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

SXSW—Prepared This Year

I learned a major lesson in 2018 at SXSW: plan it better. I did not have access to keynote sessions, government discussions, music concerts, or movie viewings. I wrote last year I was going to save hundreds of dollars by registering early and putting my schedule together.

This takes a lot of work. As we approach this year’s SXSW, more and more people are planning on attending to speak, which is very exciting!

There are many conference speakers, sessions, music festivals, film festivals, keynote sessions, special events, comedy festivals, exhibitions, and gaming events. Every night, I review the email from SXSW to see what else I can attend, and the list grows every day. Moreover, many of the candidates running for the U.S. presidency are attending, and, of course, I want to hear what they have to say. My program starts with hearing Maria Shriver talk about Alzheimer’s disease, which impacts millions of people every year.

I am super excited to attend Retain Revival: Transforming a Rust Belt City, featuring Heather Roszczyk from Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s Office of Economic Development. Once known as the Rubber Capital of the World, Akron experienced economic decline, characteristic of many of the cities in the Rust Belt. The city’s struggle to reinvent itself has become more challenging with a national trend: stores are closing in record numbers year over year

Finding its small business owners were eager to sell online but lacked the proper education and resources, Akron partnered with eBay to pilot Retail Revival – a 12-month program of intensive training and concierge support to help local small businesses go global. In just three months, businesses have sold to 49 countries around the world. In this session, we will hear how public-private partnerships can spur geographic inclusion in an ever-changing global economy.

My first evening includes watching the premiere of “Us,” from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele. I am not a fan of horror movies, but my interest is piqued by this film.

  I look forward to being in Austin and will share my experiences on social media. Follow me.

  Thank you,

 Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

New Mexico Bill Adds to Lobbyist Reporting Requirements

Adrienne Borgstahl, Esq.
Research Associate

New lobbying disclosure requirements for the state of New Mexico will be effective on July 1. Senate Bill 191 was introduced on January 17, passed both houses by January 30, and signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on February 4. The bill was part of several pieces of legislation previously blocked by former Gov. Susana Martinez.

Senate Bill 191 requires the disclosure of the cumulative total of all individual expenditures of less than $100 made or incurred by the employer or lobbyist during the covered reporting period. The expenditures must be separated into meals and beverages, other entertainment expenditures, and other expenditures. Additionally, the bill changes the deadline for expenditure reports from “by 11:59 p.m.” to “no later than [date report is due].” As the effective date of Senate Bill 191 is not until July 1, the first report to impacted by the new disclosure requirement will be the October 9th report.

The First Session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature will likely bring additional updates to lobbying, campaign finance, and procurement lobbying laws as lawmakers introduce bills related to the newly approved independent ethics commission. Legislation to watch includes House Bill 131, requiring a post-session lobbying report due after the Legislature adjourns; House Bill 140, requiring reports with estimated upcoming lobbying expenses for the year as well as actual previous expenses occurred; and House Bill 4, delegating the responsibilities of the new ethics commission.

[The details for this article will be updated on our website in the Registration and
Reports Required sections of the Lobbying and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for New Mexico.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Research Manager

FEDERAL: The lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold has increased for 2019. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) published its price index adjustments for expenditure limitations and the federal lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold, which increased from $18,200 to $18,700. Federal law requires authorized committees of federal candidates, leadership political action committees (PACs), and political party committees to disclose contributions bundled by lobbyists and lobbyists’ PACs.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: City Council passed an ordinance requiring companies that have contracts with the city to disclose under affidavit any contracts or sponsorships they or their subsidiaries have with the National Rifle Association (NRA). A letter last week sent from the NRA threatened legal action if the ordinance passed, stating the proposal violates the First Amendment and an effort to restrict and chill an individual’s right to associate and express political beliefs. Ordinance 18-0896 passed on a 14-0 vote and is headed to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s desk for review.

MASSACHUSETTS: The Office of Campaign and Political Finance released draft regulations reducing the amount of money a union can contribute to a candidate annually from $15,000 to $1,000. A state law banning corporate contributions was upheld by the high court this year, but the ruling noted Massachusetts law was unclear regarding contributions from unions. The draft regulation would also cap union contributions at $500 to a PAC and $5,000 to a political party. A public hearing on the draft regulations will be held on March 15 with the final regulations expected by May.

OKLAHOMA: The Ethics Commission chose not to vote on Proposed Rule 2019-02 after hearing public comments that the proposal would affect free speech and political activity. The proposed rule would have required disclosure of the names of organizations involved in indirect or grassroots lobbying via radio, phone, internet or other broadcast media if those groups spent more than $500 on campaigns for or against specific pieces of legislation. Those groups would also have been required to file reports with the Ethics Commission if expenditures exceeded $5,000. The Ethics Commission passed other proposals for consideration, including a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service, new rules regarding the due dates of electronic filings, and revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports. Additionally, the Ethics Commission submitted a proposal to prohibit state legislators from operating or becoming an officer of a PAC. If the Legislature chooses not to reject the proposed rule changes again, all passed amendments will be effective upon adjournment sine die of the regular legislative session on May 31.

TENNESSEE: Gov. Bill Lee signed executive orders modifying former Gov. Bill Haslam’s policies on gifts to state employees and ethics disclosures for interactions with the General Assembly. Lee added to Haslam’s policy on gifts by including beverage and refreshment on the list of banned gifts that can be accepted by a state employee from those intending to conduct business with the state agency where the employee works. Lee’s Executive Order 2 expands the scope of employees required to file ethical disclosures by adding senior members and all employees who regularly interact with the General Assembly.


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 154 40 3 0 25
Political Contributions 250 40 6 0 33
Procurement Lobbying 163 37 3 0 40

Registration thresholds 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.  


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.

What are some steps our government affairs department can take to avoid risks to the reputation of our company?


While there are always going to be some people who disagree with the positions your company advocates, there are concrete steps you can take to ensure your company’s reputation as open, honest, and law-abiding remains unsullied.

The most obvious step to take is to commit to following all the laws regarding lobbyist registration and reporting in the jurisdictions in which you operate...

Read the full article here


Information to assist with your commitment to compliance can be found in the Registration and Reports Required sections of State & Federal Communications' U.S. Lobbying Compliance Laws.

 John Cozine Esq., Compliance Manager

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.

Click here for subscription information

State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - February 2019

Go Red for Women

Photos - [top left] Elizabeth acknowledges as a Circle of Red sponsor; [top right] staff attending the Go Red for Women luncheon; [bottom] the State and Federal Communications, Inc. staff who came to work wearing red in honor of Go Red for Women.


Elizabeth Z. Bartz visiting Donovan Pepper
at the US Conference of Mayors


We are fortunate
at the level of
professionalism our staff possesses as they tackle their challenges and responsibilities.

Renold Koozer - 21 years

Joe May - 11 years

Kristen Studebaker - 1 year

Renae Bomba - 3 years

Ken Kelewae - 10 years

While attending the PAC Advocacy Conference in Key West, FL, our staff participated at the
S.O.S. Community Kitchen.  Not surprising, it was NOT the first time for our crew to volunteer.

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


March 3-6, 2019  

National PAC Conference, Miami, FL

March 5, 2019

Women's Endowment Fund: For Women, Forever Annual Dinner, Akron, OH

March 6, 2019

Ohio Birthday Party, Washington, DC

March 8-17, 2019

SXSW, Austin, TX

March 12, 2019

NCSL Executive Director's Luncheon, Washington, DC

March 28-30, 2019

ACES Conference, Providence, RI

March 30, 2019

ASPIRE! Boys and Girls Clubs, Fairlawn, OH

April 8-9, 2019 

Public Affairs Council 2019 Spring Executive Meeting, Washington, DC


COMPLIANCE NOW is published for our customers and friends. 
Click here to SUBSCRIBE or click here to UNSUBSCRIBE. 
Click here to send us comments regarding the COMPLIANCE NOW e-newsletter.

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.