E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.
APRIL 2018

What is New for 2018

Last month I went into detail on what was done in 2017 for our website. Today I am going to list out what we are doing in 2018 to make our website even more valuable.

My conversation a couple of months ago with Research Manager Michael Beckett continued with what he said would be added to our site.  Our #1 goal is to continue support to our clients when there are questions and special projects.

  1. Our work with our European Compliance is growing. Scotland will be completed and on our site in April. Other countries for 2018 include France, Germany, Austria, and Greece. We are giving our clients a great introductory offer to add European Compliance to the guides you are currently receiving.

  1. We like to produce Tip Sheets—one pagers that help you answer quick questions. This year we will publish three of them:

  • Social media lobbying (we weren’t talking about that 25 years ago);

  • Gift splitting and reimbursement; and

  • Restrictions on lobbyist contributions.

  1. In addition, we are going to clarify the following in all our jurisdictions:

  • Placement agents in our Procurement Lobbying Publication;

  • Grass tops lobbying in our Lobbying Laws Publication;

  • Procurement lobbying (contracts) vs. executive branch lobbying (rules and regulations) in our Procurement Lobbying Publication;

  • Timing of contributions for purposes of aggregation in our Political Contributions Publication; Q&A regarding state contribution limits applicability to local candidates in our Political Contributions Publication;

  • PAC contribution match by corporate employer rules in our Political Contributions Publication.

You will also see our familiar Executive’s Checklists in our Municipal Lobbying entries and we are always ready to add more municipalities.

Our team works all year long to make sure the State and Federal Communications website is always up-to-date on the work you need. This isn’t a side business for the company…it is the foundation of our overall business.

If you have any questions about our website, please do not hesitate to give me a call. It has been part of my DNA for a long, long time.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

We are providing a series of three newsletter articles presenting a region that is covered in our newest online publication 'I COMPLY European Political Compliance Laws.' This third article features the European Union.


Lobbying in the European Union

George Ticoras, Esq.,
Research Associate

Registration for lobbying officials of the European Union (EU) is voluntary and only applies to the European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission (EC). Currently, there are no registration requirements for lobbying other divisions of the EU, including the Council of the European Union. Voluntary registration is encouraged if meeting with commissioners, EU civil servants, or members of the EP and their assistants for the purpose of influencing an EU policy or position.

Those expected to register include in-house lobbyists, law firms, professional consultancies, self-employed consultants, trade associations, and non-governmental organizations. Registration does not apply to churches, religious communities, political parties, member states' government services, or third countries' governments. Organizations representing churches, religious communities, or local, regional, and municipal authorities are expected to register.

While registration is voluntary, it is required if requesting access to the premises of the EP. The EP and the EC both offer additional incentives to encourage registration. Some incentives offered by the EP to registrants include further facilitation of access to its premises and its members and staff, facilitated transmission of information, and participation as speakers in committee hearings. Incentives offered by the EC to registrants include permitting a meeting with commissioners, cabinet members, and directors-general, being appointed to expert groups of the EC, and featuring relevant organizations on mailing lists set up to inform or alert their members about certain EC activities or initiatives.

Activity reports are not required to be filed by lobbyists. Once a year a registered entity or person will be obliged to validate all registration data.

We Now Have the Answers
for Your Government Relations Activities …


Does your company do business in Europe? Do you sometimes wonder what the political compliance laws are in Europe? We’ve done the research, and we have answers for you!

European lobbying and political contributions are increasingly a part of the political decision-making process and thus part of the legislative process. Our newest online publication, “I COMPLY European Political Compliance Laws” provides a clear, systematic and up-to-date picture of the vast and dynamic industry of public affairs lobbying in Europe.

The new publication covers Republic of Ireland, European Union, United Kingdom, and our newest addition, Scotland.

The publication is now available for sale, exclusively in 2018 for our current clients only that are using our other publications. For ordering information, visit our ordering website page, or contact our publications sales department
at 330-761-9960.

Our objective is to equip you and your organization with information on how to comply with political rules and regulations for lobbying in the European region.

Utah Legislature Passes New Ethics and Campaign Finance Legislation

Allie Vernis, J.D.,
Research Associate

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2018 regular legislative session in March, passing a handful of bills affecting the state’s ethics and campaign finance laws.

House Bill 20, amending parts of the state’s Election Code, was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert this month and took effect immediately. The bill modifies provisions relating to filling State Board of Education vacancies and addresses access to financial disclosure forms filed by candidates. Included in the bill is a clarification of the definition of expenditure under the Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act, excluding food and beverage provided at an event, tour, or meeting when a public official is giving a speech, participating in a panel discussion, or presenting or receiving an award.

Other bills signed by Herbert include Senate Bill 26 and House Bill 206. Senate Bill 26 makes changes to the financial requirements for political action committees (PACs) by raising the amount a PAC must expend to trigger financial reporting. Additionally, the bill requires PACs to deposit all contributions received into a separate dedicated account and creates a method for disposing of contributions from an unknown source exceeding $50. House Bill 206 exempts from the expenditure provisions of the Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act a gift received by a public official on behalf of the state when certain conditions are met.

Bills passed by the Legislature still awaiting the governor’s signature include House Bill 320 and Senate Bill 216. House Bill 320 expands the existing prohibition on contributions to legislators during a legislative session to also cover contributions to the lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, and state treasurer. Covered donors include persons, lobbyists, principals, and political committees. Senate Bill 216 addresses the Independent Executive Branch Ethics Commission and the Political Subdivisions Ethics Review Commission as independent entities and modifies the ethics complaint process for both commissions.

Herbert has 30 days to review passed bills and decide if he will sign, veto, or allow the bills to become law without his signature.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the Gift Law section of Lobbying Compliance Laws and the Registration and Reports Required section of Political Contributions Compliance Laws for Utah.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

CARROLL COUNTY, MARYLAND: The Board of Commissioners adopted an ethics ordinance redefining lobbying to include direct communication with county officials and employees as well as grassroots activities having the purpose of soliciting others to communicate with a county official or employee with the intent to influence the official or employee. Additionally, the ordinance amends lobbyist reporting from monthly to biannual reporting. The ethics ordinance became effective March 13. The ethics ordinance was needed to bring Carroll County in compliance with state ethics requirements passed in 2010.

FLORIDA: A proposal by the state’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), known as P-39, establishes a revolving door provision creating an extended waiting period for state and local officials seeking to lobby after leaving office. The proposal prohibits state and local officials from lobbying their former departments, agencies, or governing bodies for six years after leaving office. Such persons would also be prohibited from lobbying any federal agency or any state or local body or agency during their respective terms of office. After passing a preliminary vote, the measure advanced, along with seven other proposals, to the Style and Drafting Committee. The committee has the authority to revise and combine proposals prior to a final vote by the full commission. To be placed on the November 6 ballot, the proposal will need support from at least 22 commission members. The CRC convenes once every 20 years for the purpose of reviewing the state’s Constitution and proposing changes for voter consideration.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The city’s Ethics Commission announced the annual adjustments to campaign contribution limits. The contribution amount allowable per-person increased for mayoral, city attorney, and controller elections, but not for Los Angeles City Council elections. The amounts apply to city elections in which the primary election fundraising window opens after March 1. The limits do not apply to Los Angeles Unified School District elections.

PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1175 into law, amending filing requirements and penalties for lobbyists. The new law requires electronic filing of lobbying disclosures and increases the monetary penalties assessed for late reports. Fines between $50 and $200 per day, depending on the number of days late, can now be levied. The maximum penalty has been increased from $2,000 to $4,000. The new penalties take effect immediately and the electronic filing requirement takes effect in April.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill into law expanding campaign finance disclosure requirements. House Bill 1003 requires candidates and committees to itemize any contribution received from an entity. An entity includes corporations, labor unions, non-profits, and certain other associations.

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' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying and can be found in the client portion of our website.

Summaries of major bills are also included in monthly email updates 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 2019
Lobbying Laws 348 44 7 35 6
Political Contributions 593 47 12 58 8
Procurement Lobbying 474 45 5 44 6

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

To help keep you up-to-date, State and Federal’s website contains news updates relevant to your government affairs program. The updates appear in the right-hand column of your User Dashboard, which is the first thing you see after logging in to the website. Updates appear on the list for 10 days after their initial appearance. Clicking on the headlines will bring you to the text of the article. A list of the news updates also appears on the stateandfed.com home page. However, you must log in to view the text of the articles. Please also take advantage of our new feature that allows you to search news updates by jurisdiction. Click on the Important Jurisdictional Updates and choose your jurisdiction to see all the updates of the past year.


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 experts@stateandfed.com. (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.

As a company, we would like to organize site visits for agency officials, so they can better understand our company and industry.  Can we cover expenditures for these visits?

State and local gift restrictions will apply to company expenditures associated with a site visit by a government official or employee, especially if your company is a lobbyist employer or state contractor.  Food, beverage, entertainment, travel, lodging, or other promotional/welcome gifts could be restricted or banned.  However, many jurisdictions have specific gift exceptions allowing expenditures in conjunction with site visits.  Each jurisdiction has its own requirements for gift law compliance...

Read the full article here


For more information, be sure to check out the Gift Law and Reports Required sections of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for any  jurisdiction. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Myra Cottrill, Esq., Client Specialist


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State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - April 2018

Our intern, Katelynn Chilson, accepted a position in Field Marketing for Jimmy John’s. She will travel the region for the position and will be based in Kent when not on the road. Katelynn started at State and Federal Communications last year and graduated in August 2017.

We wish you all the best, Katelynn.

Key staff attending the PAC National Conference in Miami, FL.
Pictured are Nola R. Werren, Esq., Renold A. Koozer, Elizabeth Z. Bartz, and Norbert Hobrath.


At the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX, Elizabeth Z. Bartz greets Congressman Tim Ryan, [D-OH] and Mayor Dan Horrigan [Akron]. Elizabeth Z. Bartz with Ken Babby, Owner/Chief Executive Officer of the Akron Rubber Ducks and Owner/Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

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


April 9

Akron Press Club, Akron, OH

April 11-13

SGAC National Summit, Salt Lake City, UT

April 14

Cherry Blossom Parade, Washington, DC

April 17

Public Affairs Council Annual Member Dinner, Washington, DC

April 19

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH

April 20

11th Annual YouToo Social Media Conference, Kent, OH

April 20

Coffee with Congressional Candidates, Akron, OH

April 25

WPNI Closing Reception, Washington, DC

April 26

Akron Urban League -- Scholarship Luncheon and Annual Meeting, Akron, OH

April 30

Heart-to-Heart--25th Annual Greater Akron Speaks Out for Values Breakfast, Akron, OH

May 10-13

NCSL Executive Committee Meeting, Denver, CO

May 16

Bloomberg Government's Next Infrastructure, Washington, DC

May 17

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH

May 22

Akron Urban League -- Akron Talks, Akron, OH

June 4-7

BIO Convention, Boston, MA

June 8-11

US Conference of Mayors, Boston, MA

June 14-15

Public Affairs Council Media and Advocacy Summit, Washington, DC

June 21

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH

June 21-23

Women in Government; National Legislative Conference, San Francisco, CA

July 15-19

CSG Midwestern Legislative Annual Meeting, Manitoba, Canada

July 19-23

National Governors Association 2018 Summer Meeting, Sante Fe, New Mexico

July 19

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH


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State and Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South Summit St., Suite 100 | Akron, OH 44308 |
 | 330-761-9960 | 330-761-9965-fax | 888-4-LAW-NOW| http://www.stateandfed.com/

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.