April 5, 2019 •

NM Gov. Signs Bill Amending Several Provisions of Campaign Finance Law

Senate Bill 3, relating to the Campaign Reporting Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, April 4, 2019. The bill amends several provisions of campaign finance law, including definitions related to elections cycles, penalties for violating campaign […]

Senate Bill 3, relating to the Campaign Reporting Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

The bill amends several provisions of campaign finance law, including definitions related to elections cycles, penalties for violating campaign finance law, and independent expenditure reporting.

The bill also requires a person making an independent expenditure in an amount exceeding $1,000 in non-statewide elections and $3,000 in statewide elections to file a report with the secretary of state within specified time periods.

The report must include the name and address of the person who made the independent expenditure, the name and address of the person to whom the independent expenditure was made, the amount, date and purposes of the independent expenditure, and the source of the contributions used to make the independent contribution.

Additionally, contributions to most candidates and political committees will be limited to $5,000 per election cycle unless those contributions are from a candidate’s own personal funds or made to a political committee and used only to make independent expenditures.

Contributions to gubernatorial candidates will be limited to two times the contribution limit during a primary or a general election cycle.

The bill will become effective on July 1, 2019.

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April 5, 2019 •

Alabama Legislators Introduce Bill Exempting Economic Development Professionals from Lobbyist Registration

The Alabama House has introduced a bill to revive an expired exemption to lobbyist registration. House Bill 289, similar to last year’s House Bill 317, will exempt economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist. Under the new bill, the […]

The Alabama House has introduced a bill to revive an expired exemption to lobbyist registration.

House Bill 289, similar to last year’s House Bill 317, will exempt economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist.

Under the new bill, the economic development professional lobbyist registration exemption does not apply if a person seeks incentives or funds through legislative action outside of incentives already available.

If passed, the law will not contain an expiration date like last year’s bill and will be effective immediately.

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April 5, 2019 •

Alabama Special Election Called for State House District 74

A special election has been called for Alabama House of Representatives in District 74. Gov. Kay Ivey called the special election to fill the vacancy left by the tragic passing of State Rep. Dimitri Polizos. A special primary election will […]

A special election has been called for Alabama House of Representatives in District 74.

Gov. Kay Ivey called the special election to fill the vacancy left by the tragic passing of State Rep. Dimitri Polizos.

A special primary election will be held on June 11, 2019, and the special general election will be held on August 27, 2019, provided a runoff is not required.

If a runoff is required, the special runoff election will be held on August 27, 2019, and the special general election will be held on November 12, 2019.

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March 29, 2019 •

New Mexico Independent Ethics Commission Bill Signed by Governor

Senate Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election. The new […]

Senate Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election.

The new commission will oversee state public officials and employees and give the commission investigative powers over ethics violations.

Sections one through eight and 34 of the bill, relating to the creation of the new commission, will become effective July 1, 2019.

The remaining sections, mostly relating to the commission’s investigative powers, will become effective on January 1, 2020.

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March 26, 2019 •

NJ Legislature Sends Independent Expenditure Disclosure Bill to Governor

Senate Bill 1500 has made it Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after being introduced in early 2018. The bill requires committees to report contributions in excess of $10,000 and expenditures in excess of $3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission. Additionally, […]

Senate Bill 1500 has made it Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after being introduced in early 2018.

The bill requires committees to report contributions in excess of $10,000 and expenditures in excess of $3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Additionally, when the contributor is an individual giving more than $10,000, the committee must disclose the occupation of the individual and the name and mailing address of the individual’s employer.

If signed by the governor, the bill will impact the January 15, 2020, independent expenditure report.

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March 21, 2019 •

Minnesota Legislators Introduce Several Ethics Bills

The Minnesota Legislature recently introduced several ethics-related bills during the 91st legislative session. Senate File 2041 requires public officials to disclose a lobbyist, principal, or other interested person by whom the individual is compensated in excess of $50 in any […]

The Minnesota Legislature recently introduced several ethics-related bills during the 91st legislative session.

Senate File 2041 requires public officials to disclose a lobbyist, principal, or other interested person by whom the individual is compensated in excess of $50 in any month for providing services as an independent contractor or consultant.

Additionally, the bill requires both lobbyists and principals to disclose political contributions. If passed, Senate File 2041 will become effective the day following enactment.

Senate File 2039 seeks to prohibit legislators, constitutional officers, commissioners, deputy commissions, assistant commissioners, or heads of any state department or agency from lobbying for seven years after leaving the aforementioned offices or positions.

House File 2391 seeks to prohibit former legislators and certain legislative employees from lobbying the legislature for two years after leaving legislative office or separation from employment.

Senate File 2035 creates a conflict of interest when a legislator or constitutional officer accepts a contribution of more than $500 from a lobbyist, principal, political committee, or political fund with regard to an action coming before the officer when the contributing individual or association has a greater financial interest of greater consequence to the contributor than the general interest of other residents or taxpayers of the state.

If a conflict arises, the covered official must disclose the conflict.

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March 18, 2019 •

New Mexico Adjourns Sine Die; Passes Ethics Commission Bill

The New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on March 16, 2019. House Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was passed by the Legislature on the final day of the session. The bill creates the new independent ethics […]

The New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on March 16, 2019.

House Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was passed by the Legislature on the final day of the session.

The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election.

The new commission will oversee state public officials and employees and give the commission investigative powers over ethics violations.

The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. If signed, sections one through eight and 34 of the bill will become effective July 1, 2019.

The remaining sections will become effective on January 1, 2020.

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March 13, 2019 •

Arkansas Gov. Signs Various Bills into Law

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed several bills into law. Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy at violators from $2,000 to $3,500. Senate Bill 256 prohibits an elected state official from […]

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed several bills into law.

Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy at violators from $2,000 to $3,500.

Senate Bill 256 prohibits an elected state official from registering as a lobbyist in any jurisdiction while serving as an elected state official and House Bill 1178 amends various sections of law related to competitive sealed bids.

The bills will become effective 90 days after the legislative session adjourns sine die.

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March 7, 2019 •

Special Election Called for Iowa Senate District 30

Gov. Kim Reynolds called a special election for Senate District 30. The special election has been called to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of State Sen. Jeff Danielson. After serving 15 years with the Iowa Senate, Danielson has […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds called a special election for Senate District 30.

The special election has been called to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of State Sen. Jeff Danielson.

After serving 15 years with the Iowa Senate, Danielson has resigned to work with the American Wind Energy Association.

Reynolds has set the special election for March 19, 2019.

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March 6, 2019 •

Two Ethics Bills on the way to Arkansas Governor for Signature

Senate Bills 249 and 256 have been passed by the Legislature are on the way to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy at violators from $2,000 […]

Senate Bills 249 and 256 have been passed by the Legislature are on the way to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy at violators from $2,000 to $3,500.

Senate Bill 256 prohibits an elected state official from registering as a lobbyist in any jurisdiction while serving as an elected state official.

If signed by the governor, the bills will become effective 90 days after the legislative session adjourns sine die.

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March 6, 2019 •

Alabama Gov. Calls Special Session

Gov. Kay Ivey has called a special session to begin March 6, 2019. The special session will focus on legislation related to a gas and diesel fuel tax. Calling the special session suspends the regular session and allows the gas […]

Gov. Kay Ivey has called a special session to begin March 6, 2019.

The special session will focus on legislation related to a gas and diesel fuel tax.

Calling the special session suspends the regular session and allows the gas tax bill to pass with a majority vote, as opposed to the three-fifths vote required during a regular session.

The regular session is expected to re-convene on March 19.

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February 25, 2019 •

NM House Introduces Bill Requiring Lobbyists to Participate in Sexual Harassment Training

New Mexico State Reps. Joy Garratt and Elizabeth Thomson introduced House Bill 551 earlier this month. If passed, the bill would require lobbyists to participate in a sexual harassment training lasting at least four hours. The program must be sponsored […]

New Mexico State Reps. Joy Garratt and Elizabeth Thomson introduced House Bill 551 earlier this month.

If passed, the bill would require lobbyists to participate in a sexual harassment training lasting at least four hours.

The program must be sponsored by the secretary of state, an employer of the lobbyist and conducted by a person qualified to conduct the training, or by a certified human resources professional.

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February 20, 2019 •

Arkansas Ethics Commission Clarifies Gift Exception in Advisory Opinion

The Arkansas Ethics Commission clarified a gift exception in Advisory Opinion No. 2019-EC-001. A local lobbying firm wants to hold a 20th anniversary event and invite public officials. In turn, the firm requested more information regarding the exception permitting anything […]

The Arkansas Ethics Commission clarified a gift exception in Advisory Opinion No. 2019-EC-001.

A local lobbying firm wants to hold a 20th anniversary event and invite public officials. In turn, the firm requested more information regarding the exception permitting anything to be given to public officials if it is also readily available to the general public.

The commission stated the exception does not apply to an event where invitations are issued to friends, family members, clients, former clients, and business associates only.

In order for an event to be readily available to the general public, the general public would have to be made aware of the event’s existence.

For the event to qualify for the gift exception, an entity could make an announcement of the event on widely-used social media platforms and through traditional media, such as a state-wide newspaper, to make sure the general public knows the event is not limited to invitees.

Additionally, holding an event at a venue open to the public, like a park or convention center, would help meet the gift exception.

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February 14, 2019 •

NM Bill Setting Out New Ethics Commission’s Duties Introduced

In November, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment to Article 5 of the state’s constitution. Constitutional Amendment 2 creates an independent ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning civil violations of laws governing ethics, […]

In November, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment to Article 5 of the state’s constitution.

Constitutional Amendment 2 creates an independent ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning civil violations of laws governing ethics, standards of conduct and reporting requirements.

In order to be a functional commission, the Legislature must pass laws granting the commission all of its powers and duties.

As a result, state Rep. Daymon Ely introduced House Bill 4 setting out the new agency’s responsibilities.

The bill states the commission will have jurisdiction to investigate and adjudicate a complaint alleging a civil violation of the Lobbyist Regulation Act and the Campaign Reporting Act.

Additionally, the commission would have the authority to suspend a person from consideration for award of a contract if the person violates the Procurement Code.

If passed, sections 1 through 5, 7, and 37 of the bill will be effective July 1, 2019. The remaining sections will be effective January 1, 2020.

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