November 6, 2019 •

Virginia Democrats Win A Majority In General Assembly

Virginia Capitol Building - Ron Cogswell

Democrats won a majority of seats in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly on November 5. Democrats gained six seats in the House of Delegates and two in the Senate. This will be the first majority for Democrats in […]

Democrats won a majority of seats in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly on November 5.

Democrats gained six seats in the House of Delegates and two in the Senate.

This will be the first majority for Democrats in over 25 years.

With Gov. Ralph Northam serving as governor, Virginia Democrats form a state government trifecta.

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November 6, 2019 •

New York City Voters Approve Ethics Ballot Question

On Election Day, voters approved Ballot Question 3, Ethics and Governance. The proposal amends the city charter by extending the post-employment appearance ban for elected officials and senior appointed officials. Additionally, the proposal limits political activity and donations by members […]

On Election Day, voters approved Ballot Question 3, Ethics and Governance.

The proposal amends the city charter by extending the post-employment appearance ban for elected officials and senior appointed officials.

Additionally, the proposal limits political activity and donations by members of the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB).

City elected officials and senior appointed officials will be prohibited from appearing before the agency or branch of government they served in after leaving service for two years. The current rule is one year.

The amendment would also prohibit members of the COIB from participating in campaigns for local elected office.

Furthermore, the amendment reduces the maximum amount members can contribute in each election cycle.

The post-employment ban would become effective January 1, 2022.

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October 3, 2019 •

US District Court Finds New York Donor Disclosure Rules Unconstitutional

On October 1, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled state laws enacted in 2016 requiring disclosure of donors to tax exempt organizations to be invalid. In Citizens Union of the City of New York, […]

On October 1, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled state laws enacted in 2016 requiring disclosure of donors to tax exempt organizations to be invalid.

In Citizens Union of the City of New York, et al., v. Attorney General of the State of New York, the U.S. District Court found provisions in the state’s ethics laws requiring entities exempt from federal taxation under 26 USC §§501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) to publicly report donors under certain circumstances to be unconstitutional.

The district court found the disclosure of funding sources requirement for 501(c)(3) entities making an in-kind donation over $2,500 to a 501(c)(4) entity engaged in lobbying violates the First Amendment because it chills speech and burdens donors’ rights to free association and privacy.

The district court also struck down the rule requiring 501(c)(4) to publicly disclose donors if the entity makes a public statement that refers to the position of an official regarding any potential legislation.

The second provision was found to intrude on donors’ right to express opinions anonymously.

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September 17, 2019 •

New Hampshire Legislature to Reconvene for Veto Session

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

The General Court of New Hampshire is set to reconvene this week for a veto session over 55 bills vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu. The Legislature will discuss bills relating to firearm sales, renewal energy, and campaign finance transparency. Lawmakers […]

The General Court of New Hampshire is set to reconvene this week for a veto session over 55 bills vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Legislature will discuss bills relating to firearm sales, renewal energy, and campaign finance transparency.

Lawmakers will review Senate Bill 156 concerning political contributions by limited liability companies.

The bill requires political contributions made by a limited liability company to be allocated to members for the purpose of contribution limits.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to meet for two days on September 18 and 19. The Senate is scheduled for one day on Thursday, September 19.

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September 11, 2019 •

Georgia State Representative Announces Resignation

Georgia State Capitol Building

State Rep. Ed Rynders announced his resignation from House District 152. Rynders suffered a heart attack over the summer and cited his ongoing health issues for his resignation. Gov. Brian Kemp announced a special election on November 5 to fill […]

State Rep. Ed Rynders announced his resignation from House District 152.

Rynders suffered a heart attack over the summer and cited his ongoing health issues for his resignation.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced a special election on November 5 to fill the vacant seat.

The winner of the special election will complete the remaining year of Rynders’ term.

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July 29, 2019 •

NYC Commission Proposes Increasing Post-Employment Ban for City Officials

On July 24, The New York City Charter Revision Commission released a final draft report on proposed amendments to the city charter. The commission proposed Ballot Question 3 relating to ethics and governance including extending the post-employment appearance ban for […]

On July 24, The New York City Charter Revision Commission released a final draft report on proposed amendments to the city charter.

The commission proposed Ballot Question 3 relating to ethics and governance including extending the post-employment appearance ban for elected officials and senior appointed officials.

Additionally, the question limits political activity and donations by members of Conflicts of Interest Board.

The proposal would increase the prohibition of city elected officials and senior appointed officials from appearing before the agency or branch of government the official served in after leaving service from one year to two years.

The amendment would also prohibit members of the COIB from participating in campaigns for local elected office and reduce the maximum amount members can contribute in each election cycle.

Voters will be presented the proposals on the November 5 general election ballot.

If passed, the proposed post-employment ban would become effective January 1, 2022.

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July 26, 2019 •

Connecticut General Assembly Convenes and Adjourns Special Session

Connecticut State Capitol

On July 22, the Connecticut General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session. During the special session lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1210 authorizing state grant commitments for school building projects. Senate Bill 1210 also made changes to the procurement processes […]

On July 22, the Connecticut General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session.

During the special session lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1210 authorizing state grant commitments for school building projects.

Senate Bill 1210 also made changes to the procurement processes for school building construction, architectural services, and construction management services.

The bill was signed on July 23 by Gov. Ned Lamont and most passages went into effect immediately.

However, changes to the procurement processes become effective on July 1, 2020.

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July 16, 2019 •

NY JCOPE Announces Extension for Filing Bimonthly Reports

The New York State Joint Commission of Public Ethics announced an extension for the submission of bimonthly reports for the May to June reporting period until July 31. JCOPE extended the deadline due to ongoing technical difficulties with the online […]

The New York State Joint Commission of Public Ethics announced an extension for the submission of bimonthly reports for the May to June reporting period until July 31.

JCOPE extended the deadline due to ongoing technical difficulties with the online Lobbying Application.

This extension corresponds with the previously announced extension for client semiannual reports and source of funding disclosures.

The commission is working to fix the issues and further updates will be announced on the JCOPE website.

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July 11, 2019 •

New York JCOPE Launches Online Client Reporting

New York Capitol Building

On July 11, the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the ability to file client semi-annual reports and source of funding information through the online Lobbying Application for the 2019-2020 reporting period. JCOPE has granted an extension to […]

On July 11, the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the ability to file client semi-annual reports and source of funding information through the online Lobbying Application for the 2019-2020 reporting period.

JCOPE has granted an extension to all clients to file the client reports until July 31.

The extension only applies to semiannual reports and source of funding disclosures; lobbyist bimonthly reports are still due on July 15.

JCOPE has also produced a guideline “How to Properly Disclose Lobbying Activities” on their website to assist proper disclosure.

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July 10, 2019 •

Georgia Governor Announces Special Election for House District 71

Georgia State Capitol Building

Gov. Brian Kemp announced a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 71 on September 3. The seat was vacated by the resignation of Rep. David Stover on June 25. Rep. Stover was facing an ethics complaint regarding […]

Gov. Brian Kemp announced a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 71 on September 3.

The seat was vacated by the resignation of Rep. David Stover on June 25.

Rep. Stover was facing an ethics complaint regarding his residency and resigned to spend more time with his wife in the United Kingdom.

The winner of the special election will complete Stover’s term until 2020.

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July 9, 2019 •

Virginia Special Session Adjourns Until After November Elections

Virginia Capitol Building - Ron Cogswell

The Virginia General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session. The session was called to consider stricter gun legislation in response to the Virginia Beach shootings on May 31. For the special session, Gov. Northam proposed eight bills. The Governors […]

The Virginia General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session.

The session was called to consider stricter gun legislation in response to the Virginia Beach shootings on May 31.

For the special session, Gov. Northam proposed eight bills.

The Governors bills included background checks on all firearm sales, a ban on dangerous weapons, and allowing only one handgun purchase a month.

Assembly leaders referred all of the governor’s bills to the state Crime Commission for a full review.

The General Assembly will reconvene November 18 to vote on the proposed bills.

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June 24, 2019 •

New York Legislature Adjourns Session

New York Capitol Building

The New York State Legislature adjourned on June 21. During the legislative session lawmakers passed a bill closing a limited liability company loophole regarding contribution limits. The bill limits annual political spending by an LLC to $5,000, the same limit […]

The New York State Legislature adjourned on June 21.

During the legislative session lawmakers passed a bill closing a limited liability company loophole regarding contribution limits.

The bill limits annual political spending by an LLC to $5,000, the same limit as corporations.

The Legislature also passed election reforms relating to early voting, creating a unified June primary for federal and local elections, and upgrading election technology.

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June 24, 2019 •

NY JCOPE Grants Extension for Filing Employer Reports

The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be enabling the ability to file client semiannual reports and source funding disclosures through the online Lobbying Application on July 8. Due to the short time frame of enabling the ability […]

The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be enabling the ability to file client semiannual reports and source funding disclosures through the online Lobbying Application on July 8.

Due to the short time frame of enabling the ability to file online and the statutory due date, JCOPE has granted an extension to submit client reports until July 31.

The extension only applies to semiannual reports and source of funding disclosures; lobbyist bimonthly reports are still due on July 15.

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June 7, 2019 •

Nassau County, New York Introduces Vendor Code of Ethics and Vendor Portal

Flag of Nassau County, NY

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran introduced a new vendor code of ethics and vendor portal for doing business with the county. The code of ethics addresses issues with gifts or contingent fees; employment negotiation restrictions during and after procurements; conflicts […]

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran introduced a new vendor code of ethics and vendor portal for doing business with the county.

The code of ethics addresses issues with gifts or contingent fees; employment negotiation restrictions during and after procurements; conflicts of interests; appearance by former county employees; and non-collusion.

The code applies to all county vendors, will be incorporated into all contracts, and will require prime vendors to distribute the terms of the code to all subcontractors.

The vendor portal allows for vendor and principal registration, viewing solicitations, integrity submissions, and other future functions for procurement activities.

In the upcoming days, the Offices of the County Executive and Chief Procurement Officer will post the vendor compliance presentation and code of ethics to the county website.

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