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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

May 2017   

State and Federal Communications Inc. Releases New Informative White Paper on The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

We have done it again! We have released a new white paper on The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Legal compliance with all the rules and regulations is always important to the broad network of government relations professionals, companies and organizations we serve. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing that FCPA enforcement is one of his priorities, knowing the law is more important than ever.

We prepared this white paper to explain the purpose of the FCPA as an anti-bribery statute and to provide background on preventing the bribery of governmental officials of foreign nations by individuals and entities under the jurisdiction of the United States.

As an overview, the purpose of the FCPA is to prohibit giving a payment of any money or other thing of value to a foreign official for purposes of influencing the official to act in a corrupt manner in order to obtain or retain business. The corrupt action could be an unlawful act or behavior made to secure an unfair advantage for the donor. The FCPA was enacted in 1977.

FCPA enforcement continues to be a high priority area for the SEC's enforcement program. Violations can lead to substantial punitive actions including civil and criminal enforcement actions against issuers and their officers, directors, employees, stockholders, and agents. Recently there have been a number of settlements, non-prosecution agreements, oversight, and self-reporting that make understanding the depth of the FCPA’s impact on corporate business increasingly apparent and important.

The State and Federal Communications' white paper of the FCPA is useful for all practitioners and government relations professionals involved in international business and compliance.

To obtain a free copy of the white paper, visit

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

WEBINAR Website Tour

Each month, State and Federal Communications, Inc. conducts a webinar on how to use our website and its many features. 

The next scheduled tour dates are:

  • Wednesday, May 3, 2 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 7, 2 p.m.

Register to participate in the tour by clicking our  webinar logo.  If you have any questions, contact

Kentucky Amends Campaign Finance Laws

Kevin Newman, Esq.
Research Associate

On March 27, 2017, Gov. Matt Bevin approved Senate Bill 75, amending the state’s campaign finance laws. The measure increases campaign contribution limits for individuals and PACs, schedules limit increases every two years, and increases transparency by requiring an additional pre-election report. A single reporting threshold of $3,000 is also created for candidates, slates of candidates, and political issue committees.

When Senate Bill 75 takes effect on June 28, 2017, the state will see its first increase in contribution limits since 1993. The limit for individuals and PACs giving to candidates will increase from $1,000 to $2,000 per candidate or slate of candidates per election. A $1,500 aggregate limit on contributions to PACs and contributing organizations has been eliminated and is replaced with a $2,000 limit per group per year. The limit on contributions to caucus campaign committees and state executive committees of a political party will also increase from $2,500 to $5,000. The bill creates a new provision applying the same $5,000 limit to a subdivision or affiliate of a state political party. These contribution limits will be indexed for inflation every odd-numbered year, based on the consumer price index, and rounded to the nearest hundred.

Seeking to increase transparency in the political process, lawmakers created an additional report prior to elections. Candidates, slates of candidates, campaign committees, political issue committees, and registered fundraisers must now file a report on the 60th day before an election, accounting for all previous contributions and expenditures. Previously existing pre-election reports are now due on the 30th and 15th days before the election. The 30-day post-election report remains intact.

Additional revisions include increasing the limit on anonymous and cash contributions from $50 to $100, allowing married couples to write one check for the amount of their combined limits, and allowing a state executive committee to establish a building fund account. This account may be used for expenditures related to purchasing or constructing a headquarters facility. Corporations, despite a ban on giving contributions, will be permitted to give a monetary contribution to a state executive committee’s building fund.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the Contribution and Reporting sections of the Political Contributions Compliance Laws for Kentucky.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

COLORADO: Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed House Bill 17-1051, modernizing the Colorado Procurement Code. Among other changes, the bill exempts grants from the state bidding requirements and makes the Procurement Code of Ethics and Guidelines applicable to state procurement officials, end users, vendors, contractors, and interested third parties. The bill will be effective 90 days following the adjournment of the Legislature.

DALLAS, TEXAS: City Council voted unanimously to overhaul the city’s ethics laws after months of work to tighten rules on lobbying and reduce political influence in City Hall. The new ethics rules bar successful campaign managers from lobbying city officials for one year after a campaign; require association leaders and attorneys and law firms representing clients to register as lobbyists; lower the gift disclosure threshold from $500 to $250; and broaden the scope of those covered by the law to include city board and commission appointees. The ordinance is effective July 1, 2017.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA: Commissioners approved a measure banning text messages and other electronic communications with lobbyists during County Commission meetings. Although the initial proposal only placed restrictions and obligations on lobbyists, two amendments were approved to create responsibilities for commissioners as well. Commissioners, like lobbyists, must disclose to the lobbyist registration manager any unavoidable communications and will be subject to fines for violations.

NEW MEXICO: A bill creating an independent ethics commission was approved by the Legislature. House Joint Resolution 8 seeks to amend the New Mexico Constitution and establish a state ethics commission. The commission would oversee complaints against public officials, both in the legislative and executive branches, as well as lobbyists and government contractors. The proposed amendment will be placed on the 2018 general election ballot for voter approval.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a series of bills aimed at replacing ethics laws after the repeal of Initiated Measure 22. Senate Bill 131 prohibits elected officers and officials from lobbying in the two-year period after termination of service in state government. House Bill 1073 sets a $100 annual cap on gifts from lobbyists to elected officials. House Bill 1073 defines "gift" to exclude food, beverages, and entertainment. Daugaard also signed House Bill 1076, establishing the Government Accountability Board.


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 publications for lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying. 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 311 45 17 29 0
Political Contributions 442 49 22 57 0
Procurement Lobbying 409 49 22 35 0

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

Determining what law applies to the county or city you are researching can be difficult. State and Federal Communications takes the confusion out of the process. The Applicable Law section, found in all of our publications, outlines the laws cited in the entry you are viewing. In county and city entries, if a state law applies, it will be listed and cited in addition to any applicable local laws.  We also directly answer for you whether state laws apply to local jurisdictions in the Lobbying Registration, Gift, and Pay-to-Play sections. Thus, you will always know the universe of laws you are dealing with.

‘Elizabeth Z. Bartz Scholarship for Howland Tigers’ Finds Success with First Recipient; The 2017 Scholarship Opportunity Now Available for Kent State University at Trumbull Campus

Kayleigh Crumb has been an excellent choice as the first student to receive the recently endowed ‘Elizabeth Z. Bartz Scholarship for Howland Tigers.’ This scholarship is given to a graduate of Howland High School who is entering Kent State University at Trumbull Campus as a freshman.

Kayleigh received the 2016 scholarship award last fall, after graduating from high school, and enrolling at the KSU Trumbull campus. After her first semester at the university, she was named to the Dean’s List by achieving a 4.0 grade-point average. She also received a KSU Trumbull Freshman Scholarship for her efforts.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz, who provided $30,000 to Kent State University at Trumbull to endow the ongoing scholarship program, said, “I am delighted that Kayleigh was the first student from Howland High School to receive this scholarship. She has already done so well and has a bright future ahead of her. I endowed this scholarship last year in honor of my 40-year graduation anniversary from Howland High School because I wanted to give back and help graduating seniors from Howland High School attend the local area KSU Trumbull Campus, just like I did. Meeting Kayleigh has showed me I made the right decision to help promising students pay their early college costs.”

Kayleigh added, “I want to be a news anchor or work in the broadcasting field with my journalism major. Even while at Howland High School, I was able to take classes offered by Kent State and was able to obtain nine college course credits. This scholarship, generously provided by Ms. Bartz, helped me a lot so I could attend Kent State University at Trumbull, where I am getting the same education as the main campus in an affordable, safe and convenient location.”

Starting in the fall of 2017, Kayleigh will attend the main campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, for her second year of classes. She is also being inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success later this month, the nation's largest leadership honor society.

For upcoming seniors at Howland High School who will graduate and then attend Kent State University at Trumbull this Fall, they can learn more about the ‘Elizabeth Z. Bartz Scholarship for Howland Tigers’ and apply starting May 1, 2017, at this KSU website:

Elizabeth, who graduated from Kent State University having earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism in 1980 and a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1982, credits the KSU Trumbull Campus and its professors as the place and people who supported her at the beginning of her university journey. Her endowment now ensures a scholarship is awarded each year to a Howland High School graduate, in a program managed by KSU.




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.

Can I use my company’s federal PAC to make contributions to candidates for state office?

With the exception of Massachusetts, contributions from a federal PAC to non-federal state candidates are permissible.  However, the challenging aspect of making these types of contributions is that every jurisdiction has different rules regarding how to register and report such contributions.  To make this a little easier to digest, we have broken down the states into five categories.  Please note:  regardless of the registration and reporting process, in all jurisdictions the federal PAC is subject to the contribution limits according to the law of that jurisdiction...


[We have not listed PAC rules for all the states, only examples of some states.
If you have a question on a state not listed here, please contact us directly
at 1-330-761-9960.]


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.


Nola R. Werren, Esq., Client Specialist

State and Federal Communications, Inc.

State and Federal participated in the ACES Conference in St. Petersburg, FL.
ACES, the Society for Editors, is an international members' alliance of editors.. The conference provides editors in a wide range of industries quality training from recognized experts in the field.  Attendees are editorial professionals and others who believe editing is a craft vital to clear writing.
Attending were Joe May, Manager, Client Analytics; Megan Huber-Kovachik,
Marketing Communications Associate; Jon Spontarelli, Social Media Specialist, and Lisa Stutzman, Research Assistant.

Attending an ACES session - Jon Spontarelli, Social Media Specialist,
and Lisa Stutzman, Research Assistant.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, with Judith Zimomra, City Manager of The City of Sanibel, Florida

SGAC National Summit, New Orleans, LA
James Carville gave the opening keynote at the Summit.
Pictured are Elizabeth Bartz, James Carville, and Christopher Badgely,
from Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
YouToo Social Media Conference

The State and Federal Communications Team at the 2017 YouToo Social Media Conference as the Presenting Sponsor.
Our hope is to always support the leaders of tomorrow.
From left to right: Jim Sedor, Editor, News You Can Use, Joe May, Manager, Client Analytics, Jennifer Kramer, Director pf Public Relations and Marketing Communications at Kent State University, Jon Spontarelli, Social Media Specialist; Anthony Didion, Marketing and Sales Assistant, and Megan Huber-Kovachik, Marketing Communications Associate.


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



May 1, 2017

Book Forum - The Soul of the First Amendment,
Washington, DC

May 2, 2017

Ohio Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Reception,
Columbus, Ohio

May 3, 2017

Free Website Tour of State and Federal Communications Online Publications

May 4, 2017

Leadership in the 21st Century Program Alumni Event,
Washington, DC

May 4, 2017

Public Affairs Council Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour,
Washington, DC

May 9, 2017

WGR Toastmasters, Washington, DC

May 11, 2017

Montgomery County Council - African Affairs Advisory Group Meeting, Silver Spring, Maryland

May 12, 2017

Advocacy Leaders Network: Advocacy on the Cheap:
Changing the World on Any Budget
, Washington, DC

May 18, 2017

17th Annual Omnikal Business Summit,
New York, NY

May 23, 2017

WGR Toastmasters,
Washington, DC

May 24, 2017

2017 Advocacy Leaders Network Spring Happy Hour,
Washington, DC

June 7, 2017

Free Website Tour of State and Federal Communications Online Publications


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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.