A Letter from our
To Our Valued Clients and Friends,
In a matter of weeks, our world has
changed dramatically. In some ways, it
has grown larger, as we now seem
globally connected in fighting this
pandemic. In other ways, it has grown
smaller, with many keeping safe at home
and adjusting to this “new normal.”
We wanted to check in with you and let
you know we are here.
We are still open. Although
our doors are physically closed, we
are still here helping clients
respond to this challenge, whether
it is with lobbying registration and
disclosure reports; special projects
we are doing for our clients;
maintaining the content and
operation of our website so it is
still available 24/7; providing web
tours to those who need a tutorial
about what we provide; and staying
on top of the bills our business
needs to pay. We continue to accept
documents electronically by fax
(330-761-9965), mail, and FedEx/UPS.
We are keeping you informed.
We continue to monitor the rapidly
changing guidelines and developments
as they arise. To better help you
navigate this wealth of information,
we’ve curated the best information
and resources to keep you informed.
legislation, legislative sessions,
election dates, and due dates for
We are staying safe. Our
priority is to protect our
employees, their families, and our
clients. With the Stay-at-Home
Orders in Ohio, Virginia, and the
District of Columbia, our staff
continues working remote. We are
utilizing conference calls with our
clients and our facilities team has
intensified cleaning protocols.
We are staying engaged. We
are connecting with clients to have
critical discussions to
address the challenges facing
business. We are a business like you
and understand the importance of
addressing these constantly shifting
While we are all trying our best to
conduct business as usual, we realize it
is not always according to plan. We are
tremendously grateful for your continued
patience, flexibility, and
understanding. We look forward to a
day when we are all able to be together.
Until next month, keep your environment
clean and practice social distancing.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Maine Legislature Passes Bills Expanding Reporting Requirements
The Maine Legislature adjourned sine die on March 17. The 129th
Legislature was shortened by nearly a month in an effort to slow
down the progress of COVID-19. Before adjournment, lawmakers
passed and Gov. Janet Mills signed Legislative Document 1867 to
increase lobbyist expenditure reporting and Legislative Document
1868 to expand grassroots lobbying disclosure. Both bills are
effective December 1.
Lobbyist Expenditure Reporting (LD 1867)
Legislative Document 1867 requires lobbyists and lobbyist
associates to file a separate report for expenditures totaling
over $300 in a calendar month made to or on behalf of covered
officials without reimbursement from an employer. The report
must include the date of the expenditure; amount of expenditure;
description of goods or services purchased; date, description,
and location of an event paid for; and names of all covered
officials and their immediate family whom the expenditures were
directly made to or attended the event. The new lobbyist
expenditure reports are due on the 15th day of the month
following the month the expenditure was made or incurred.
Currently, all expenditures made directly to covered officials
or their family members are reported on the monthly session
reports. The bill also expands the annual harassment training
requirement to include lobbyist associates.
Grassroots Lobbying Rules (LD 1868)
Legislative Document 1868 seeks to improve the reporting of
grassroots lobbying. An expanded definition of grassroots
lobbying replaces the definition of indirect lobbying.
Grassroots lobbying includes communicating with members of
the general public to solicit them to communicate directly with
any covered official for the purpose of influencing legislative
action by broadcast, cable, or satellite transmission; print
media; letter; email, website, or any other digital format;
telephone; or any other method of communication similar in
The reporting threshold for grassroots lobbying is lowered from
$15,000 to $2,000. Any expenditure over the threshold must be
reported on the lobbyist’s monthly session report. Any other
person expending in excess of $2,000 must also file a grassroots
lobbying report on the 15th day of the calendar month following
the date the amount was exceeded. Reportable grassroots lobbying
expenditures include payments of money made to independent
contractors and other vendors to purchase goods and services
such as advertising, graphic or website design, video or audio
production services, telecommunications services, printing, and
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler signed
an emergency order on March 17 suspending all deadlines imposed
by city code, ordinance, rule, or other regulation until May 1.
Under Section 7 of the order, the deadline for all lobbyist
quarterly activity reports has been extended to May 1. No late
fees will be accrued for failure to file prior to May 1.
The Office of the Secretary of State has closed through March 31
due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Online access will remain
available to all lobbyists and authorized agents. Statutorily
required deadlines, including lobbying semimonthly reports, are
extended for 30 days. The office indicates this status may be
updated as operations are reviewed.
On March 11, the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey permanently enjoined the state from enforcing
Senate Bill 150. The bill was signed by the governor last June
and was scheduled to take effect on October 15, 2019. The dark
money bill required independent expenditure committees to report
contributions in excess of $10,000 and expenditures in excess of
$3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission. The order
does not prevent the Legislature from revisiting the issue with new
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics announced
an extension for the submission of bimonthly lobbyist activity
reports covering the January to February reporting period until
Tuesday, March 31, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Effective
immediately, JCOPE also suspended hand-delivery of paper filings
to their Albany office until March 31. The New York City Clerk’s
Office has likewise extended the deadline for city lobbying
reports to March 31.
The 2020 budget session of the Wyoming Legislature adjourned
sine die on March 13 after 24 days in session. The session
lasted an extra four days this year because of a decision made
by lawmakers last year. During the session, legislators passed a
bill expanding limitations on campaign contributions. Senate
File 20 expands limitations on campaign contributions from
organizations to include a candidate's campaign committee or any
political party or political action committee that directly
coordinates with a candidate or a candidate's campaign
committee. The bill becomes effective July 1, 2020.
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.
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
contains updates on lobbying, ethics, campaign
finance, procurement, pay-to-play, and items of
general interest to the government affairs
community. Please visit our blog for the latest
postponements and changes resulting from the
COVID-19 outbreak. We also maintain an active
presence on social media with our constantly updated
Twitter (@StateandFederal), LinkedIn, and YouTube
Join the conversation
stay up-to-date in your field.
State and Federal Communications’ Experts
Here is your chance
to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Send your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. (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 has been the response by state government and state
legislatures to the COVID-19 pandemic?
the time this answer was prepared, 36 states, Puerto
Rico, the federal government, and Canada have issued
some type of decree in response to the COVID-19
pandemic. The precautions include adjourning
sessions, curtailing operations of state agencies, and
Some of the responses include:
Read the full article here
Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full
Please fill out the small form to gain access to all
Nola Werren, Esq.
Federal Communications, Inc. staff who have
completed the courses for the
SGAC Professional Certificate Program.
top row: Amber Fish Linke, Esq.,
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, Nola R. Werren, Esq.
bottom row: Gamble Hayden, James
Warner, Esq. and Rebecca South.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. has attended
the National PAC Conference for twenty-six years.
In 2020, this conference was in Miam Beach, Florida.
Left: Kristi Hadgigeorge, John Chames, Gregory
Bennett, Elizabeth Bartz, Nola Werren,
Jim Warner, and Maria Dalessandro.
Top Right: Elizabeth Bartz with
Gabrielle Woodard from Northrop Grumman
Bottom Right - Elizabeth Bartz with
Misty Galvin from Clear Channel Outdoor
Plan to say hello
at future events where State and
Federal Communications, Inc.
attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.
We look forward to attending meetings and
soon. For now, we are staying put.
NOW is published for our customers and friends.
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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|
The Mission of
State and Federal Communications is to make
sure that your organization can say,
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