E-News from State and Federal
Akron Roundtable – Bringing the
World to Akron
One of the first events I attended when I moved to Akron in 1993
was Akron Roundtable. It was a bargain at $6 for a great lunch,
great speaker, and we even had a silent prayer and the Pledge of
Allegiance. I lived in the DC area for 12 years and never
started a program with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Now, 20 years later I serve on this great board. Akron
Roundtable was started in 1976 as a community forum to encourage
and bring bold, creative, and new ideas to the region. To date,
more than 400 major corporate executives, writers, government
officials, artists, and civic leaders from around the country
have addressed the Akron Roundtable audience.
on April 18th, we will have David Adkins, Executive
Director of the Council of State Governments, as our speaker.
CSG is the country’s only organization serving all three
branches of state government. It is a region-based forum, which
fosters the exchange of insight and ideas to help state
officials shape public policy. David is a former Kansas state
senator and served as vice chancellor for External Affairs at
the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Many of us know David from our work with State Government
Affairs Council and being a CSG Associate. This is the first
time CSG has been represented at Akron Roundtable.
State and Federal Communications will hold a reception for David
Adkins and the CSG family after the Akron Roundtable program.
Its offices are across the street from the event. For more
information about attending the program go to
Until next month, make your reservations to be in Akron on April
18th. It will be a great day with David in town. And,
if you have to spend the night—and who wouldn’t want to—John
Lithgow is part of the University of Akron’s speaker series that
evening at EJ Thomas Hall. If we can be of assistance in
planning your day, please do not hesitate to contact me at
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
North Carolina – New Lobbying Rules
The North Carolina State Ethics Commission has adopted
four new rules concerning lobbying that went into effect on January 1,
The first rule details when non-lobbyist employees must
register as a lobbyist. In North Carolina, an employee must register as
a lobbyist if a significant part of that employee’s job duties include
lobbying. The new rules stipulate that this threshold is met if at least
five percent of an employee’s duties include direct or goodwill lobbying
during any rolling 30 day period. Once this threshold is met, the
employee must register as a lobbyist within one business day.
The second rule explains what must be included when
providing a description of a reportable expenditure for the lobbyist
reports. The description must identify what was given, who the third
party was that received the expenditure, and the name of the event or
meeting where the expenditure was given.
The third rule describes how to determine the immediate
family member who is connected with a reportable expenditure. On the
reports, the name of the designated individual or immediate family
member connected with the expenditure must be reported. The person that
must be indentified is the person who either received or benefited from
the expenditure, or who requested the expenditure be made on someone’s
The fourth and final rule effecting
lobbying details what must be reported in connection with a lobbying
event. The entire cost of a lobbying event must be reported, rather than
just the costs of any gifts given. Examples of the non-gift expenditures
that must be reported include supplies, facility rental, food, name
badges, flowers and other decorations, planning services, and all other
expenses and charges incurred in connection with the lobbying event.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA:
The city passed a law rescinding its lobbying ordinance and
adopting the Palm Beach County lobbying ordinance. The city no longer
regulates lobbyists. Any person lobbying Boynton Beach officials or
employees must now register with Palm Beach County.
The Illinois State Board of Elections increased contribution limits
at the start of the new year. Under the updated limits, a candidate
political committee may accept, over the course of an election cycle, no
more than $5,300 from an individual, $10,500 from a corporation, labor
organization, or association, and $52,600 from a political action
committee. A political party committee and a political action committee
may accept no more than $10,500 from an individual, $21,100 from a
corporation, labor organization, or association, and $52,600 from a
political action committee.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission made
upward adjustments to gift and contribution limits using a formula
provided in the Political Reform Act. On January 1, 2013, the maximum
value of a gift allowed to be accepted by an elected official increased
to $440. The maximum contribution a legislative candidate can receive
from an individual or corporation increased to $4,100, while candidates
for governor may now accept $27,200. The commission also adopted new
rules concerning the public tracking of who is paying to qualify ballot
measures and how much is being spent independently of candidates.
The city council increased the city's campaign contribution limits
for the council elections in 2013. The limit for mayoral and at-large
candidates increased to $650 and the limits for ward council candidates
increased to $400.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO:
The county passed Ordinance O2012-0026, establishing a debarment
law, a debarment review board, and debarment procedures. The ordinance
prohibits debarred vendors from submitting bids, contracting with the
county, or subcontracting on county contracts. Five-year, three-year,
and 18-month debarment periods have been established, depending on the
severity of the violation. The ordinance became effective immediately
upon its passage in December.
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 the State and Federal
Communications’ digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying, and can be found in the client
portion of the State and Federal Communications' website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly e-mail updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regards to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
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 of the changes
and additions made to the website in the course of the prior month. One
of the features of the Summary of Changes is the Legislation Updates,
found in the left-hand column of the state updates. But what information
is contained in those updates? The legislation updates follow the bills
relevant to the particular publication from introduction to final
disposition. When the bills are first listed in the Summary of Changes,
a very brief description of the bill is included. In subsequent months
the bill will provide, in parentheses, the month and year of the Summary
of Changes document that the bill was first listed, followed by the
current status of the bill. The bill will continue to be listed until it
is signed into law, carries over to the next session, or dies. Timelier
updates, as well as a more complete description and the original text of
the bill can be found on the State and Federal website.
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. You can directly submit questions for this
feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here.
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 e-mail us with questions about your particular
company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly
provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions
are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of
laws, rules, and regulations.
We’ve had some
disagreement internally within our organization – please help.
As a federal registrant employing in-house lobbyists, are we
only required to report the time and expenses associated with
our “registered” lobbyists?
It’s a good question. The answer to which often
gets lost amongst the efforts to report lobbyists’ activities.
Federal registrants are certainly required to make best efforts
to track, capture, and report the lobbying activities and
expenses of those employees who meet the 20% threshold standard
(lobbyist employee). In addition, registrants are equally
required to track, capture, and report expenditures associated
with employees who do not meet the 20% threshold but still
engage in lobbying activities during the course of the quarter
(non-lobbyist employees.) The names of non-lobbyist employees
are not included on the report and neither is information
related to what issues they addressed or contacts they made.
That said, the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House
have consistently advised that all employee time
spent engaged in lobbying activities should be included when
determining an organization’s lobbying expenses, even when the employee(s) does not meet the statutory definition of being a
lobbyist. In line with the best efforts standard, then, it is
important to have in place reasonable, demonstrable processes to
capture both lobbyist and non-lobbyist activities.
February's Expert -
Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate
Wealth of Information at
Want to interact
with your fellow government affairs and procurement colleagues? Then
jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at
Once there, you
can join the exchange of ideas and view solutions to common challenges
and problems. Also, State and Federal Communications continually adds
content to the blog, including ‘hot topics,’ which are summaries of
important news items you need to know.
the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.
State and Federal
2012 COGEL Conference, Columbus, Ohio
State and Federal Communications, Inc. was happy
to sponsor the efforts of the COGEL 2012 Conference held in
December in Columbus, Ohio.
The staff attending the COGEL Conference arrived
a day early to assist with bag stuffing.
Carol Laham - Wiley Rein and Elizabeth Z. Bartz enjoyed their
discussion at the COGEL Conference held in the Sheraton Columbus in
Capital Square in Columbus, Ohio.
The State and Federal Communications staff
totes we donated to COGEL.
Part of our staff that attended the
COGELConference 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. [L to R - [front
row -George Ticoras, Esq., Susan Stofka, Sarah Kovit, Esq., Joe
May. back row- Jim Sedor, Megan Huber, John Cozine, Esq.,
and Ken Kelewae.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
February 5-8, 2013
2013 National Grassroots
Conference - SPONSOR Live
Key West, Florida
February 26, 2013
Akron/Canton SMEI 41st
Distinguished Sales and Marketing Award
March 4-7, 2013
2013 National PAC Conference -
SPONSOR Conference Wi-Fi Access
Miami Beach, Florida
March 6, 2013
Ohio Birthday Party
March 13-15, 2013
SGAC Annual Meeting
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Contact us to learn how
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