E-News from State and Federal
24 years and at our
Peter Drucker once said,
“Whenever you see a successful business,
someone once made a courageous decision.”
I am hardly the person who
pats myself on the back about the good
things happening at State and Federal
Communications—I know it takes a village to
make it all happen.
What I do remember is signing
a document on July 1, 1993, with my former
employer at State and Federal Associates to
take on the operation and finances of what
is now State and Federal Communications. I
do recall I had an upset stomach all day…and
will leave it at that because I had never
entered into any business agreement prior to
The time has flown…Honestly,
when you do something you love to do it
really is not work. We have grown and
continue to grow. We are anticipating
bringing on our 50th employee in the near
future and acclimating the staff to FMLA.
What will we continue to do
We will add more and more
municipalities to our site because many of
you are working with these localities to
offer your services. I just returned from
the U.S. Conference of Mayors and saw many of
you who want to have a great relationship
with the mayors.
I never saw the Grateful
Dead, but I just read “Marketing Lessons
from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business
Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in
History” by David Meerman Scott and Brian
Halligan. The Grateful Dead did not listen
to large music producers…The band listened
to its fans. We always listen to our
clients. If you have a question or a
suggestion, please contact us because we
would not be here if we did not have great
Go International. We
completed a review of lobbying and political
contributions in Ireland and will soon
include it on our site for you to peruse. We
have heard many of you are traveling to
Europe and Asia and we want to be your
source for how to handle international
Thank you for your loyalty.
We appreciate and are proud of all of our
clients who always want to do the next right
thing in compliance.
It is summer time and we are
going to attend many conferences this summer
and look forward to seeing you along the
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Ethics Tip Sheet Offered to Help Navigate Expenditures at Conferences
and Federal Communications is pleased to offer a new tip sheet on
Ethics Implications for Expenditures at National
Conferences. This free publication gives government
relations professionals the background needed for making
expenditures for sponsorships, receptions, or promotional items, and
whether a gift is permissible, and if permissible, whether the
expenditure is reportable.
important to realize that making expenditures benefiting legislators
or covered officials at national legislative conferences will
trigger lobbying and gift rules from whichever state the legislator
or covered official is from. It is imperative companies,
organizations, and individuals understand that the ethics rules of
the home jurisdiction follow
the official wherever he or she receives a gift. In some
states, goodwill expenditures may be enough to trigger lobbying registration
and reporting rules.
Violating gift laws could result in a fine of
$1,000 or more (e.g., California), a misdemeanor (e.g.,
Connecticut), or even a felony conviction (e.g., Kentucky), so
please get your free informative PDF copy of the Ethics Implications
for Expenditures at National
Conferences tips sheet by visiting our
Oklahoma Amends Ethics Rules for Lobbying and
Katlin Newman, J.D.
When the Oklahoma Legislature
adjourned May 26, several amendments to the Oklahoma Ethics Rules
became law. Changes include a new lobbyist registration renewal
deadline, new reporting dates, additional gift restrictions, and
campaign finance provisions affecting state question committees.
Most changes became effective May 27.
The lobbyist registration renewal
deadline has been extended to January 15. Some lobbyist reporting
dates were also amended to allow for easier filing after holidays.
Executive lobbyist report due dates as well as the January and July
legislative lobbyist reports due dates were moved to the 15th of the
month. All other legislative reports remain due on the 5th of the
Amendment 2017-05, pertaining to
lobbyist gifts, passed with an effective date of January 1, 2018.
The limit for lobbyist or lobbyist principal gifts given in
recognition of infrequently occurring occasions of personal
significance will drop from $200 to $100 in any calendar year. Such
gifts will be required to be given and received contemporaneously
with the occasion or at times when such gifts are traditionally
given. Infrequently occurring occasions of personal significance
will be limited to major life events and not include annual events
such as birthdays or anniversaries. A lobbyist providing a meal to a
state officer or employee will be required to be present for the
meal. Similarly, a lobbyist providing a gift including attendance at
an event will be required to attend the event with the recipient of
New campaign finance provisions
include special requirements for committees formed for the purpose
of influencing a state question. Such committees must include the
number of the state question as part of the name of the committee.
They must also file reports any time an expenditure of $5,000 or
more is made to advocate the passage or defeat of a state question.
The reports are due at the same time as those for independent
expenditures and electioneering communications.
[The details for this article have been updated on
our website in the Key Dates, Registration, Reporting, and Gift Law
sections of the Lobbying Compliance Laws and Procurement Lobbying
Compliance Laws for Oklahoma. Provisions have also been added to the
Registration and Reports Required section of the Political
Contributions Compliance Laws.]
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
Michael Beckett, Esq., Research
U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman struck down Kentucky’s
prohibitions on lawmakers accepting gifts from lobbyists and
lobbyists making contributions to candidates for the state
Legislature. Judge Bertelsman ruled the gift prohibition’s “anything
of value” standard is too vague for an ordinary person to know what
conduct is prohibited. Furthermore, the judge stated lobbying is a
vital part of the political process, and restricting what lobbyists
can do in their interactions with a legislator is a violation of
their freedom of association. The Kentucky Legislative Ethics
Commission intends to continue enforcement of the provisions until a
final order has been issued.
MANITOBA: The Election Financing
Amendment Act received Royal Assent on June 1. The new law increases
the annual contribution limit for individuals from $3,000 to $5,000
and is indexed for inflation. Other changes to the law include
limiting cash contributions to $25 or less, allowing self-employed
persons to volunteer services for which they normally charge without
the services being considered a contribution, and expanding the
definition of election communication as applied to third parties to
include communications about issues associated with a political
party or a candidate. The law is effective September 1.
MISSOURI: The Ethics Commission
recently issued a campaign finance advisory opinion differentiating
between political parties and political party committees for the
application and enforcement of voter-approved contribution limits.
The $25,000 aggregate limit on contributions to a political party
does not apply to contributions to a political party committee
unless the committee is, by definition, organized to influence
voters on behalf of the affiliated political party. The aggregate
limit will, therefore, not apply to the state House and state Senate
committees for each political party because, while they have
historically served such a purpose, they do not actually indicate
they are acting on behalf of a political party; rather, it is
possible they could choose to support or oppose nonparty candidates
or even ballot issues.
MONTANA: Gov. Steve Bullock
vetoed a bill to increase the maximum allowable contributions from
individuals and political action committees and place the Office of
the Commissioner of Political Practices under the jurisdiction of
the Office of Attorney General. Senate Bill 368 would also have
prohibited the Commissioner of Political Practices from filing
criminal cases against candidates and transitioned complaints to the
court of the defendant’s residence. In his veto, Bullock stated the
bill would undermine the effectiveness of the office and the up to
300 percent increase to some contribution limits was beyond what was
acceptable to Montanans.
WEST VIRGINIA: Lawmakers passed
two measures dealing with ethics and transparency during the regular
legislative session. Effective July 7, House Bill 2001 requires
companies contracting with state agencies on contracts over $100,000
to make disclosures listing interested parties to the contract.
House Bill 2319 requires candidate committees for members of the
Legislature to make additional disclosures of contributions and
fundraising events while the Legislature is in session. Bills not
approved during the legislative session do not carry over.
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' 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.
Number of Jurisdictions
W E B S I T E
T I P
provide the essential criteria a government affairs
professional needs to know when determining whether or
not to register as a lobbyist. State and Federal
Communications has two quick reference charts in the
Lobbying Compliance Laws publication dedicated to
cataloging these thresholds in the states and covered
municipalities. The charts can be accessed by clicking
on the right side of the red Lobbying Compliance Law
banner and selecting "State Registration Thresholds" or
"Municipal Registration Thresholds" in the pop-up menu.
Be sure to reference these charts when determining
whether your activity triggers the requirement to
register in a given jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction Added to our
of municipalities and regional governments our research
associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost
300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the
needs of our clients.
This month's new jurisdiction is:
Dorchester County, Maryland
Federal Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions
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.
I am a registered lobbyist in multiple
jurisdictions. I know that most of my jurisdictions require
me to disclose my time spent in direct communication with
legislators, but do I need to disclose my time spent
preparing to lobby?
You are correct
that most jurisdictions require registered lobbyists to
disclose their pro rata compensation for time spent
lobbying. However, with the exception of time spent in
direct communication with officials, what each state
requires to be included in this calculation, can vary
will require registered lobbyists to disclose time spent
preparing to lobby as compensation...
[For more information on what
should be included in your compensation calculation, be sure
to check out the Reports Required section of the Lobbying
Compliance Laws online publication for each jurisdiction.
Please feel free to contact us for additional information.]
Click here to read
ALL Ask the Experts articles in full
fill out the small form to gain access to all articles free!
Williams, Esq., Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Communications, Inc. Scrapbook
We Celebrate Employee
Each month Elizabeth acknowledges the employment
anniversaries of our staff.
Here she is providing tokens of appreciation to
[Sarah Gray - Compliance Assistant Coordinator and Renold Koozer -
These employees are exceptional leaders of the staff.
Congratulations to you all.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz and John
P. Chames at
a Western Southern Conference in Maui
with the president of WS, John Barrett.
Plan to say hello at future
events where State and Federal
will be attending and/or
speaking regarding compliance issues.
July 10, 2017
Akron Community Foundation's 62nd
July 11, 2017
July 13 - 16, 2017
National Governors Association
Providence, Rhode Island
July 20, 2017
July 25, 2017
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Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South
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| 330-761-9960 |
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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.