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

SXSW and My Thoughts

Here are my comments about my week at SXSW. On Friday, March 8th, I was #713 in line to see Jordan Peele’s US. The Paramount Theatre holds 1,273 people and the line went around blocks of Austin. I know I would have gotten in but the person I was going to see it with from Akron did not have the same badge and was already told he was not getting into the theatre. This was a horror movie and I knew I would need to be near someone I knew so I left the line and didn’t see it.

But that is not the real story here.

On Sunday, March 10th I went to Austin City Limits Live for the three-hour CNN Town Hall featuring Representative John Delaney, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (boot edge edge). The venue holds 2,700 people—1,000 on the first floor. I didn’t have a CNN badge, so I was directed to the mezzanine level. About 30 minutes before the program began everyone on the mezzanine level was asked to move to the first floor because they didn’t have 1,000 people to fill it for the camera audience.

CNN wasn’t showing Tricky Dick or The Bush Years. Jack Tapper and Dana Bash were interviewing three committed candidates for US President. SXSW estimates more than 70,000 people registered for the festival and less than 1½% attended.

I say, we’ve got trouble, my friend, right here. Oh yes, we got trouble, trouble, trouble!

There were plenty of politicians in attendance. The US Conference of Mayors held a special session. If folks were running for US President—or thinking about it—they were there. Even AOC was there, and she garnered more in attendance than anyone else. Kevin Silard from National Governors Association was even there checking it out.

If you are in government affairs you should consider attending the 2020 program March 13th to 22nd in Austin, Texas. There are tech sessions, digital media sessions, government sessions, speakers on every topic imaginable, music, films, comedy, gaming, and a huge exhibit area. Sign up now to save 30% off the regular rate. I will hold study sessions in 2020 to help you plan your schedule. I spent many hours before I went reviewing sessions to attend, double booking sessions because I needed to find another session if the room was filled and making sure I knew how to get around to the venues.

That is all I have to say about my time at SXSW…And, I also need to learn how to ride a scooter.

  Thank you,

 Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

Kentucky Passes Expansion of Executive Branch Lobbying Requirements

Michael Beckett, Esq.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed the bill lawmakers unanimously passed to expand definitions and increase disclosure requirements for executive branch lobbyists. Senate Bill 6 modifies the registration threshold, increases the types of covered activities, requires disclosure of lobbyist compensation, and expands the prohibition on contingency fees as a form of compensation for lobbying. The bill also doubles a revolving door provision from six months to one year and allows for electronic filing of lobbying disclosures. The bill becomes effective 90 days after the General Assembly adjourns sine die. 

Executive Branch Lobbying Expanded

Currently, executive branch lobbyists must register for attempting to influence an executive agency decision involving state funds of at least $5,000. Senate Bill 6 adds budget provisions, administrative regulations and rules, legislative matters, and other public policy matters that financially impact the lobbyist or lobbyist employer, regardless of whether any amount of state funds are involved. Registration will also be required for associations, coalitions, or public interest entities formed for the purpose of promoting or otherwise influencing executive agency decisions. Additional exceptions to registration are available for news distribution and public statements during public comment periods on proposed regulation and rule changes.  

Compensation Disclosures

Lobbying registrations will require the disclosure of compensation paid to each executive agency lobbyist by each employer. Lobbyists and lobbyist employers also must certify they have complied with the ban on contingency fees, which is expanded to include payment based on the awarding of a contract or payment of a percentage of a government contract awarded.  

An employer who pays an executive agency lobbyist based on the awarding of a contract or payment of a percentage of a government contract awarded will be barred from doing business with the Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date on which such a payment is revealed to the Executive Branch 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 Kentucky.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Research Manager

ARKANSAS: Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed multiple ethics bills into law. Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy from $2,000 to $3,500. Senate Bill 256 prohibits an elected state official from registering as a lobbyist in any jurisdiction while serving as an elected state official, and House Bill 1178 amends various sections of law related to competitive sealed bids. The bills become effective 90 days after the legislative session adjourns sine die.

FEDERAL: On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping campaign finance, lobbying, ethics, and election gerrymandering reform bill. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For the People Act, requires any organization involved in political activity to disclose its largest donors, creates a multiple matching system for small donations for political campaigns, and amends rules governing super PACs. Additionally, the bill restructures the Federal Election Commission, amends the federal conflict of interest law, and expands the revolving door provision by prohibiting members of Congress from serving on corporate boards. If enacted, the bill also requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, prohibits partisan gerrymandering, increases oversight over election vendors, creates an automatic voter registration across the country, and changes registration requirements for lobbyists and foreign agents.

NEW MEXICO: Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 668, the State Ethics Commission Act, on the final day of the session. The bill creates the new independent ethics commission approved by voters in the November 2018 election. The new commission will oversee state public officials and employees and give the commission investigative powers over ethics violations. If signed by Gov. Michelle Grisham, the bill will become effective July 1, but sections relating to the commission’s authority and enforcement powers will not take effect until January 1, 2020.

NEW YORK: The State Board of Elections has issued guidance on recently passed campaign finance laws affecting limited liability companies (LLCs). Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making expenditures for a political purpose to file with the board the identity of all direct and indirect owners of the membership interests and the proportion of ownership in the LLC. Additionally, LLCs are now limited to an aggregate $5,000 annual contribution limit to all candidates and committees, with the exception of housekeeping, independent expenditure, and ballot proposition committees. All contributions made to a campaign or political committee by an LLC must be attributed to each member of the LLC in proportion to the member's ownership interest in the company.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill to restrict campaign contributions from minors. Senate Bill 114, which passed the state Senate unanimously, requires contributions from unemancipated minors to go towards the contribution limit of their parents. This loophole gained attention during Sioux Falls’s last mayoral election, when a local business owner and each of his five children, ages six to 15, gave the maximum $1,000 to Paul TenHaken’s campaign. The bill is effective July 1. 


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 293 45 9 9 25
Political Contributions 431 49 13 13 33
Procurement Lobbying 263 44 10 10 40

In addition to the in-depth resources available to subscribers, State and Federal Communications also has a wealth of publicly available information. The State and Federal Communications blog, found at www.lobbycomply.com, contains updates on lobbying, ethics, campaign finance, procurement, pay-to-play, and items of general interest to the government affairs community. We also maintain an active presence on social media with our constantly updated Facebook (www.facebook.com/StateandFederalCommunications), Twitter (@StateandFederal), LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts. Join the conversation and stay up-to-date in your field.


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.

I was told the Hawaii State Ethics Commission made some changes to the lobbyist registration and reporting processes. What can you tell me about these changes?


Hawaii’s new E-Filing system is now live. The system allows lobbyists and organizations to file registrations and expenditure reports electronically. For lobbyists who already filed a paper registration for 2019, those registrations are active; however, an online account must be created to allow for electronic filing of reports.

Read the full article here




Kevin Newman, Esq., Compliance Associate

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State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - April 2019


Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO

Women's Endowment Fund
March 5, 2019

[Above - l to r:  Renae Bomba, Esq.; Adrienne Borgstahl, Esq.; Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO; and Kayleigh Crumb, Intern.]

Akron Public Schools  -  State of the Schools Report
February 28, 2019
[Above - l to r:  Seated - Mark Sedmock, CPA; James N. Bartz; Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO.
Standing - Peter Keares, Intern; David Jones, IT Technician; and Sam Waller, Intern.]

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


April 8-9, 2019 

Public Affairs Council 2019 Spring Executive Meeting,
Washington, DC

April 15, 2019

OSBA District 11 Luncheon Meeting, Akron, OH

April 26, 2019

WGR - PACs, Politics & Grassroots Symposium, Washington, DC

April 26, 2019

YouToo Social Media Conference, Kent, OH


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