E-News from State and Federal
Compliance Dream Team – Encore
Ev’ry man has his own
And your dream’s just
about to come true.
Life’s not as bad as it
If you open your eyes to
what’s in front of you.
Appearing only at the Public Affair Council National PAC
Conference is the encore of the Compliance Dream Team! I am
extremely excited and honored to pair up with The Extra
Honorable Ken Gross and The Mighty Honorable Michael Toner to
hear your confessions—I mean actions—and answer your questions.
This session will present a series of compliance questions to
the panel for our expert response. There will also be an
opportunity to submit anonymous compliance missteps for us to
hear and provide corrective action.
This is bigger than Broadway…Larger than Hollywood. And, it will
only happen on Tuesday, March 5th at the Miami Beach
Eden Roc. Join us at the Public Affairs Council National PAC
We’re your Dream Team
We’ll make you happy.
We’re your Dream Team
We’ll always care.
Until next month, I am looking forward to seeing you out and
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
PAC/PAC Conference - Compliance Dream Team Link
Taking Matters into Their Own Hands
year’s push for ethics reform in several state legislatures could not
happen fast enough for some elected officials. Georgia’s Senate and
Missouri’s Secretary of State, Jason Kander, decided on day one to take
matters into their own hands by adopting new gift rules for their
Georgia Senate imposed a $100 limit on gifts from lobbyists. Senators
approved the gift cap on the opening day of the 2013 General Assembly
session as part of new rules governing the chamber’s operations for the
current two-year term. The new rule does not apply to travel costs or to
gifts provided to groups of senators, including committees. The rule
does allow lobbyists to give $100 gifts on multiple occasions.
Meanwhile, House Speaker David Ralston has unveiled an ethics reform
bill aimed at expanding the definition of a lobbyist and restricting
lobbyist gifts. House Bill 142 would ban even the smallest expenditure
of a lobbyist if for the benefit of a single member of the General
Assembly. Lobbyists would still be permitted to spend on committees,
caucuses, and expenses to public officers for trips to conferences and
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, sworn in on January 14, 2013,
announced a new ethics policy as part of his “Day 1 Achievements.” The
new policy prohibits the staff in his office from accepting gifts from
lobbyists. State administrative policy already curtails what state
employees may accept from lobbyists, but agencies are free to adopt
stricter guidelines. Additionally, Missouri’s House and Senate are both
considering bills to curb lobbyist spending. House Bill 139 would
prohibit General Assembly members, family, and staff from accepting more
than $1,000 per calendar year from lobbyists. Senate Bill 181 would
prohibit statewide elected officials, legislators, staff, employees, and
family from accepting gifts over $50 from a lobbyist.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
OKLAHOMA: The Ethics Commission hired Lee Slater as its new executive
director. Mr. Slater began working part time with the commission on
February 1, 2013, and will become the full-time executive director on
July 1, 2013. The position became vacant when Marilyn Hughes retired as
executive director after 25 years with the agency.
MASSACHUSETTS: An argument put forth by the Secretary of State’s office requiring
lobbyists to disclose every communication with public officials “makes
absolutely no sense,” wrote Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders.
Secretary of State William Galvin’s office had argued it has the
authority to interpret “all direct business associations with public
officials” expansively and require the names of all officials with whom
a lobbyist has communicated. In reaction, a lawsuit was brought against
the Secretary of State’s office by several parties. The arguments in
favor of the disclosure requirement were dismissed by the judge in her
ARIZONA: The Office of the Secretary of State released the 2013-2014
election cycle contribution limits. Individuals and noncertified
political committees can now contribute $912, increased from $872, to a
statewide candidate; $450, increased from $430, to a non-statewide local
candidate; and $440, increased from $424, to a non-statewide legislative
candidate. Additionally, the amount committees certified by the state
may contribute is $4,560, increased from $4,352, to a statewide
candidate; $2,270, increased from $2,170, to a non-statewide local
candidate; and $1,816, increased from $1,736, to a non-statewide
legislative candidate. These limits apply to candidates not receiving
public funds under the Citizens Clean Elections Act. Other changes
include increasing the amount individuals may contribute annually to
political committees or candidates from $6,100 to $6,390. The
contributions limits are required by law to be adjusted every two years.
FEDERAL: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) published the 2013-2014
election cycle contribution limits 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
increased from $2,500 to $2,600 for both primary and general elections,
allowing for a total of $5,200 for a federal candidate. The overall
biennial limit for individuals increased from $117,000 to $123,200, with
a maximum of $48,600 for all candidates and $74,600 for all PACs and
parties. The limit for contributions to national parties from
individuals and non-multicandidate PACs also increased from $30,800 to
$32,400 per year.
MAINE: The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices
increased some of the state’s contribution limits as required by state
law. The state requires the commission to examine the limits each
December of an even-numbered year based upon the consumer price index.
The commission only increased the limits for candidates to the state
legislature by $25. Now, those candidates may accept $375 for the
primary and another $375 for the general election per contributor. A
candidate may accept contributions for the primary election, even if he
or she is running opposed. The commission will next evaluate the
contribution limits in December 2014.
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
our Lobbying Laws and Procurement Lobbying publications have no doubt
noticed the addition of the charts in the Gift Law section of those
publications. The charts are meant to provide a quick reference for both
lobbyists and non-lobbyists on several common gift issues. Specifically,
the charts provide easy access to the rules on providing food and
beverages, travel, entertainment, and event tickets to government
officials and employees. Complete gift rules for both lobbyists and
non-lobbyists can still be found below the chart and should be
referenced for more complex questions. It is our hope that you find the
charts to be a valuable addition to the publications and provide yet
another tool to assist you in remaining in compliance.
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.
have been asked to testify before a committee of the state
legislature regarding a pending or potential bill. Is this
considered lobbying activity?
As is usually the case, the answer will vary drastically
depending on the state in question. In this specific situation,
there are at least three variables to consider when evaluating
Is testimony excluded from the definition of lobbying?
In many states, providing information, participating in a
meeting, or otherwise communicating at the request of a
public official is specifically excluded from the definition
of lobbying. This is true even if the information will
potentially influence legislation, as long as the contact
was initiated by the state. In these jurisdictions, a
person may be asked to testify about a topic as an industry
expert without being subject to lobbying laws. For
instance, in Colorado, a person who is not otherwise
registered as a lobbyist, but provides information at the
request of public officials is not required to register and
report. Iowa has a similar exception for people providing
testimony or information at the request of a public
Is the communication before a public committee?
Often, participation at a public meeting or proceeding or
otherwise testifying on the public record is excluded from
lobbying laws. Delaware’s exemption is a good example of a
state allowing for testimony at a public hearing without
lobbyist registration. Likewise, Connecticut has an
exception from its definition of lobbyist for those
who are not hired specifically to lobby and whose
appearances are limited to public testimony.
Is there a pending bill before the
Finally, it may be important to determine whether there is
an actual bill pending before the legislative body in
question, or if the putative lobbying communication is only
regarding potential legislation. Certain states only
regulate attempts to influence legislation that has already
been introduced. North Dakota is a good example of this
point. In order to be considered a lobbyist, a person must
be attempting to influence a live bill. An individual does
not need to register as a lobbyist for attempting to
influence a potential bill.
There are very few concepts, rules, or guideless applicable to
all states, and accordingly, situations like this must be
examined on a case-by-case basis. For specific guidance, please
contact a member of the State and Federal Communications
March's Expert -
Stephen Quinn, Esq., 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
Scrapbook - 2013
West, Florida was the location for the latest PAC Grassroots
2013 Conference. Jacqueline K. Clark of
Ash Grove Cement
joined "Team State and Federal Communications, Inc." for a
Our team included: Ren Koozer, Executive Director,
I.T., Ms. Clark, Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO,
Myra Cottrill, Esq., Client Specialist, and Michael Beckett,
Our photographer was our own Social Media
Coordinator, Joe May.
such a special treat to have a conference in Key West. This view is from the Casa Marina Resort
looking past the pool
into the ocean. Ohioans dream of this view and weather.
A Milestone Anniversary
and Federal Communications, Inc.'s, Ren Koozer, Executive
Director, I.T., celebrated his 15th anniversary with the
company. He received a U.S. flag [from the office of
Congresswoman Betty Sutton] that had been flown over the U.S.
Capitol on November 1, 2012 along with a certificate of
authenticity, and a Samsung ATIV Windows 8 tablet.
We celebrated with his favorite New York cheesecake topped with
blueberries and strawberries. Delicious.
Congratulations to a real team member.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
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
April 14-16, 2013
April 22-25, 2013
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and Federal Communications is
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We are the leading
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Contact us to learn how
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