E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Silver Anniversary

Former President George W. Bush once said, You can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow.”

This is so true. State and Federal Communications started in 1993 at a time when WordStar and WordPerfect were still being used—especially in NE Ohio. When we moved to Akron, Revco had just closed its corporate doors in Twinsburg, Ohio, and many people were looking for jobs, but few had ventured into the world of Microsoft Word. We persevered and found people wanting to learn how computers and software worked together and have built a great company of hard-working, computer-driven, and forward-thinking professionals.

We have been celebrating our 25th anniversary - two weeks ago in Akron and next week in DC - ready to continue providing the needed information to our clients. So, what can you expect?

Have you checked out the European publication? We have posted reference materials for the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and France. You can expect to see more countries in the coming months. Soon, clients can have access to our European entries by purchasing one additional publication.

We are going to change our printed Guidebook to an app, which we can update whenever a state changes its legislative sessions. We know you love that handy desk reference, but there are so many changes made the minute it goes out the door. We just want to protect you with correct information.

Training on our website will be a focus because there are a lot of nooks and crannies, and we want to help you understand it as much as we do. www.stateandfed.com is our #1 site!

As always, I thank you for your loyalty. We appreciate and are proud of all of our clients and friends who ALWAYS want to do the next right thing in compliance.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

We Now Have the Answers
for Your Government Relations Activities in …

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, Scotland, and our newest addition, France.

The publication is now available for sale, exclusively in 2018 only for our current clients only 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.

Tip Sheet: Lobbying and Social Media

Kristen Studebaker
Publication Sales and Marketing Associate

Abigail Siegfried

We invite you to read our new easy-to-read Tip Sheet “Lobbying and Social Media.” With more and more people using social media daily, it is important for you and your company to understand how to navigate this emerging lobbying topic. Communicating through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has become a normal and expected form of communication. However, most lobbying regulations were written before these popular platforms even existed. Being aware of new regulations that affect how you use social media is vital to your company’s success.

Knowing that one small misstep in your social media endeavors could lead to fines, debarment, and brand damage to your company, you want to avoid these mistakes at all costs. This Tip Sheet will help you better grasp social media trends and guide your government affairs department as they navigate this new field.

Start here with our FREE Tip Sheet to educate yourself on all the ins and outs of social media and lobbying.

New Educational Video “Lobbying and Gifts:

Best Practices and Recent Trends”

We invite you to view our new informative video on best practices and recent trends for lobbying and gift-giving. If your organization conducts campaigns to benefit a special interest, you’ll want to take note, so you can develop a strategy. In this brief video, we will instruct you how to discern what you can and cannot do under the law.

Before you give gifts, know the best practices for state and local lobbying and gift compliance so your company can avoid fines, debarment, or brand damage.   Companies with a strong reputation for ethics compliance can better establish their role as industry leaders and trusted advisors.

This FREE educational video is a must-see for all government relations professionals involved in advocacy and lobbying compliance at the state and local level. Click here to watch the video.

Lobbyist Amendment Act Takes Effect

George Ticoras, Esq.
Research Associate

On June 11, several significant amendments to Alberta’s provincial lobbying law took effect when the Lobbyists Amendment Act, 2018, came into force by Royal Assent.

The most substantial change in the existing Lobbyist Act is the reduction of an organizational lobbyist’s time threshold from 100 hours annually to 50 hours annually. For the purposes of determining whether lobbying amounts to 50 hours annually, time spent lobbying includes time spent preparing for communication as well as time communicating with a public office holder.

Another change to the law amends the definition of lobbying to statutorily include grassroots communication as a form of regulated lobbying requiring registration. Grassroots communication does not include communication between an organization and its members, officers, or employees or between a person or partnership and its shareholders, partners, officers, or employees.

The Lobbyists Amendment Act also prohibits a consultant lobbyist or organizational lobbyist from giving or promising any gift, favor, or other benefit to a public office holder he or she is prohibited from accepting, or anything that would place the public office holder in a conflict of interest.

Contingency payment arrangements for lobbyists are prohibited, but the Lobbyists Amendment Act allows contingency arrangements in effect previous to June 11 to continue with certain restrictions. Contingency payments are permitted until the earlier of either the agreement’s expiration date or June 2020. Renewals of existing contingency payment arrangements are prohibited going forward.

New and amended definitions of public office holder, former public office holder, and provincial entity are included in the act. The registrar’s ability to remove a return from the registry if a lobbyist does not comply with his or her semiannual filing requirement has been codified to allow an appeal process similar to the process previous allowable through regulation.

An additional exemption to registration requirements was added for individuals who are recognized as elders by their aboriginal community.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the Registration and Reports Required sections of Lobbying and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for Alberta, Canada].

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Research Manager

COLORADO: The Office of Secretary of State adopted new campaign finance rules in response to a federal court ruling. Judge Raymond Moore struck down provisions of state law allowing private citizens to file complaints. Until the ruling, all complaints received a hearing without review for merit. New enforcement mechanisms provide for initial review of complaints and an opportunity to cure violations prior to investigation and enforcement. Substantive requirements of state campaign finance law were not affected.

FLORIDA: The Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation unanimously approved a new policy requiring lobbyist registration. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked the board last month to create a registration and disclosure process at the corporation similar to executive branch requirements. Effective September 1, lobbyists will be required to register by a new online system before communicating with a member of the board or an employee of the corporation outside of a public meeting.

MONTANA: Gov. Steve Bullock signed an executive order on June 8 to further Montana’s goal of shedding light on dark money spending in elections. The executive order applies to new contracts for goods over $50,000 and new services contracts over $25,000 and requires government contractors who have spent more than $2,500 in the past two years in elections to disclose their donations. The executive order aims to shed light on contributions not otherwise required to be disclosed.

OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Ethics Commission voted to increase lobbying and campaign finance fees to avoid a potential financial crisis. Because the Legislature refused to give the agency any money from the general revenue fund, the commission could run out of money next fiscal year. In the past, the commission was given an appropriation to use for operational expenses. It then used the money generated from fees to fund ethics investigations. This year, however, the Legislature instructed the agency to use fees as its sole source of funding. Commissioners claim lawmakers failed to fund the agency in retaliation for imposing strict ethics rules. The commission is expected to file suit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to address the lack of funding. All registration fees will increase by $100 effective July 1.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Mayor Mark Farrell signed a campaign finance ordinance passed the Board of Supervisors to provide more transparency for political contributions. Ordinance No. 129-18 includes a pay-to-play provision extending the restricted period from six-months to a year following contract approval. Interested parties donating $10,000 or more to a nonprofit as behested payments on behalf of a public official must disclose the payment within 30 days. The ordinance also contains additional disclosure requirements for bundled contributions and contributions made by certain business entities. The ordinance is effective June 30, but most provisions are not operative until January 1, 2019.

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 399 45 20 166 6
Political Contributions 683 50 49 295 9
Procurement Lobbying 542 46 24 213 6

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

The requirement to register as a lobbyist in some jurisdictions is triggered by engaging in lobbying or agreeing to lobby on behalf of an employer. However, many jurisdictions do not require registration until a threshold is met. Jurisdictions that have an expenditure threshold require registration for giving certain gifts to covered officials. If you are a non-lobbyist planning to provide gifts to covered officials, consult the Gift Law section in the Lobbying or Procurement Lobbying Compliance Law entries. If the jurisdiction has an expenditure registration threshold, notification of the threshold will appear just below the gift chart. Always check the registration threshold before becoming active in a jurisdiction, as the rules may allow you to avoid or delay registration. Even if an individual’s expenditures do not require registration, the expenditures may still need to be reported on the employer’s activity reports.


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.

My company is a registered lobbyist employer in California. We are sponsoring an invitation-only reception and want to invite state officials.
Are there any gift laws or other requirements we need to worry about?

The California gift laws allow lobbyist employers to provide gifts to an official with an aggregate total value of $470 or less each year. The gift would be reportable as an activity expense on your quarterly lobbyist employer report. Lobbyist employers must also comply with notification rules when an official receives a gift aggregating $50 or more in a calendar year...

Read the full article here



For further information, please visit the California lobbying entry on our website. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

Renae Bomba, Esq., Compliance Associate

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State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - June 2018

State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Turns 25!


As we begin to celebrate our 25th Anniversary,
we would like to share some photos of the excitement
happening in Akron, OH.


Jacqueline Silas-Butler of
APS Project Grad
and Larry Butler

with Elizabeth Bartz.

Akron's Mayor
Dan Horrigan

Celebrations must include a cake.


Celebrating Staff Anniversaries at
State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottrill, Esq.
Client Specialist

In June we celebrated the anniversaries of two staff members - Myra Cottrill, Esq. and Dave McPeek,  Business and Operations Analyst.
We appreciate our hard-working staff.

We have been posting a bit about Team Intern 2018 on Social Media thru the past 2 weeks.
This is quite a talented and driven group.

Peter Keares, Abigail Siegfried, Greta Conley, Kayliegh Crumb, and Sam Waller.

Stop by Booth 417 on July 30 - 31, and August 1, 2018.
NCSL 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


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


July 30 -
 August 2

National Conference of State Legislatures - Legislative Summit
 Los Angeles, California

August 1-4

Buzz Advocacy Summit, Annapolis, MD

August 11

United Way of Summit County: 100th Anniversary Bold Future Ball, Akron, OH

August 16

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH

August 23

PWIA Workshop, Chicago, IL

August 30

Akron Press Club State of the County with Ilene Shapiro, Akron, OH

September 4 - 8

CMI Content Marketing 2018, Cleveland, Ohio

September 6 - 8

Practising Law Institute, Washington, DC


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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.