State and Federal Communications—27 Years

I always research the meaning of words and numbers. This morning, I pondered the meaning of the number 27. According to http://www.thesecretofthetarot.com, 27 expresses a “love for and interest in the well-being of humanity and one who is diplomatic and wise.” In the Bible, the name “Abraham” appears in 27 books and there are 27 separate books in just the New Testament.

This is all good because July 1, State and Federal Communications is celebrating its 27th anniversary.  We continue to bring you all the resources you need to know about lobbying, campaign finance, and procurement lobbying in the 50 states, more than 300 municipalities, federal government, and Canada.

Two years ago, we introduced our European Guidebook and in 2020 we have great news to share. We are taking everything from Canada and Europe and adding countries in Latin America to bring you an International Guidebook! We have Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Mexico in the pipeline. Take the time to connect with your global team and let us know if we can add it to your suite of services. We are offering it to current subscribers at no cost until their next renewal date.

Let me tell you about the great team of folks who make up the staff. The tenure runs from 25 years to seven months. Just this year we will celebrate:

  • 20 years for Jim Sedor, Manager, New Services - News You Can Use;

  • 15 years for John Cozine, Associate Director, Compliance Services;

  • 15 years for Amber Fish Linke, Director, Client and Product Development;

  • 10 years for George Ticoras, Manager, Research Services; and

  • 5 years for Gamble Hayden, Coordinator, Federal Compliance Services.

I keep saying I must be doing something right to have this great team of tenured staff. It is because of them that I can travel around the country to see our clients at conferences and meetings (well, that is before the pandemic hit.)

Please know running this company is in my soul. Being the Queen of Compliance is in my DNA. Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time if there is something we can assist you with or if you have a question. I used to be able to just answer questions about running a business, but now I am an pretty expert about PPP and PPEs and most importantly how to protect the staff during a pandemic.

Take care. Stay safe. And, please wear a mask.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO
@elizabethbartz


Kentucky Executive Agency Lobbyist Reporting Changes
Effective July 1

Marilyn Wesel, Esq. 
Manager, Research Services

Gov. Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 157 on April 24 to amend registration requirements for executive agency lobbying. In the weeks following, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission passed an emergency regulation, provided guidance on implementation, and extended the Executive Agency lobbyist filing period to August 31, 2020.

The emergency regulation provides procedures for filing lobbyist forms and includes changes to the forms. The new forms and instructions are now posted on the commission’s website. Signed forms may be submitted in original form via regular mail, delivery service, or hand delivery, or electronically via facsimile or email.

Senate Bill 157 refines a requirement for executive agency lobbyists to disclose compensation. The new language requires reporting of compensation paid to or received by each executive agency lobbyist, employer, and real party in interest as part of the engagement. Compensation must be reported after it is received by, or paid to, each executive agency lobbyist, employer, and real party in interest as determined by the terms of the engagement. The compensation is to be listed by the amount paid or received; the intervals on which the payment is paid or received; and include any other compensation received or paid as part of the engagement.

Senate Bill 157 amends the definitions related to executive agency lobbying by adding the term financial impact, defined as to have an effect on the financial position of the employer of the executive agency lobbyist or the real party in interest, whether or not the impact is positive or negative. The bill also refines the definition of executive agency decision by adding other forms of solicitation to the types of decisions by an executive agency under which those funds are distributed with respect to the award of a contract, grant, lease, or other financial arrangement. The definition of substantial issue is amended by removing other public policy matters from the types of decisions covered for purposes of registration requirements.


Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Associate Director, Research Services

ALASKA: The Alaska Supreme Court unanimously ruled an election reform initiative can appear on the November ballot. The court upheld a lower court decision confirming the legality of a proposed ballot measure imposing ranked choice voting, nonpartisan primary elections, and tough new rules on campaign finance disclosure. In August of 2019, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson released an opinion stating the election reform initiative was unconstitutional under the single subject rule. On his advice, the Division of Elections attempted to block the Better Elections committee from gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot. However, Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux ruled Clarkson’s analysis was incorrect and ordered the state to issue signature booklets and continue the certification process as the state appealed to the Supreme Court. If approved by voters, the ballot measure would require additional reporting requirements for large donations to political campaigns.

NEW MEXICO: In a 3-2 decision, the state Supreme Court denied a request to allow lobbyists and the public into the Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, during the special legislative session beginning June 18. Justices denied a petition by 24 lawmakers to open the Roundhouse to lobbyists and the public for the special session. The petition argued prohibiting lobbyists from entering the Roundhouse is a violation of the constitutional requirement to make all legislative sessions public. The court concluded virtual proceedings balance the need to protect the public from the public health concerns of COVID-19 with the need to ensure the legislative session remains open and transparent. The ruling means those who want to follow the session will be watching hearings from their computer screens rather than in committee rooms and House and Senate galleries.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The Board of Ethics announced a further delay in the implementation of non-profit lobbying rules to from July 1 to the first of next year due to the continuing work by the city and many non-profit organizations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305 imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city. With the announcement, the board and the mayor’s office stated they are committed to working with non-profit organizations and stakeholders to understand and respond to concerns about the law as they work toward increasing transparency in Chicago.

HAWAII: The Hawaii Ethics Commission approved a package of proposals on June 18 to amend and adopt portions of the Hawaii Administrative Rules related to lobbying and gifts. The proposed rules are designed to interpret and execute the statutes enacted by the Legislature. The statutory requirement that statements of contributions and expenditures must be filed by up to three different entities is clarified by a new rule creating a single, client-based report rather than requiring separate reports from the client, the employing organization, and the lobbyist. The rule eliminates the practice of having lobbyists submit expenditure reports listing “zero” expenditures because all expenditures were covered by the client or the employing organization. Rule changes also include definitions for direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying to clarify that lobbying can be both direct and indirect, consistent with the lobbying statute. Also, value of a gift is defined as the cost a member of the public would reasonably expect to incur to purchase it. The rules must now be approved by the Department of the Attorney General, and then by the governor. Once they are approved by both offices, they will be posted with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor for 10 days before becoming effective.

ILLINOIS: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due April 15. No penalties will be assessed for reports filed on or before June 30. Similarly, no penalties will be assessed for late Schedule A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more, due between March 18 and June 30, as long as they were filed on or before June 30. Late reports (Quarterly or A-1) filed after June 30 will be subject to statutorily mandated penalties. The board’s one-time amnesty will not apply to the upcoming June 2020 Quarterly Report, which is due no later than July 15.


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
from 2021
Lobbying Laws 310 41 19 137 0
Political Contributions 505 52 38 170 7
Procurement Lobbying 309 43 22 124 1

 


Determining what law applies to the county or city you are researching can be difficult. State and Federal Communications takes the confusion out of the process. The Applicable Law section, found in all of our publications, outlines the laws cited in the entry you are viewing. In county and city entries, if a state law applies, it will be listed and cited in addition to any applicable local laws. We also directly answer for you whether state laws apply to local jurisdictions in the Lobbying Registration, Gift, and Procurement Lobbying Pay-to-Play sections. This allows you to always know the universe of laws applicable to your local advocacy efforts.


   

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.

During the various COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I have contacted elected officials only by means of emails, phone calls, and video conferences. Do I still need to worry about registration and reporting requirements for these interactions?

Yes, state and local lobbying statutes and regulations often consider electronic means of contact equivalent to in-person communications. Though emails, phone calls, and possibly video calls were already part of your routine interactions with elected officials, office closures and travel restrictions have put an emphasis on these methods. As a consequence, scrutiny of such communications, whether from the public, a competing business, or the regulating body may increase...

Read the full article here

 

 

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For complete and up-to-date information on changes due to COVID-19, please visit our LobbyComply Blog at https://stateandfed.com/lobbycomply/how-the-states-are-reacting-to-covid-19/.

Kevin Newman, Esq.
Manager, Compliance Services


 

Our Senior Management Team

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Renold A. Koozer
Vice President
Amber Fish Linke, Esq.
Director, Client and

Product Operations

Mark Sedmock, CPA
Comptroller

 
We are working every day to  make sure our staff has the means to get the work done and stay healthy.
We have read everything and have learned a lot.
Working together, we will succeed.

 


 

 


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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.

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