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

Remembering the
Declaration of Independence

I am torn this year. I usually write my column about the anniversary of State and Federal Communications. Isn’t it hard to believe it is 26 years old? Some of our clients have been with us since the beginning and some more even before when I was with State and Federal Associates.

Why am I torn? I heard former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors this weekend, and she talked about how we need to understand the Declaration of Independence. She appeared 56 years after her father, President John F. Kennedy, spoke to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Honolulu. I am always impressed when people can recite parts of the Holy Bible with citation (and I am not just saying Jed Bartlet from the West Wing), or recite parts of the Declaration of Independence, or know all of the articles of the U.S. Constitution in order. I know there are thousands of constitutional law professors who have spent careers on this subject.

I do not possess these skills but know they are there and what is included. The Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as 13 independent sovereign states—no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Its original purpose was to announce independence, and references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. President Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of policies and rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

This is referred to as one of the best-known sentences in the English language, containing the most potent and consequential words in American history. The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by President Lincoln, who considered it to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

I am not here to provide the Rosetta Stone of the Declaration of Independence, but I believe we all need to spend more time knowing these foundations. We are getting closer and closer to the time of our political campaign timeline when “fact checkers” are out an about. Let’s make sure we are accurate when we recite passages.

And, all is well at State and Federal Communications. Our staff is growing. There are more and more jurisdictions on our website. Our coverage of lobbying and gift laws in the European Union is increasing. Our goals for the upcoming year  are to include more jurisdictions in the European section, change our DC location to a more permanent office from our We Work White House space, and continue to be the #1 resource you need for lobbying, campaign finance, gifts, and procurement lobbying.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. The offices of State and Federal Communications will be closed on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5, so our staff can enjoy time with their families.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

Nevada Passes Lobbying Law Amendments

Alexandra Vernis, J.D.
Research Associate

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a lobbying bill to codify existing interpretations of the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) into the Lobbying Disclosure Act and to impose additional disclosure from lobbyists. Assembly Bill 452 requires a supplemental registration to be filed for any changes in registration information within 24 hours during a regular or special legislative session and within 14 days during the interim. Previously, lobbyists were required to file a supplementary registration with the LCB not later than five days after any change.

The bill also clarifies that filing a notice of termination does not relieve the lobbyist of the duty to comply with certain continuing requirements and prohibitions of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. A lobbyist must continue to file supplementary registrations until the commencement of the next regular session unless all lobbying activities are ceased, all representation concerning the interests of all clients is terminated, and the lobbyist does not engage in any lobbying activities or representation until the commencement of the next regular session.

Assembly Bill 452 also provides for more detailed information on lobbyist registrations. Information now required includes a recent photograph of the registrant, the name of the registrant’s business or employer, the registrant’s permanent business address, and the registrant’s email address. If the lobbyist’s business or employer has more than one client, the lobbyist is required to identify each specific client represented, which increases the disclosure requirements for lobbying firms and contract lobbyists.

In addition to the changes made to the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Assembly Bill 452 makes parallel edits to the Financial Disclosure Act, which requires certain public officials to file disclosure statements with the secretary of state. Included in the required disclosure are gifts received from lobbyists. The Nevada Legislature, in passing Assembly Bill 452, seeks to construe and enforce both disclosure acts in a consistent way, while giving the LCB the ability to administer and interpret the Lobbying Disclosure Act as necessary.

Assembly Bill 452 was effective immediately upon Sisolak’s signature on June 7.

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

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Research Manager

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA: Allen Superior Court Judge Jennifer DeGroote blocked the city of Fort Wayne from enforcing a pay-to-play ordinance restricting how much money the owners of companies could give elected officials and still bid on city contracts. The ordinance forbids a company from bidding on a city contract if any owner, partner, or principal who owns more than 10% of the company gave more than $2,000 to the political campaign of a person with the responsibility of awarding contracts. DeGroote’s ruling found the ordinance was superseded by state election law, which is the domain of the Indiana Election Commission. 

KENTUCKY: The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a state ethics law that bans Kentucky lawmakers from accepting gifts or campaign contributions from lobbyists. The ethics law bans lawmakers from accepting “anything of value” from a lobbyist. The ruling reversed a June 2017 ruling by U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman striking down the ethics law as too vague and overly broad. However, the appeals court found no constitutional problem with the limits on gifts and campaign contributions because the laws are closely drawn to further Kentucky’s anticorruption interest.

MARYLAND: The State Ethics Commission will launch a new lobbying filing system, replacing the current system that has been in use for over 10 years. The current system uses outdated software and there is a limited number of programmers who can work on the system, which necessitated the change. The new system will utilize the latest advancements in software and is expected to go live on September 1.

MASSACHUSETTS: The Lobbyist Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office announced a transition to a new disclosure reporting system on June 19. Exclusive, hour-long introduction and training seminars on the new system were held by requests. The Lobbyist Division is offering additional trainings for all registered entities, lobbyists, and clients from June 24 to July 12. Organizations unable to attend the introduction seminars can apply for these trainings instead.

TEXAS: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2677, prohibiting persons required to register as a lobbyist from knowingly making or authorizing certain political contributions or political expenditures. Prohibited contributions include those to another candidate, officeholder, or political committee from political contributions accepted by the person as a candidate or officeholder or by a specific-purpose committee for the purpose of supporting the person as a candidate or assisting the person as an officeholder. Under House Bill 2677, making a contribution described above requires a person to refrain from lobbying for a two-year period following the date the person makes or authorizes the contribution. An exception is created for persons seeking to influence legislation or administrative action on behalf of nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, or a group of individuals with disabilities. The bill also exempts those not receiving compensation for their communications with members of the legislative and executive branches. House Bill 2677 is effective September 27, 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 2020
Lobbying Laws 296 50 43 77 67
Political Contributions 555 56 71 151 136
Procurement Lobbying 323 49 41 83 67


States continue to expand definitions of lobbying and what it means to be a lobbyist for purposes of registration and reporting requirements. State and Federal Communications has a quick reference chart in the Lobbying Compliance Laws publication dedicated to cataloging the definitions of lobbying and lobbyist in the states. The chart can be accessed by clicking the three horizontal bars on the right side of the red Lobbying Compliance Laws button and selecting "Definitions of Lobbying” in the pop-up menu. Be sure to reference these charts before you decide what activities will be a part of your next advocacy campaign.


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 federal registrant, what are our reporting requirements under the new JACK Act?


Thank you for your question. As you are aware, on January 3, 2019, the President signed into law the Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act of 2018 or the "JACK Act."  The JACK Act amended the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) to require all registrations (LD-1) and all quarterly activity reports (LD-2) to include: "for any listed lobbyist who was convicted in a Federal or State court of an offense involving bribery...

Read the full article here



Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate

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If your government affairs activities reach the local level,
State and Federal Communications’
On-Demand Website

delivers the most up to date compliance laws information
for 300+ municipalities.

Give us a call for more information.



State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - July 2019

We talked to women in leadership at our quarterly Tocqueville Luncheon in mid-June. From what leadership means to ensuring women have a place at the leadership table. Thank you to our special panel of local wonder women:

Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah, VP, Deputy General Counsel,
Corporate Secretary & Chief Ethics Officer, First Energy


2019 Child Advocacy Summit

We had the honor of hearing J.D. Vance, NY Times bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy, speak about his life experiences and book at the 2019 Child Advocacy Summit! He was just one of many inspirational professionals that talked about public health and child welfare in this state and on a federal level.
This photo is of the 2019 Interns with the author.

Wellness Program Participants

Participants in Phase One of the Wellness Program include:  Elizabeth Bartz, Joe May, Alexandra Vernis, Anastasia Hadgigeorge, Dave McPeek, George Ticoras, Amber Fish Linke, and Emone Smith.  All participants received a pineapple from the Dole Plantation in Hawaii.

Staff Anniversaries

Recently, State and Federal Communications, Inc. celebrated the Tenth Anniversary milestone of two dedicated employees - Rebecca South, Federal Alerts Associate, and Ken Kelewae, IT Assistant.  Congratulations to two hard-working people.

Intern Update

Sam Waller [The University of Akron] spent his May-mester in Europe. Here he stands [c] with some of the French students at the Giverny commune in France at Monet's garden.

Sam is studying Integrated Marketing Communications with an Entrepreneurship minor.

Abigail Siegfried [University of Akron] is spending a great deal of her summer studying for the LSAT.  Her dog, Copper, studies with her at times.

Abigail is studying Political Science and Music.
She is planning to start Law School in Fall 2020.

Our 2019 Interns

Abigail Siegfried
Univ of Akron

Alex Albanese
American Univ

Marko Horattas
Univ of Akron

Meghan Geist
Kent State Univ

Peter Keares

Sia Konstantinopoulos
Kent State Univ

Sam Waller
Univ of Akron

Todd Starkey
Univ of Akron

Zoe Wrisley
Kent State Univ

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


June 28-July 1, 2019

US Conference of Mayors--Summer Meeting, Honolulu, HI

July 10, 2019

PWIA New York City Regional Workshop, New York City, NY

July 13-16, 2019

AALL Conference, Washington, DC

July 18, 2019

Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH

July 24-26, 2019

NGA Summer Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

July 31-August 2, 2019

Buzz Advocacy Summit, Annapolis, MD


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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.