March 17, 2020 •

Maine Legislature Announces Suspension of Legislative Session

Maine Capitol Building

Due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19, the Maine Legislature will suspend the legislative session on Tuesday, March 17. Lawmakers will meet to consider bills relating to the supplemental budget and legislation regarding coronavirus response before adjourning. Currently, the scheduled suspension […]

Due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19, the Maine Legislature will suspend the legislative session on Tuesday, March 17.

Lawmakers will meet to consider bills relating to the supplemental budget and legislation regarding coronavirus response before adjourning.

Currently, the scheduled suspension is indefinite and no timeframe to reconvene lawmakers has been announced.

Until March 30, the State House will only be open to legislators, staff, and members of the press.

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March 17, 2020 •

Maine Governor Signs Bill Clarifying Lobbyist Reporting Requirements

Maine Governor Janet Mills

On March 12, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document 1867 clarifying lobbyist reporting and registration requirements. The bill requires lobbyists to file a separate report for expenditures totaling over $300 in a calendar month. Expenditures include those made […]

On March 12, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document 1867 clarifying lobbyist reporting and registration requirements.

The bill requires lobbyists to file a separate report for expenditures totaling over $300 in a calendar month.

Expenditures include those made to or on behalf of covered officials by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm without reimbursement from an employer.

Legislative Document 1867 also defines a lobbying firm as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company or unincorporated association that employs or contracts with more than one lobbyist or lobbyist associate.

Additionally, the firm receives or is entitled to receive compensation for engaging in lobbying either directly or through its employees.

The bill also expands the annual harassment training to include lobbyist associates.

Legislative Document 1867 is effective December 1, 2020.

 

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March 16, 2020 •

New Hampshire Legislature Suspends Legislative Activities

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the General Court is suspending all legislative activities for at least one week. The legislature will be closed from March 16 to March 20. The State House will be closed to legislative members, staff, […]

Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the General Court is suspending all legislative activities for at least one week.

The legislature will be closed from March 16 to March 20.

The State House will be closed to legislative members, staff, and visitors but remains open for governmental operations until further notice.

This closure does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

New York Legislature Postpones Session

New York State Capitol

NY State Capitol - by formulanone

On March 16, the Legislature announced the postponement of the session until later this week due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Lawmakers hope to resume the session on Wednesday to take action on coronavirus legislation and the state budget. This will […]

On March 16, the Legislature announced the postponement of the session until later this week due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Lawmakers hope to resume the session on Wednesday to take action on coronavirus legislation and the state budget.

This will not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

Vermont Legislature Adjourns Until March 24

Vermont Capitol Building

On March 13, the Legislature adjourned until Tuesday, March 24, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The State House will be closed for cleaning and all staff except essential security and IT personnel will work remotely. Legislative leaders will reevaluate whether […]

On March 13, the Legislature adjourned until Tuesday, March 24, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The State House will be closed for cleaning and all staff except essential security and IT personnel will work remotely.

Legislative leaders will reevaluate whether to extend the break after the one-week closure.

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March 13, 2020 •

New York Judge Strikes Down Campaign Finance Reform Commission Recommendations

Niagra County Courthouse - by Pubdog

On March 12, Niagara County Supreme Court Judge Boniello struck down changes to the state’s election laws recommended by the Campaign Finance Reform Commission. The commission’s recommendations included the creation of a voluntary public campaign finance system. Additionally, it recommended […]

On March 12, Niagara County Supreme Court Judge Boniello struck down changes to the state’s election laws recommended by the Campaign Finance Reform Commission.

The commission’s recommendations included the creation of a voluntary public campaign finance system.

Additionally, it recommended setting new contribution limits to candidates for state public office.

The court found the Legislature improperly delegated legislative action powers to the commission, which is a function reserved solely to the Legislature under the state’s constitution.

The court noted the recommendations of the commission did not follow proper procedure as mandated by the constitution.

Historically, this is followed by lawmakers when it became law without further action by the Legislature.

After the ruling, lawmakers may accept and pass the commission’s recommendations into law by statute.

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March 13, 2020 •

Delaware Lawmakers Postpone Legislative Session

Delaware Capitol

Delaware Capitol Building

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the Delaware General Assembly has postponed the legislative session for one week until March 24. Lawmakers were originally expected to return next week to discuss the state budget. Starting today, the Capitol building will be […]

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the Delaware General Assembly has postponed the legislative session for one week until March 24.

Lawmakers were originally expected to return next week to discuss the state budget.

Starting today, the Capitol building will be closed to the public including tours and official meetings.

Legislators will reevaluate how to manage the rest of the legislative session on a weekly basis.

The closure does not affect any lobbyist reporting.

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March 13, 2020 •

New York JCOPE Announces Accommodations for COVID-19

New York Capitol

New York Capitol Building

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced their policy on COVID-19 and lobbying filings. Upon request, JCOPE will grant reasonable extensions to filers who may not be able to meet the upcoming filing deadline due to […]

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced their policy on COVID-19 and lobbying filings.

Upon request, JCOPE will grant reasonable extensions to filers who may not be able to meet the upcoming filing deadline due to a COVID-19 issue.

If a filer misses the deadline due to COVID-19 related issues, please contact the JCOPE help desk at:

Please contact as soon as possible to discuss a reasonable accommodation.

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March 12, 2020 •

Connecticut Governor Declares State of Emergency In Response to Coronavirus

Connecticut State Capitol

On March 11, Gov. Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency and civil preparedness emergency in effect through September 9, unless terminated earlier. Legislative leaders also announced the closure of the Capitol complex. Additionally, meetings for Thursday, March 12, through […]

On March 11, Gov. Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency and civil preparedness emergency in effect through September 9, unless terminated earlier.

Legislative leaders also announced the closure of the Capitol complex.

Additionally, meetings for Thursday, March 12, through Sunday, March 15, are canceled.

The closure allows the Capitol and Legislative Office Building to be cleaned due to concerns with the coronavirus.

The General Assembly will return to Hartford on Monday, March 16, to reschedule the canceled meetings.

They will also discuss legislation proposed by the governor for an emergency relief package, and to prevent price-gouging during times of emergencies.

The closure does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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February 26, 2020 •

Massachusetts State Rep. David Nangle Announces Resignation After Federal Indictment

Massachusetts Capitol Building

On February 19, State Rep. David Nangle announced his resignation from Middlesex District 17. Rep. Nangle was arrested by the FBI and the IRS on federal charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and making false statements […]

On February 19, State Rep. David Nangle announced his resignation from Middlesex District 17.

Rep. Nangle was arrested by the FBI and the IRS on federal charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and making false statements to a bank.

Nangle was indicted for using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, defraud his bank lender, and collect income he did not report to the IRS.

A date to conduct a special election will be announced to fill the vacancy.

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February 26, 2020 •

Vermont State Rep. Matt Trieber Resigns

Vermont Capitol Building

On February 14, State Rep. Matt Trieber announced his resignation from the Windham-3 District. Trieber resigned his legislative seat to focus on his job as a youth counselor. Gov. Phil Scott will appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy from […]

On February 14, State Rep. Matt Trieber announced his resignation from the Windham-3 District.

Trieber resigned his legislative seat to focus on his job as a youth counselor.

Gov. Phil Scott will appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy from the same party as the departing representative.

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February 21, 2020 •

New Jersey Governor Proposes Ethics and Transparency Reforms

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

On February 19, Gov. Murphy released a legislative package of Ethics and Transparency Reforms. The legislative package contains five bills with the aim to strengthen restrictions on lobbying, enhance financial disclosures, and increase public access. The lobbying bill requires lobbying […]

On February 19, Gov. Murphy released a legislative package of Ethics and Transparency Reforms.

The legislative package contains five bills with the aim to strengthen restrictions on lobbying, enhance financial disclosures, and increase public access.

The lobbying bill requires lobbying firms and companies to disclose when a person or firm is hired to provide professional services other than lobbying.

Additionally, the bill reduces the registration threshold from 20 hours of lobbying to one hour per calendar year.

The bill will prohibit legislators and their staff from accepting any gift related to their public duties.

Furthermore, the bill aligns the gift rules to the same standard currently governing executive branch employees.

The legislative package also extends the one-year cooling off period for the governor, cabinet, and legislators to two years before being able to register as lobbyists.

Gov. Murphy also introduced a bill to increase transparency and requires bills or resolutions not to be voted on unless their final form has been publicly available for 72 hours on the Legislature’s website.

The governor is also expected to issue other executive actions regarding requirements for those that do business with the state.

The bill proposals were sent to Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin for review.

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February 12, 2020 •

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Stop Revolving Door

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

On February 3, State Representative Melissa Shusterman introduced a bill amending the revolving door provision. The bill requires public officials to wait one year after their term of office before lobbying. House Bill 2263 establishes a lifetime ban for public […]

On February 3, State Representative Melissa Shusterman introduced a bill amending the revolving door provision.

The bill requires public officials to wait one year after their term of office before lobbying.

House Bill 2263 establishes a lifetime ban for public officials from lobbying the governmental body they were associated with.

The bill also increases the waiting period for former public employees from one to two years.

If passed, this act takes effect in 60 days after enactment.

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February 11, 2020 •

New Jersey Introduces Local Lobbying Disclosure Bill

New Jersey Capitol Building

On February 3, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly establishing the Local Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act. Assembly Bill 2432 extends the same disclosure, reporting, and other requirements that govern the activities of governmental affairs agents to […]

On February 3, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly establishing the Local Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act.

Assembly Bill 2432 extends the same disclosure, reporting, and other requirements that govern the activities of governmental affairs agents to their activities with respect to all local government levels.

If passed, this act takes effect immediately.

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