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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

November  2017   

Let State and Federal Communications be your guide in 2018

It is not too early to start planning…Not for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. I am talking about 2018 legislative sessions, primary elections, and the November 6th general election.

The Research Department at State and Federal Communications has been busy, busy, busy updating our website with the important dates you need for 2018.

  • When will the states go into session? √

  • When are lobbying reports due? √

  • Will there be blackout periods in 2018? √

  • When will the primaries be held in the states? √

  • When are pre- and post-election reports due? √

  • Does every state have a general election in 2018? √

You just cannot go wrong when connected with the State and Federal Communications Community to know when your reports are due; elections are held; and when legislatures convene, adjourn, recess, and go into special session.

Access is easy for our subscribers. Sign onto and input your login and password. The world is then at your fingers. If you need assistance with your access information, please call Megan Huber-Kovachik or Tony Didion at 330-761-9960 and they will provide the information.

You might not be able to tell by my desk, but my calendar is organized. Staying on top of these important compliance dates will help you manage your time in 2018.

This year is almost ending, which is hard to believe. Rest assured, State and Federal Communications is at your side for 2018.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO


State and Federal Communication’s
Primer Website
webinars are a
wonderful way to familiarize yourself with the
Compliance Laws for
Government Relations
Professionals publications

This month’s webinar is a great opportunity for our clients learn the full potential of our online political compliance publications. Join us to learn about their features and how they can help you.

This month’s webinar is on
Thursday, November 9 at 2 p.m. EST

 Seats are limited, so register today.



St. Petersburg City Council Passes Controversial
Super PAC Contribution Limits

Kevin Newman, Esq.
Research Associate                   

In a direct assault on Citizens United v. FEC and subsequent jurisprudence, city lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Florida, passed legislation seeking to limit the influence of independent expenditures in local elections. Through three separate ordinances, City Council placed limits on contributions to super PACs, prohibited foreign-influenced corporations from participating in city elections, and increased disclosure requirements for groups making independent expenditures.

Effectively eliminating the existence of super PACs at the city level, Ordinance 300-H creates a $5,000 limit on contributions to groups raising money for or making expenditures or electioneering communications in city elections. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits corporations with 5 percent ownership by a single foreign owner, or 20 percent overall foreign ownership, from participating in city elections. This provision requires the chief executive officer of a company making certain expenditures or contributions to certify the company is not foreign-influenced.

The additional two laws, Ordinances 301-H and 302-H, requires the filing of a notice of independent spender status as well as regular political activity reports from persons, political committees, and corporations. Disclosure reports must show all expenditures made and contributions made or received. Political advertisements paid for by independent expenditures must also include certain disclaimers stating the source of the funds.

Supporters of the legislation hope to spark a constitutional challenge to bring the question of super PACs to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, governing Florida, has not yet ruled on the issue. However, other circuits, including the D.C. Circuit, have ruled limits on contributions to independent expenditure-only committees are unconstitutional. Opponents within city government voiced concern over exposing the city to expensive litigation and personal liability for officials enforcing the ordinances. Free Speech for People, a nonprofit group who authored the laws, has offered to defend the city pro bono if litigation ensues. The ordinances take effect on January 1, 2018, exempting the upcoming November elections.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the St. Petersburg, Florida Independent Expenditure section of the Political Contribution Compliance Laws.]


Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

ARKANSAS: Beginning October 1, all lobbyists must register and file reports through the new lobbyist registration and reporting system. The new system requires all lobbyists, regardless of whether they are new lobbyists or currently registered, to re-register and submit a new signature card. Lobbyists must re-register and submit a new signature card to file third quarter reports.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: Cabinet ministers and other public officer holders will be prohibited from lobbying the government for two years after leaving office under a bill proposed in the Legislature. The prohibition in the bill applies to former public office holders, which the legislation defines as a former member of the Executive Council and any individual formerly employed in the former member's former office, other than administrative support staff, or a former parliamentary secretary. Those listed in the definition also includes any individual who formerly occupied either a senior executive position in a ministry, the position of associate deputy minister, assistant deputy minister or a position of comparable rank in a ministry, or a prescribed position in a provincial entity.

CALIFORNIA: Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 568, moving up the state’s presidential primary to March 3, 2020. The date of the 2016 primary was in June, but the Legislature pushed for an earlier primary in an attempt to have more of an impact on the national level. The bill does not change the date of the 2018 primary.

FEDERAL: On October 10, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) extended the comment period concerning internet communications disclaimers to November 9. The FEC is specifically requesting comments addressing advertisements on internet-enabled applications and devices. Originally, the FEC published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on October 13, 2011, and then again on October 18, 2016. This month, the commission has decided to again reopen the comment period to receive additional comments once more because of technological changes since the last comment period ended. Federal regulations require disclaimers identifying who paid for a political campaign communication and whether the communication was authorized by a candidate. The FEC is not proposing changes to any other rules adopted in the Internet Communications rulemaking of 2006.

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 267, authorizing the Fair Political Practices Commission to have primary responsibility for the impartial, administration, implementation, and enforcement of local campaign finance reform for the city of Sacramento, effective immediately.

Legislation We Are Tracking

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' online Compliance Laws for Government Relations Professionals. They can be found on a jurisdiction's home page.

Summaries of major bills are also included in the monthly Summary of Changes email update 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.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2018
Lobbying Laws 374 46 40 99 121
Political Contributions 582 50 63 163 200
Procurement Lobbying 505 51 52 122 162

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

Our website features extensive coverage of individual jurisdictions while also providing quick access to common information many of our subscribers want to know. These Quick Reference Charts can be found by clicking on the three bars on the right-hand side of the red publication bars you use to choose the publication you wish to view. Clicking on the buttons will bring up the list of Quick Reference Charts specific to that publication.

A recent addition to the Lobbying Laws Quick Reference Charts deals with contingency lobbying. Contingency lobbying is when payment – be that a commission, percentage, brokerage or other fee – is paid based on the favorable outcome of a legislative matter. The Contingency Lobbying chart discusses whether this type of lobbying is prohibited and if there are any exceptions to the law.

We will continue to add more of these charts for topics that are the frequent subject of questions from subscribers.


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.

We are forming a new organization that will be formed as a 501(c) (6) tax-exempt trade association.  Can we lobby and still maintain our nonprofit tax status?

In short, yes.  Many people think lobbying and nonprofits don’t go together and the perception that nonprofits can’t lobby is widespread... 

Read the full article here


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.




Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full

Please fill out the small form to gain access to all articles free! Thanks.


Rebecca F. South, Federal Compliance Associate

State and Federal Communications, Inc. Scrapbook

We earnestly remind you to exercise your right to vote -
 November 7, 2017.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena honored Breast Cancer Survivors and families Saturday, October 21.
Elizabeth Bartz is an 11.5 year SURVIVOR!


[Left] Elizabeth Z. Bartz received the Kent State University Alumni Advocacy Award on October 13, 2017.

[Top] Elizabeth with Dr. Bev Warren, KSU President.

Staff Anniversaries

Each month, we recognize employees and their length of devoted time to State and Federal Communications, Inc.  Recently, we acknowledged anniversaries of those pictured above.  These employees are exceptional members of the staff. 
Congratulations to you all.

[Top row - left to right] George Ticoras, Esq., Research Associate [7 years]; Jon Spontarelli, Social Media Specialist [6 years]; Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager [6 years]; and Emone Smith, Administrative Assistant [4 years].
[Bottom row - left to right] Katlin Newman, JD, Research Associate [4 years]; Chris Patrizi, Executive Assistant [2 years], Alexandra Vernis, JD, Research Associate, [1 year], and Anthony Didion, Marketing and Sales Assistant, [1 year].

Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.



November 3, 2017

PLEN: Women in Corporate and Nonprofit Leadership Seminar

Washington, DC

November 6 - 7, 2017

Professional Women in Advocacy

Washington, DC

November 8-11, 2017

Women in Government

Washington, DC

November 8, 2017

NPC Headliners Book Event: Chris Matthews

Washington, DC

November 14, 2017

WGR Toastmasters

Washington, DC

November 15, 2017

NABPAC PAC Management Conference

Washington, DC

November 17, 2017

Advocacy Leaders' Network

Washington, DC

November 28, 2017

WGR Toastmasters

Washington, DC

November 18-21, 2017 SGAC Leaders Policy Conference
Naples, Florida

December 3-7, 2017

COGEL Conference

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

December 12, 2017

WGR Toastmasters

Washington, DC

December 14 - 16, 2017

Council of State Governments National Conference

Las Vegas, Nevada

December 26, 2017

WGR Toastmasters

Washington, DC


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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
on 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.