March 18, 2020 •

Emergency Order Extends Austin Lobbyist Quarterly Reporting Deadline

Austin City Hall - by Carol M. Highsmith

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Mayor Steve Adler signed an emergency order on March 17. The order suspends all deadlines imposed by city code, ordinance, rule, or other regulation until May 1. Under Section 7 of the order, […]

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Mayor Steve Adler signed an emergency order on March 17.

The order suspends all deadlines imposed by city code, ordinance, rule, or other regulation until May 1.

Under Section 7 of the order, the deadline for all lobbyist quarterly activity reports has been extended to May 1.

No late fees will be accrued for failure to file prior to May 1.

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March 18, 2020 •

Hawaii Ethics Commission Postpones March 19 Administrative Rule Hearing

Honolulu Skyline - Chris Dickey

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission has postponed its public hearing on proposed administrative rules concerning amendments to state lobbying and gift laws scheduled for March 19. While a new date has not been established, the ethics […]

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission has postponed its public hearing on proposed administrative rules concerning amendments to state lobbying and gift laws scheduled for March 19.

While a new date has not been established, the ethics commission indicated the public hearing will likely take place in early May.

The proposals include:

    • Clarifications as to what activities constitute lobbying
    • Exclusions from lobbyist registration requirements
    • Requirements that expenditures be reported on an accrual rather than cash basis

Additionally, the proposals amend prohibitions on certain kinds of gifts, valuation of gifts, and gift disclosure statements.

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March 18, 2020 •

Puerto Rico Postpones Presidential Primary, Special Election

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

The Puerto Rico Democratic presidential primary and special election to fill the seat of former Sen. Larry Seilhamer Rodriguez will be postponed. The elections will be postponed until April 26 in response to concerns of COVID-19. Rodriguez resigned from Senate […]

The Puerto Rico Democratic presidential primary and special election to fill the seat of former Sen. Larry Seilhamer Rodriguez will be postponed.

The elections will be postponed until April 26 in response to concerns of COVID-19.

Rodriguez resigned from Senate District 5 effective January 15, citing his desire to spend more time with family.

If the emergency caused by COVID-19 continues until April 26, the president of the State Election Commission and the president of the Democratic Party in Puerto Rico may choose an alternate date.

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March 17, 2020 •

Arkansas Lawmakers Suspend Legislative Council Meetings

Akransas State Capitol

Arkansas State Capitol

On March 17, Arkansas legislative leaders announced a suspension of the Arkansas Legislative Council meetings. Specifically, this will affect the meetings scheduled for March 18 and March 19. The decision to suspend the meetings until further notice follows the latest […]

On March 17, Arkansas legislative leaders announced a suspension of the Arkansas Legislative Council meetings.

Specifically, this will affect the meetings scheduled for March 18 and March 19.

The decision to suspend the meetings until further notice follows the latest guidance regarding COVID-19.

House and Senate leadership continue to review contingency plans for this year’s regular session scheduled to begin April 8.

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March 17, 2020 •

Colorado Secretary of State’s Office Suspends In-Person Services

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will suspend all in-person services beginning March 18. The suspension will continue until further notice to protect employees and customers from the spread of COVID-19. The office call center will be operated remotely for […]

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will suspend all in-person services beginning March 18.

The suspension will continue until further notice to protect employees and customers from the spread of COVID-19.

The office call center will be operated remotely for all divisions, including business and licensing, charities, and elections.

Individuals seeking to file paper documents at the office may now submit those documents via a drop-box.

The box will be placed outside the office’s waiting area during business hours.

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March 17, 2020 •

Texas Governor Postpones Senate District 14 Special Election

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbot has postponed the special election for the Austin area Texas Senate District 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The election will replace retiring state Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat leaving office at the end of April. […]

Gov. Greg Abbot has postponed the special election for the Austin area Texas Senate District 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The election will replace retiring state Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat leaving office at the end of April.

The election has been moved from May 2 to July 14.

It is unclear whether additional action will be taken to delay municipal elections across the state, which are scheduled for May 2.

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March 17, 2020 •

Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Operating, Taking Precautions Against COVID-19

Honolulu Skyline - Chris Dickey

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission is fully operational and has implemented preventative measures in line with COVID-19 precautions. Staff are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Hawaii State Department of Health on the […]

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission is fully operational and has implemented preventative measures in line with COVID-19 precautions.

Staff are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Hawaii State Department of Health on the importance of hygiene etiquette.

The Campaign Spending Commission remains committed to maintaining the integrity and transparency of campaign finance in the 2020 election.

As such, noncandidate committee reports will still need to be timely filed.

Additionally, contact information should be up to date in each organizational report.

To check the status of an organizational report, log in to the noncandidate Filing System.

After logging in, click on “Edit Organizational Report” under the Administration tab.

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March 17, 2020 •

Hawaii Lawmakers Recess Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Hawaii Capitol Building

The House and Senate leadership announced on March 16 that the 60-day legislative session is going into an immediate recess expected to last eight weeks. Legislators are following the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The […]

The House and Senate leadership announced on March 16 that the 60-day legislative session is going into an immediate recess expected to last eight weeks.

Legislators are following the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The guidelines urge the public to refrain from gathering in groups of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The session will resume where it left off subject to the call of Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

Lousiana Legislature Suspends Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

On March 16, the Louisiana Legislature was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. The suspension is scheduled to be in effect until 11 a.m. on March 31. Per the constitution, the legislature is still scheduled to adjourn sine die on June […]

On March 16, the Louisiana Legislature was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

The suspension is scheduled to be in effect until 11 a.m. on March 31.

Per the constitution, the legislature is still scheduled to adjourn sine die on June 1.

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March 16, 2020 •

Colorado Adjourns Until March 30 Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

State lawmakers voted on March 14 to suspend the Colorado legislature for two weeks over concerns about the coronavirus. The decision comes after Gov. Jared Polis issued guidance against gatherings of more than 250 people. The General Assembly, which began […]

State lawmakers voted on March 14 to suspend the Colorado legislature for two weeks over concerns about the coronavirus.

The decision comes after Gov. Jared Polis issued guidance against gatherings of more than 250 people.

The General Assembly, which began its session on January 8, will adjourn until March 30 in the interest of public health.

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March 16, 2020 •

Nebraska Suspends Legislative Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature announced on March 16 that it will temporarily suspend its legislative session due to growing concerns about COVID-19. The Legislature will not meet as scheduled March 17 and will remain suspended until reconvened by the speaker’s office. […]

The Nebraska Legislature announced on March 16 that it will temporarily suspend its legislative session due to growing concerns about COVID-19.

The Legislature will not meet as scheduled March 17 and will remain suspended until reconvened by the speaker’s office.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

Puerto Rico Considers Unpaid Emergency Leave for Private Sector Employees

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

House legislators approved a bill to establish a new unpaid emergency leave of 20 days for employees with a suspected or actual diagnosis of a pandemic illness. House Bill 2428 seeks to amend Puerto Rico Law 180-1998. This establishes paid […]

House legislators approved a bill to establish a new unpaid emergency leave of 20 days for employees with a suspected or actual diagnosis of a pandemic illness.

House Bill 2428 seeks to amend Puerto Rico Law 180-1998.

This establishes paid sick and vacation leave benefits to some private sector employees, excluding employees classified as executives, administrators, and professionals, among others.

If the bill is enacted, employees who are sick or suspected of being sick as a result of a pandemic illness during a state of emergency must first use any accrued sick leave.

Once accrued sick leave is exhausted, employees may use accrued vacation leave to receive pay during any absence.

The bill also allows employees to use the unpaid emergency leave before using accrued vacation leave.

House Bill 2428 is before the Puerto Rico Senate for consideration.

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March 16, 2020 •

Louisiana Prepares Spending Package for Coronavirus Concerns

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers plan to create a contingency package of spending bills in case coronavirus concerns threaten to derail the session. Under the constitution, the legislature is required to pass a balanced budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30. […]

Louisiana lawmakers plan to create a contingency package of spending bills in case coronavirus concerns threaten to derail the session.

Under the constitution, the legislature is required to pass a balanced budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Ordinarily, legislators don’t pass a state budget until the final hours of the session, which must end this year by June 1.

The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference has not yet settled on an official revenue projection.

The purpose of the projection is to dictate how much a lawmaker may spend.

Both the House and Senate remain on schedule to debate the budget and all other legislation.

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March 16, 2020 •

Oklahoma Lawmakers to Hold Meeting on Coronavirus

Oklahoma Capitol Building

Members of the Oklahoma Legislature will meet in a special closed-door meeting March 16 to discuss the impact of the coronavirus in the state. Republicans and Democrats will meet with state health officials to discuss the following: State services What […]

Members of the Oklahoma Legislature will meet in a special closed-door meeting March 16 to discuss the impact of the coronavirus in the state.

Republicans and Democrats will meet with state health officials to discuss the following:

    • State services
    • What other states are doing to curtail the spread of the virus
    • The future of the legislative session

Additionally, if the legislative session is suspended, Gov. Kevin Stitt may call lawmakers back into session at a later date.

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