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. According to
the Labor Department’s notice of the program, contractors
will utilize one of two benchmark methods: they can use a
benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in
the civilian labor force, or they may establish their own
benchmarks using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
data from the Veterans’ Employment and Training
Service/Employment and Training Administration, and other
factors reflecting a contractor’s hiring circumstances. When
listing job openings, contractors must invite applicants to
self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer
and post-offer phases of the application process. Sample
invitations to self-identify will be provided by the Labor
Contractors must document and annually update quantitative
comparisons revealing the number of people with disabilities
and veterans applying for jobs and the number hired.
Contractors must then maintain the information for three
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
September 23, 2013, President Barack Obama's two Federal
Election Commission nominees, Anne Ravel and Lee E.
Goodman, were confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Ravel is the
chair of the California Fair Political Practices
Commission. Goodman is a partner with the law firm of
LeClairRyan. The remaining four commissioners are all
serving with expired terms.
MARYLAND: The Ethics
Commission issued an informal memorandum regarding a new
training certification requirement for lobbyist
registration. Part C of the registration form now
requires the lobbyist to certify he or she has completed
the required training in the last two-year period or
will complete the training prior to being a regulated
lobbyist for two years. The next live training is
scheduled for October 21, 2013. Lobbyists can verify
their training status and complete the training online
by accessing their accounts at
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO:
Chief U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo has
struck down the city of Albuquerque’s ban on campaign
contributions from corporations or business entities,
finding the prohibition violates the First Amendment.
The case (No. 13-cv-00426) involves a provision in the
City Charter prohibiting business entities and
corporations from donating to candidates for mayor and
council. Giant Cab Company filed suit against the city
clerk after City Councilor Janice Arnold-Jones returned
a contribution to the company, citing the ban on
corporate donations. Earlier this year Armijo limited
the scope of the city’s pay-to-play restriction,
allowing individuals with a city contract to contribute
to a candidate as long as they do so under their own
name and not the business’ name.
October 1, 2013, Senate Bill 246 revised the definition
of committee for political action to include new
threshold levels. Entities whose primary purpose is to
affect outcomes of elections are now defined as those
with more than $1,500 in contributions or expenditures
in a calendar year. Entities whose primary purpose is
not to affect outcomes of elections have a $5,000
calendar year threshold. Committees must register with
the Secretary of State’s Office no later than seven days
after qualifying under the revised definition. The
changes in the bill were modeled on similar statutes
previously enacted by the state of Maine.
District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled a portion of
Mississippi's campaign finance law unconstitutional as
applied to a group of five Oxford, Mississippi,
residents backing a ballot initiative. The group wished
to pool funds to purchase posters and advertising
supporting a 2011 initiative, but it determined doing so
would trigger political committee registration under
state law. The group filed suit, alleging Mississippi's
$200 threshold unduly burdened its First Amendment
rights. Judge Aycock agreed, finding the $200 threshold
was "simply too low" for the "significant and onerous
burdens on persons attempting to join together to raise
or expend in excess" of the threshold. Mississippi
Attorney General Jim Hood indicated he may appeal the
ruling, while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, whose
office enforces the state's campaign finance laws, did
not immediately issue comment on the case.
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
E B S I T E
T I P
most important questions for anyone wishing to make a political
contribution are “Can I give?” and “How much?” The Contributions section
in the Executive Source on Political Contributions addresses both of
these questions. The first question is addressed under the “Who may make
contributions:” subheading, which concisely list the types of
individuals and entities able to make contributions in the jurisdiction,
followed by a list of those that are prohibited from making
contributions. This subsection is immediately followed by a subsection
providing contribution limits in the jurisdiction for both corporations,
if direct corporate contributions are permitted, and all other
individuals and entities. Before writing a check, please also check the
Ban on Contributions section to see if there are periods during which
contributions are restricted and, if you are a lobbyist, consult the
Restrictions on Contributions from Lobbyists section to see if there are
any additional restrictions on your political activities.
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:
(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.
am a registered lobbyist in multiple jurisdictions and my
reports are timely filed. Do I have to complete a training
Depending on where you are registered, you may be subject to a
state mandated training requirement. Requiring the completion of
a lobbyist training course has been an emerging trend as states
expand their ethics and disclosure provisions.
For example, in Utah, a lobbyist must complete training, and
obtain a perfect score on the examination, before their lobbying
license is issued. In Louisiana, a registered lobbyist must
complete one hour of training by December 31 of each year. The
state provides in-person training classes, as well as an online
Some states, such as Maryland, require training on bi-annual
basis. In New York, the lobbyist is only required to attend a
training course once every three years.
Failure to complete the required training can result in
penalties to the lobbyist. Louisiana imposes a personal
liability requirement on the lobbyist. Failure to complete the
mandatory training class may result in a fine of up to $10,000.
While training is mandatory in some states, other states have
optional training opportunities available to lobbyists who want
to enhance their understanding of the state’s ethics and
disclosure provisions. Colorado and Georgia are two of the
states currently offering optional training courses.
To obtain additional information about the jurisdictions where
you are registered, please visit
www.stateandfed.com. Our new website premieres on
November 1, 2013.
November's Expert -
Shamus Williams, Esq., Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Scrapbook - 2013
Federal Communications, Inc. boasts four alumni from the Kent
State University Washington Program in National Issues [WPNI].
Pictured here are: Elliott Postlewait - Marketing
Assistant, Melissa Coultas - Manager, Marketing and Sales,
Elizabeth Z. Bartz - President and CEO, and Jon Spontarelli -
is a full 15-week academic program offered each spring semester.
A select group of juniors and seniors from various academic
disciplines study the U.S. political process and national and
international policy issues firsthand in Washington,D.C.
Elizabeth Bartz and
Steven Tomasic presenting the Executive Management session,
“Setup for Success: Creating an Internal Compliance Process,” at
the Public Affairs Council State and Local Government Relations
Conference in Washington D.C.
While celebrating the 40th anniversary of the WPNI, Ohio friends in D.C. gathered for a great time.
Pictured here are (from left to right): Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio; Connie
Schultz; Jon Spontarelli, Compliance Assistant; Russ Pry, Summit
County Executive; and Elizabeth Z. Bartz.
Included here with Elizabeth Bartz is the
Auction Committee that worked tirelessly to raise money for the
Akron Public School's Project Grad Program.
Akron Public School's Project Grad event had
friends and staff from State and Federal Communications present to enjoy the
Pictured here are (from left to right): Pam Anderson from WKSU; Elizabeth Z. Bartz, John
P. Chames, Josh Walker, Alesha Walker, and Sarah Kovit,
Esq. from State and Federal Communications.
While in D.C. at PAC State and Local Conference
in Washington, D.C.,
the staff and friends of State and Federal Communications, Inc.
had fun taking in the sites.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
American League of
Lobbyists - State Lobbying
Session, Washington, D.C.
D.C. Lift-off Forum,
American League of
Lobbyists - Annual Meeting,
November 23 - November 26
SGAC Leaders Policy
Conference, Turnberry, Miami Beach, Florida
Ohio Holiday Party,
NCSL Foundation Dinner,
, Washington, D.C.
NCSL Fall Forum,
NOW is published for our customers and friends.
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COMPLIANCE NOW e-newsletter.
Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South
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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
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.