COVID Has Affected
State and Federal Communications

First, we are all in good health at State and Federal Communications. For the most part, we are working one day a week in the office and the rest working from home. The staff is also social distancing and wearing masks when in the office. We have only had one staff member who tested positive and is back in the office after the required quarantine period.

I do have to say, this pandemic has affected an important publication. After 21 years, the quick desk reference, State and Federal Communications Guidebook, will not be printed. Due to the pandemic, our clients are not in the office and we are already in possession of the 2020 Congressional Directory we ordered for everyone and received in May, when offices closed and people started working from home.

The information in the Guidebook is included in the very robust State and Federal Communications website,, which will have a redesign unveiled on December 1, 2020.

Jon Spontarelli and Kristi Hadgigeorge will be alerting the State and Federal Communications Community about the updates and upgrades on our new website and, especially where you can continue to find the valuable materials from the Guidebook.

We will continue to make sure you have all the valuable information you need for your work and please do not hesitate to give us a call if you need guidance along the road to compliance.

Remember to VOTE Tuesday, November 3rd. I look forward to next month when I update you on our new office in Washington, DC.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Associate Director, Research Services

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: City Council’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously rejected an ordinance introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April to amend a recently passed ordinance prohibiting cross-lobbying of City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission by elected officials from the Illinois General Assembly or any unit of local government in the state. The proposed amendment added an exception to permit lobbying by lobbyists with no current contractual or legislative dealings with the city. The committee voted 16-0 not to send the measure to the full council. Executive Director Steven Berlin stated the ordinance is historic because there are no other jurisdictions in the United States prohibiting both their own officials and employees from lobbying on behalf of private clients anywhere, while also prohibiting elected officials from other jurisdictions from lobbying the city on behalf of private clients.

HAWAII: The state Senate convened a special session on October 5 to review Gov. David Ige’s appointment for a vacancy on the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Chief Justice's appointments on district court positions. Final Senate votes on the appointments and adjournment sine die took place on October 6. A lobbyist and employer activity report must be filed within 30 days of adjournment sine die of the special session on November 5 for expenditures and contributions relating to legislative action considered during the special session.

MICHIGAN: The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds, which change every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other employee increased from $2,525 to $2,575 for any 12-month period. The financial transaction threshold between a registered lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from $1,275 to $1,300. Travel and lodging reimbursements increased from $825 to $850. Food and beverage expenditures for a public official increased from $63 in any month to $64 in any month, while the $400 threshold for food and beverages purchased between January 1 and end the reporting period remains the same as last year. Employee reimbursements increased from $25 to $26, and the general gift threshold also increased from $63 to $64. Late filing fees increased from $25 a day up to a maximum of $750, to $26 and a $780 maximum. The registration threshold of $650 for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one public official during a 12-month period and exempt expenditures at $13, remain the same as last year.

NEW YORK: On October 1, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced the final draft of Advisory Opinion 20-02, providing guidance to identify the permissibility of a gift to a third party at the direction of or on behalf of a public official. Statutes and regulations presumptively prohibit a gift to a public official from an interested source or gifts to a third party solicited by a public official or an intermediary. Advisory Opinion 20-02 allows the presumption of impermissibility to be overcome by taking into account specific situations including: the nature or purpose of the gift; nature of the donor’s pending business with the official; and prior history of gifts to the cause or third-party organization. JCOPE will determine whether a gift violates the law or overcomes the presumption on a case-by-case basis.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: The Philadelphia Board of Ethics announced the 2020 lobbying training schedule. The virtual training will cover ethics rules, registering, and filing expense reports with the Board of Ethics. Currently, it is not mandatory to attend one of the 2020 lobbying trainings, however attendance at a training will be credited when the mandatory training provision takes effect for registered entities. Registration for the lobbying training can be accomplished at Questions regarding the schedule or training may be directed to the Board of Ethics at or

Yukon New Lobbying Laws Now Effective

George Ticoras, Esq.

Manager, Research Services

On October 15, the Canadian territory of Yukon’s new and first lobbying law came into force with the online Yukon Lobbyist Registry becoming live. Bill No. 23, the Lobbyist Registration Act, received Royal Assent on November 22, 2018, but did not take effect for almost two years. The Yukon Lobbyist Registry is administered by the Office of Conflict of Interest Commissioner, who now also holds the position of the registrar.

Both consultant lobbyists and in-house lobbyists are required to register. Registration is required for individuals attempting to lobby by communicating with a public office holder, directly or through grassroots communications. Additionally, a consultant lobbyist is required to register when arranging a meeting between a public office holder and any other person for any purpose covered by the law.

All lobbyists have a one-time only grace period of 90 days to register beginning with the October 15 effective date. Registration and the filing of returns are performed electronically on the registry’s webpage. There is currently no fee required for registration.

In-house lobbyists are required to file returns by January 31 of each calendar year. Consultant lobbyists must file returns within 30 days after the expiration of the six-month period after the filing date of the previous return.

Grassroots lobbying, which requires registration, includes initiating petitions and using social media to encourage the general public to contact officials to support or oppose government laws and policies.

There are two revolving door provisions restricting both former officials and former lobbyists. For the six-month period after ceasing to be in office, a former public office-holder is prohibited from lobbying as a consultant lobbyist, but he or she is not prohibited from immediately lobbying as an in-house lobbyist. Additionally, a consultant lobbyist is prohibited from becoming an employee of Yukon’s public service for six months after the terminating her or her lobbyist registration.

Penalties for violations of the Lobbyist Registration Act include fines up to $25,000 for the first violation and up to $100,000 for each subsequent violation.

[The details for this article are updated on our website in the Registration and Reporting sections of the Canadian Lobbying Laws and the Canadian Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for Yukon.]

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 regarding lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2021
Lobbying Laws 316 42 22 172 0
Political Contributions 531 54 54 224 7
Procurement Lobbying 317 45 26 162 1


Our website now has 2021 lobbying key dates information for all 50 states, over 300 local jurisdictions, five U.S. territories, the federal government, Canada, and other select international jurisdictions. In the Lobbying Compliance Laws publication, the key dates information provides a schedule of all reports and registrations due in 2021. Continue to watch the website for updates to the 2020 and 2021 key dates and for the addition of key dates information regarding your political contribution compliance programs.


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 (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.

Our federal lobbyists did not have any contact with covered officials during the quarter, but they did engage in developing talking points and conducting strategy sessions with each other for future contacts.  Do we need to report this since there was no communication with covered officials?

Yes. The LD-2 reporting form allows for registrants to indicate that their lobbyists engaged in lobbying activities, including support or indirect activities, but did not have any contacts during the quarter...

Read the full article here



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More information about reporting requirements can be found in our online publication Federal Lobbying Compliance Law section.

Rebecca P. South
Associate Director, Federal Compliance




Another celebration at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
has our own George Ticoras, Esq.,
Manager, International Research Services,
reaching his tenth anniversary on staff.

Jim Sedor, Manager, News You Can Use, reached his twentieth anniversary on staff,
and also received the prestigious COGEL Outstanding Service Award.


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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.