JANUARY 2021    

   Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO

2021—In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb

You know the saying “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” well, I believe that is how we are going to see 2021—every bit of it. In like a lion for the Coronavirus, for the economy, for the mental health of our country, and even for the elections. Out like a lamb for the Coronavirus, hopefully for our economy, hopefully for the mental health of our country, and hopefully for the elections.

This is the time—right after a Presidential election—when we are busy preparing the registration forms for the states because we know they will all be in session. Not all necessarily on January 4th, but they will all be in session at some point during the year. So, the year starts out strong because being prepared for state activity is important to everyone in our community.

And, State and Federal Communications is prepared, too. We started our new Awareness Campaign with our tag line—Guiding You Along the Road to Compliance. It is a maze, it is a winding road, it is everything but a straight road. Our website is updated, faster, and ready to help you understand everything about lobbying, campaign finance, and procurement lobbying in the entire United States and in Canada, the European Union, and Latin America.

We are your #1 resource for 2021.

And, thanks Public Affairs Council, imitation is the greatest form of flattery!!!

Here is wishing everyone a Health New Year and we do hope to see you soon.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

   Michael Beckett, Esq., Associate Director, Research Services

FEDERAL: The U.S. Senate restored a full complement of commissioners to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). By confirming three new commissioners, the FEC, where only three of the agency’s six seats were filled since July 4, will now be able to conduct official business. The FEC requires at least four commissioners to agree on any official action. The Senate confirmed one Democrat, Shana Broussard, and two Republicans, Sean Cooksey and Allen Dickerson. No more than three members of the FEC may be registered with the same political party. The remaining FEC commissioners are Chair James E. "Trey" Trainor III, a Republican, Ellen L. Weintraub, a Democrat, and Steven T. Walther, an Independent. 

HAWAII: The Hawaii Ethics Commission administrative rules on gifts and lobbying are now live and optional lobbyist training sessions will take place on the mornings of January 6, 2021 and January 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. Title 21 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules provides greater clarity on lobbyist registration and reporting requirements of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and memorializes longstanding ethics commission advice. Noteworthy rule provisions include the requirement that expenditures are reported on an accrual basis, and a lobbyist registration exemption for individuals who work behind the scenes to draft testimony, research, and work under the direction of a registered lobbyist without directly communicating with legislative or executive branch officials. Lobbyists interested in attending either of the training sessions may register at https://ethics.hawaii.gov/ethicstraining_schedule/.

NASHVILLE-DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE: The Metro Board of Ethical Conduct adopted a new lobbyist registration form. The form, which is now available online, must be filed along with the written client authorization via email to the Office of Metro Clerk until the new online registration portal is launched. The office will begin accepting the new form on December 15 for continuing lobbyist engagements for 2021, which must be filed by December 31. New registrations accepted after December 15 will be treated as a continuing registration for 2021. The Metro Council has also increased the registration fee to $100, which must be hand delivered to the Office of Metro Clerk or sent via U.S. mail.

NEW MEXICO: Lobbyists and lobbyist employers may begin registering and paying their registration fees in the new Campaign Finance Information System available at https://login.cfis.sos.state.nm.us/#/index. Both lobbyists and lobbyist employers will be required to register and create an employer/employee relationship to comply with the requirements of the new system. To help with the new system, the Office of Secretary of State held live, online webinar classes with a thorough overview and demonstrations. Additionally, video instructions are available at https://www.sos.state.nm.us/legislation-and-lobbying/how-to-become-a-lobbyist/cfis-training-videos-for-lobbyists/.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: City Council approved an ordinance requiring additional transparency and disclosures by paid lobbyists and indirect lobbying campaigns. The vote was 8-1. This new legislation adds the concept of indirect lobbying to the city’s lobbying regulations, which has been part of Washington state law since 1973. Indirect lobbying requirements will now apply to lobbyists, those who hire them, or organizations taking out ads to influence members of the public and encourage members of the public to lobby their elected officials on legislation. Individuals behind a group will now be required to identify themselves, their contractors, and donors for contributions of $25 or more. The group will also be required to describe its purpose and record spending in monthly reports. If approved by the mayor, the rules will become effective in 180 days.

  Carlo Aguja, Esq., Manager, Research Services

JCOPE Concludes Revision of New York Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations

For most of 2020, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) sought public input on revisions to the Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations (19 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 943). The revised rules were adopted on emergency basis on November 17, to be effective January 1, 2021, and cover lobbying activity in the 2021-22 Biennial Lobbying Period. Key revisions include changes to the definition of designated lobbyist, direct lobbying activities by volunteers, grassroots lobbying, coalitions, and prohibitions relating to the receipt of stock options as compensation.

Key revisions:
Designated lobbyist is a person selected, appointed, named or otherwise chosen to lobby on behalf of a client, but not retained or employed as defined for lobbying purposes. This includes a person who is lobbying on behalf of themselves and board members, directors, and officers of a client;

Mere attendance by an employee or a volunteer at a Lobby Day does not require that individual to register as a lobbyist unless also speaking to a public official or staff on behalf of their organization;

An individual who publishes a grassroots lobbying communication is engaged in grassroots lobbying on their own behalf, but is not required to list themselves as an individual lobbyist unless they engage in direct lobbying;

A coalition member’s contribution to a coalition is now considered a lobbying expense for purposes of determining whether the coalition member exceeds the $5,000 registration threshold for a beneficial client. A coalition meeting the standard for a structured coalition by having a president, treasurer, or someone acting in that capacity must register and report as a coalition; and

Regarding stock payments subject to the prohibition on contingency lobbying, there is now a distinction between retained lobbyists and employee or designated lobbyists for purposes of whether a stock payment to a lobbyist is presumed impermissible. Stock payments to retained lobbyists are presumed impermissible unless certain factors are met, while stock payments to employee or designated lobbyists are presumed permissible unless certain factors are met.

JCOPE continued to accept comments on the revised regulations as recently as December 28. Any final adjustment to the regulations will be effective for the 2021-2022 biennial registration period.

[The details for this article are updated on our website in the U.S. Lobbying and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws and the Contributions section of the  U.S. Political Contributions Compliance Laws for New York.]

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 328 45 26 172 6
Political Contributions 553 57 61 224 25
Procurement Lobbying 331 47 27 162 7



Our Lobbying Compliance Laws and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws have extensive information addressing the restrictions on giving gifts to public officials and employees. This information has rules specific to gifts given by lobbyists and those given by non-lobbyists. Keep in mind lobbyist employers may be treated the same as lobbyists, the same as non-lobbyists, or could be subject to additional rules aimed directly at entities employing a lobbyist. To address all of these possibilities, please review “Restrictions specific to lobbyist employers.” In jurisdictions without lobbying laws, gift restrictions will likely be the same for all three categories unless restricted source rules apply.



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’m a registered lobbyist in Missouri and I heard there is a new lobbyist gift ban going into effect. What should I know about the new law to make sure I am compliant?


You are correct. A constitutional amendment went into effect December 3, 2020 creating a lobbyist gift ban and reducing campaign contribution limits.

On November 3, 2020, voters in Missouri passed Amendment 3, a constitutional amendment to amend Article III of the Constitution to prohibit all gifts from lobbyists or lobbyist principals to members of the General Assembly, staff members, and anyone employed by the General Assembly...


Read the full article here


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For more information, be sure to check out the “Gift Law” section of the U.S. Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for Missouri. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Renae Bomba, Esq.
Manager, Compliance Services

State and Federal Communications still celebrated with their staff for the holidays.
But, with a new style.  Looking forward to sitting together one day soon.

COGEL celebrated our own, Jim Sedor for 2020.

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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.