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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

September  2017   

Bucket of States to Still Visit

Writing a monthly column doesn’t come easy for me…I want to find something to pique your interest but not make you fall asleep reading. I was kind of stuck waiting until the 11th hour to write the column when I thought I would see what I wrote in previous Septembers. (So now you will all know I am a technological pack rat and save everything I have written.)

In 2014—three years ago I still have seven (7) states to visit in this country. Now, I know those of you who follow me on Facebook cannot believe I have not been to all 50 states.  I had not completed it by 2014 and I am sorry to say I still have not reached the goal.

I really thought I could knock off South Dakota with Sen. Deb Peters at the NCSL Executive Committee meeting in October but it conflicts with a few other events that week and I cannot get there.  There is still a chance I can knock this off by taking a US vacation to see Mount Rushmore.

Back to the subject. I am now down to the Final Four!!! 

  • Alabama

  • Montana

  • South Dakota

  • Wyoming

What are your outstanding ones? And, if any of you have Ohio on that list, you need to call me to attend any of a number sporting events—Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland CAVS, Akron Rubber Ducks, or a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I also have season tickets to the home games to Kent State University Golden Flashes #flashesforever.

I have a new goal and there is a new year coming up…Let’s do it!

Until next month, put your list together of states still left to see and hit the road.


Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO


State and Federal Communication’s

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These monthly webinars are an opportunity to understand the 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

Wednesday, September 20, at 2 p.m. EDT.


Seats are limited, so register today.




Campaign Finance Amendments Arrive in Manitoba, Canada

George Ticoras, Esq.
Research Associate                   

On September 5, 2017, changes to Manitoba’s campaign finance laws come into force pursuant to Bill 26, The Election Financing Amendment Act. Changes include an increase in contribution limits, changes to contribution rules applicable to fundraising, new limits on cash contributions, and additional laws regarding third party advertising and registration.

Political contributions will rise from the current per-calendar year amount of $3,000 to $5,000. After each general election, the annual contribution limits will be indexed for inflation and rounded up to the nearest $100. A contribution is not considered to have been made if a person pays $75 or less for two or more persons to attend or participate in a fundraiser, if the individual charge is $25 or less. If an item valued at more than $25 is sold to raise money, the buyer is considered to have contributed the amount by which the sale proceeds exceed the item's actual cost or market value when acquired, whichever is more. A contribution is not considered to have been made if two or more of the same item are sold together in one sale for $75 or less and the charge for any individual item is $25 or less. In addition, individuals are prohibited from contributing cash in an amount exceeding $25.

Third parties must now register with Elections Manitoba immediately after having incurred election communication expenses totaling $2,500. The registration remains valid until election day.

A third party must not incur election communication expenses of more than $25,000 during an election period of a general election, $100,000 in a pre-election period, and $5,000 in the election period for a by-election or for multiple by-elections having the same election day. The election communication expense limits listed are adjusted annually for inflation.

Expenses made with the knowledge and consent of a registered party are considered advertising expenses of the registered party.

A third party cannot circumvent or attempt to circumvent election communication expense limits or registration requirements. Examples of circumvention include splitting a third party into two or more third parties or acting in collusion with another third party to exceed limits.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the Contributions and the Registration and Reports Required sections of the Political Contributions Compliance Laws for Manitoba.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

ALABAMA:  Gov. Kay Ivey banned lobbyists from executive branch appointments in an executive order dated July 13. The order states public officials or public employees of the executive branch are prohibited from appointing a registered lobbyist to any executive agency. Any lobbyist currently serving in a position within the executive branch may finish their current term.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA:  City Council adopted an ethics ordinance at its meeting on August 15. The ordinance brings lobbyist registration and quarterly reporting requirements along with a two-year revolving door restriction. The ordinance also requires certain city officials to retain all email communications for 90 days, rather than the current 37 days. Councilman Jose Moreno promised to introduce the ordinance upon his inauguration to the City Council in response to a perceived lack of transparency involving the decision to offer city tax subsidies for luxury hotel developers. The ordinance is effective September 14.

FLINT, MICHIGAN:  Voters approved updates to the City Charter on August 8. Updates include new lobbying regulations and gift restrictions for persons doing or seeking to do business with the city. Lobbyist registration will be required for individuals who spend more than $1,000 on lobbying city officials or more than $250 on lobbying a single official in any year. City officials will now face post-employment restrictions on lobbying for one year after leaving office. Changes are effective January 1, 2018.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA:  The City Council voted to draft a law requiring contractors doing business with the city to disclose whether they have any contracts connected with the proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States. The current proposal would not ban companies working on the wall from doing business with Los Angeles, but many council members said it would be a factor they could consider when voting on city contracts. The City Council voted 13-0 to have city attorneys draft the ordinance. Once drafting is complete, City Council will consider the ordinance for approval.

MISSOURI:  The Ethics Commission recently issued an advisory opinion clarifying campaign finance rules for corporations seeking to contribute to PACs. Currently, a corporation may not contribute its own funds to its connected PAC, but it may contribute direct corporate funds to an unconnected PAC. The new opinion provides additional guidance on whether a corporation and a PAC are considered connected for the purpose of campaign finance law. If contributions to a PAC are from a corporation’s general treasury, and not from the corporation’s officers, employees, or spouses, it is possible the PAC is not connected to the organization. In such a scenario, if the corporation does not expend funds or provide services or facilities to administer or maintain the PAC, and it does not expend funds or provide services to solicit contributions to the PAC from its members, officers, directors, employees, or security holders, it is not a connected organization. This is true even when the PAC is funded 100 percent by a corporation’s general treasury funds. Moreover, assuming the corporation did not establish the PAC and does not serve as a connected organization, it may make unlimited monetary contributions from the corporate treasury.

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 373 46 36 94 119
Political Contributions 556 50 49 162 178
Procurement Lobbying 479 51 49 116 159

Insurance Companies Know:
More Regulations Mean Greater Attention to Compliance
by:  Megan Huber-Kovachik, Marketing Communications Associate

Corporate ethics and compliance is a vital part of any organization’s work. Having a comprehensive compliance program ensures the organization will not only be compliant, but demonstrates its commitment to ethics to all its stakeholders. A key component to any compliance program is the tracking of political activity of both the organization as a whole and certain classes of employees.

Because the insurance industry is such a highly regulated business, compliance is essential. The laws and regulations governing this industry are extremely nuanced, increasing the likelihood of an ethics violation. Violations can become even more likely when an organization is politically active.

The insurance industry, like so many sectors, is undergoing tremendous change, as new regulatory oversight is introduced. Insurance companies weigh these proposed changes and implement their own strategies including strong government lobbying efforts to try to influence policy and lawmakers. All this leads to a wealth of lobbying activity and political contributions. By tracking this political activity, companies can ensure violations do not occur. A comprehensive compliance program will make sure all parties are following the law and being completely transparent in their reporting. But, an effective program requires the right tools.

This is why so many insurance companies turn to State and Federal Communications, Inc. We have the tools they need to build and maintain their compliance reporting programs. Our comprehensive website provides the most up-to-date information on lobbying and political contributions laws in more than 350 jurisdictions. For organizations seeking more guidance and support, our ALERTS consulting services offer customized support to the individual needs of the client – from the handling of lobbyist registration and reporting to the vetting of contributions and all areas in-between.

In today’s marketplace, organizations demonstrating a commitment to honesty, ethics, and transparency have an edge. To win and keep that edge, an organization must have a comprehensive compliance program. Through tracking both political activity and the ever-changing laws, an organization will be able to ensure it is compliant with all regulations – and working with State and Federal Communications will help ensure the organization can keep up with all of the laws.

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

Grassroots lobbying is a vital part of many advocacy campaigns. Just as vital is knowing what activity can trigger registration and reporting requirements. State and Federal Communications includes information on grassroots lobbying in each entry and through the Quick Reference Charts in the Lobbying Compliance Laws publication. To access the information from within a specific jurisdiction, choose the “Grassroots Lobbying” subtopic from the left-hand menu. The Quick Reference Chart can be found by clicking on the right side of the red Lobbying Compliance Laws button and selecting "Grassroot Lobbying” from the pop-up menu. Always refer to this information when planning and carrying out your advocacy campaigns to ensure you stay compliant.

Jurisdiction Added to our Website

The number 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:

Coral Gables, Florida


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.

I have been out of the office on an extended vacation.  I just noticed a reminder e-mail that I have a lobbying report due today that cannot be filed electronically.  What are my options?  

You still have the ability to submit the report in a timely manner.  Your first step should be to confirm the reportable activity for your report.  If it is your lobbyist report, check your calendar or records to see whether you lobbied during the reporting period.  If the report is for your employer, you must review not only your activity, but possibly information for a contract lobbyist as well...

Click the link below to read the full article!



The information from this response can easily be found on our website in the “Reports” section of any entry.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have 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.


James Warner, Esq., Sr. Compliance Associate

State and Federal Communications, Inc. Scrapbook

PGA’s Annual Executive Women’s Day
by:  Katelynn Chilson, KSU Intern

The women of State and Federal Communications had the opportunity to attend PGA’s annual Executive Women’s Day and enjoy a day filled with golf insights, advice, and lessons.

This year’s program was held at Firestone Country Club on August 1.

The speakers, golf clinic, and inspiring atmosphere of the event came together to create an uplifting day. Overall, Executive Women’s Day was a hit among State and Federal Communications employees and something we look forward to every year. It was a beautiful day, an empowering program, and a great start to the Bridgestone Invitational.

SGAC Certificates awarded while at NCSL

Past President of SGAC, Donna Gellhard, International Paper; presented Amber Fish Linke, Esq., Director, Client and Product Operations, (left) and Nola R. Werren, Esq., Client Specialist (right) their Professional Lobbying Certificates for completing this SGAC program.

Upon completing the Advanced Professional Lobby Program, Katrina Iserman, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.,
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, State and Federal Communications, Inc., and Jacqueline Clark, Ash Grove Cement,
received their
certificates for completing this three-year program.


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



September 1

NABPAC Luncheon - Thinking Strategically,
Washington, D
September 5-8 Content Marketing World 2017,
Cleveland, OH
September 7 -8 PLI Corporate Activities,
Washington, DC
September 11 - 13

US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit,
Washington, DC

September 12 WGR Toastmasters,
Washington, DC
September 13 WASRG Luncheon,
Washington, DC
September 20 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference,
Washington, DC
September 25 - 27

PAC State and Local Government Relations Conference,
Alexandria, VA

September 26 2017 "Press v. Politicians" National Press Club Spelling Bee,
Washington, DC
September 26 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.