E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.
December 2019

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We have had a fabulous year at State and Federal Communications! We have expanded our research and compliance staffs to ensure the work we do is accurate, timely, and helpful.

When someone is a client of State and Federal Communications, we believe in making sure they have all of the resources needed to help with the work.

  1. Everyone receives access to our website at www.stateandfed.com. This provides 24/7 access to the resources you need on lobbying, political contributions, and procurement lobbying. And, it isn’t just for the 50 states—our site includes the federal government, more than 300 municipalities, Canada, and the European Union countries.

  2. There’s more because every month you receive our Summary of Changes of what has occurred in the jurisdictions and bills we are covering on these topics.

  3. Every day the news team posts on www.lobbycomply.com the daily issues being reported on lobbying, political contributions, procurement, and ethics.

  4. Every Friday, News You Can Use is in your IN Box and sorted by state for your perusal.

  5. Each month we publish this newsletter, Compliance NOW, to keep you apprised of events and share our well-read Ask the Experts column written by folks on our staff.

  6. In 2019, we introduced you to Inside Elections, published by our friend Nathan Gonzales. This bi-weekly newsletter includes all the info you need to be up to date on federal House and Senate campaigns and on gubernatorial elections.

  7. So, what can you expect in 2020? We are working with Fiscal Note to provide all of our clients with the 2020 Congressional Directory. I know this is federal in nature, but it assures you will have a lot of information at your fingertips. These are expected to arrive in April, and we will send them to everyone. Let us know if you need additional copies.

I hope this shows you do not just receive access to our website. We stay connected with you all the time. It is that important to us.

Please enjoy your holidays. We look forward to 2020 and everything included

with it.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

San Francisco Voters Pass Sunlight on Dark Money Measure

Mario Dalessandro, J.D.
Research Associate

Voters in San Francisco passed a ballot measure to expand pay-to-play restrictions on political contributions and require greater disclosure on who is paying for campaign ads. Proposition F, the Sunlight on Dark Money Initiative, passed with 76% of the vote. Proposition F will take effect 10 days after certification of the election results.

Contribution Restrictions
The Sunlight on Dark Money Initiative amends the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to prohibit limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships from giving campaign contributions to local candidates. The initiative also prohibits top executives in development companies from contributing to candidates or current officeholders of the Board of Supervisors, mayor, and city attorney or controlled committees of such officers and candidates while a project they have financial interest in is pending approval and for 12 months after the city makes a final decision on the project.

Additional Disclosure
Proposition F requires greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid for by independent expenditure and ballot measure committees. The committee paying for the advertisement must add a disclaimer disclosing the top three major contributors of $5,000 or more by name and amount contributed. If any of the top three contributors is a committee, the disclaimer must also disclose both the name and dollar amount contributed by each of the top two major contributors of $5,000 or more to that committee. For audio and video advertisements, the disclaimers must be spoken at the beginning of the advertisements, except such disclaimers do not need to disclose the dollar amounts of contributions. Committees must file an itemized disclosure statement with the Ethics Commission for the advertisement.

[The details for this article are updated on our website in the Registration and Reports Required section of
the U.S. Political Contributions Compliance Laws and the Pay-to-Play section of the U.S. Procurement
Lobbying Compliance Laws for San Francisco, California.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Research Manager

COLORADO: The Office of Secretary of State hosted a proposed rulemaking hearing on November 15 concerning lobbyist regulations. The hearing includes reviewing new rules to prescribe the proper use of the electronic filing system maintained by the secretary of state and amendments concerning new client disclosure and disclosure requirements during the session. Separately, the secretary of state’s lobbyist program is developing a new policy manual for lobbyists. More details regarding the manual will become available upon conclusion of the rulemaking proceeding. The proposed changes will likely be adopted following a public written comment period.

ILLINOIS: Lawmakers concluded the fall veto session on November 14, after approving Senate Bill 1639, which to require state lobbyists to disclose more information and to create a combined online database for information on lobbyists, campaign contributions, and public officials’ annual statements of economic interest. An approved companion measure, House Joint Resolution 93, creates a 16-member commission to recommend additional changes to the ethics laws. Among other changes, House Joint Resolution 93 would require state lobbyists to disclose any unit of local government they lobby and any elected or appointed office they hold. The proposal was introduced as then-state Rep. Luis Arroyo was being charged in federal court in Chicago with bribing a state senator to support sweepstakes gambling legislation that would have benefited one of Arroyo’s City Hall lobbying clients.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: On Election Day, voters approved Ballot Question 3, Ethics and Governance. The proposal amends the city charter by extending the post-employment appearance ban for elected officials and senior appointed officials and limiting political activity and donations by members of the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB). City elected officials and senior appointed officials will be prohibited from appearing before the agency or branch of government the official served in after leaving service for two years, instead of the current rule of one year. The amendment will also prohibit members of the COIB from participating in campaigns for local elected office and reduce the maximum amount members can contribute in each election cycle. The post-employment ban will become effective January 1, 2022.

OHIO: Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 26 into law on November 6, repealing a state budget amendment that would have caused Ohio lobbyists and attorneys to pay higher income taxes beginning in 2020. Under the final version of Senate Bill 26, lobbyists and attorneys who derive their income from entities such as LLCs and LLPs continue to qualify to pay no tax on the first $250,000 of income and pay a flat 3 percent tax rate on income above the threshold. Senate Bill 26 also allows educators to claim an income tax deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

PENNSYLVANIA: The newly created House of Representatives Government Oversight Committee convened for the first time this October. The committee discussed proposals regarding lobbyists representing two opposing interests and lobbyist reporting thresholds. Currently, state law allows a lobbying firm to represent multiple clients on conflicting sides of an issue if one client is a political campaign. The Oversight Committee also discussed greater transparency relating to lobbyist reporting requirements. The committee proposed a rule requiring any lobbying expenditure on a public official to be reported. On October 30, the committee voted to adopt the final report, which recommends the General Assembly enact legislation and recommends the Department of State update regulations and upgrade electronic registration and reporting capabilities.

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 2020
Lobbying Laws 320 52 56 83 72
Political Contributions 585 60 91 168 154
Procurement Lobbying 347 51 54 89 77


We have added to the website a resource chart entitled “Inaugurations Guide:  Based on November 2019 Elections.” The guide provides inaugural compliance information for each governor elected this past November. The chart provides the governor’s name, inauguration date, and rules on tickets to events and contributions to inaugural committees. Be sure to consult the chart if you and your company intend to provide resources for these high-profile and often scrutinized events.


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 has becoming active lobbying at the federal level in Canada.  What do I need to know to ensure we are compliant?  


Canadian lobbying laws utilize different terminology than those in the United States.  In Canada, both registration and periodic reporting are accomplished by filing a single document, known as a "return." When an initial return or registration is required depends on the type of lobbyist.  In-house lobbyists must register when the cumulative time devoted to lobbying activities by all of its employees exceeds 20% of the duties of one full-time employee.  A number of activities are excluded from this calculation, including such things as communications limited to a straightforward request for publicly available information and routine dealings with government inspectors and other regulatory authorities.


 Read the full article here


James Warner, Esq. Senior Compliance Associate

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Our Compliance Team sharing their Election Day excitement.

Elizabeth Bartz, Tim Martin, Kathy Sherman,
and Allyson Blandford.

Elizabeth with Ohio's Senator Elizabeth Antonio.

October 31 at the State and Federal Communications
Halloween Donut and Cider Sale.

Elizabeth with the Ohio Sykes family.

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

December 4, 2019

Ohio Holiday Reception

Washington, DC

December 4, 2019

Chamber Opportunity and Inclusion Committee

Akron, OH

December 10-13, 2019

NCSL Capitol Forum

Desert Ridge, AZ

December 12, 2019

Greater Akron Chamber Board/Investors Holiday Breakfast

Akron, OH

December 12, 2019

Akron Roundtable

Akron, OH

December 15-18, 2019


Chicago, IL

December 15-17, 2019

NCSL Legislative Leaders Meeting

New Orleans, LA

December 17, 2019

WASRG Board Meeting & Holiday Reception

Washington, DC

Happy Holidays

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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.