March 24, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Reconvened for Emergency Funding Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19. The emergency session […]

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency session is scheduled to last three legislative days.

There is no set date for when the 2020 legislative session will officially resume.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 23, 2020 •

Texas Postpones May Primary Runoff Elections in Response to COVID-19

Texas Capitol Building

Texas Capitol Building

Gov. Greg Abbot signed an order on March 20 to delay the May primary runoff elections until July in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19. Under the order, the May 26 primary runoff elections are now scheduled for July […]

Gov. Greg Abbot signed an order on March 20 to delay the May primary runoff elections until July in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19.

Under the order, the May 26 primary runoff elections are now scheduled for July 14.

July 14 is also the same day as the special election for Texas Senate District 14.

Early voting will begin July 6.

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March 20, 2020 •

Kansas Lawmakers Postpone Session Until Late April

Akransas State Capitol

Arkansas State Capitol

The House and Senate went into overdrive March 19 to complete deals on a new state budget and an updated 10-year highway program before vacating the Capitol until late April. Lawmakers agreed to set aside $50 million for unforeseen expenditures […]

The House and Senate went into overdrive March 19 to complete deals on a new state budget and an updated 10-year highway program before vacating the Capitol until late April.

Lawmakers agreed to set aside $50 million for unforeseen expenditures during the COVID-19 crisis.

Another $15 million was allocated for emergency preparedness operations tied to the virus.

Additionally, the House and Senate voted to send a comprehensive transportation bill of $9.7 billion to Gov. Laura Kelly.

This decadelong program for roads, bridges, railways, and airports would make a top priority of highway system preservation projects.

The Legislature is scheduled to return April 27 to adjust the state budget and take up other unfinished work on bills.

However, there is no guarantee the pandemic would allow the 165 legislators to congregate.

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March 20, 2020 •

Hawaii State Ethics Commission To Consider Lobbyist Filing Extension

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission will hold a special meeting on Friday, March 27, in response to COVID-19. Currently, lobbyist and employer activity reports are due on Tuesday, March 31, for the period of January 1 to February 29. Additionally, […]

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission will hold a special meeting on Friday, March 27, in response to COVID-19.

Currently, lobbyist and employer activity reports are due on Tuesday, March 31, for the period of January 1 to February 29.

Additionally, Commission members will consider issuing an order to extend the deadline to April 30.

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March 20, 2020 •

Nebraska Lawmakers Considering Brief Return to Approve Emergency Funding

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska lawmakers are likely to return to the Capitol on March 23 to approve emergency aid for state agencies that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer indicated he expects to decide whether to temporarily […]

Nebraska lawmakers are likely to return to the Capitol on March 23 to approve emergency aid for state agencies that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer indicated he expects to decide whether to temporarily resume the session.

The speaker held a legislative briefing with the Governor’s Office in the afternoon on March 20.

If lawmakers convene on March 23, they would also need to check in on March 24 and March 25 to fulfill the procedural requirements to approve the funding.

The emergency funding would be the only item on the legislative agenda.

Once it is approved, lawmakers would suspend the session again until further notice.

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March 20, 2020 •

New Mexico Governor Likely to Call Special Session

Governor Grisham

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated she is likely to call legislators to a special session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If called, the session would focus on revising a recently signed state budget, addressing public health needs, […]

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated she is likely to call legislators to a special session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If called, the session would focus on revising a recently signed state budget, addressing public health needs, and providing economic relief.

In a letter to legislators, Gov. Grisham said emergency federal aid needs to be established before state budget revisions can take place.

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March 20, 2020 •

Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Closes to the Public

Despite previous reports on March 17 that the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission will remain open, it is now closed to the public as of March 20. Commission staff are available remotely at (808) 586-0285 during regular business hours for assistance. […]

Despite previous reports on March 17 that the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission will remain open, it is now closed to the public as of March 20.

Commission staff are available remotely at (808) 586-0285 during regular business hours for assistance.

This does not affect noncandidate committee filing deadlines.

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March 19, 2020 •

Despite Capitol Shutdown, Colorado Lawmakers Are Considering COVID-19 Responses

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

Even with the Capitol closed and the legislative session suspended, Colorado lawmakers are working behind the scenes to craft legislation addressing COVID-19. Lawmakers are considering a pay hike for Colorado National Guard members activated in response to the spread of […]

Even with the Capitol closed and the legislative session suspended, Colorado lawmakers are working behind the scenes to craft legislation addressing COVID-19.

Lawmakers are considering a pay hike for Colorado National Guard members activated in response to the spread of the virus.

The Democratic majority in the House plans to prioritize continued downpayment of the debt owed to school districts.

Other conversations include how to provide immediate relief to businesses.

Industries eligible for relief include the retail and restaurant sectors, where most of the layoffs are occurring.

While the General Assembly temporarily recessed the legislative session to March 30, it is becoming increasingly unlikely the term will resume on that date.

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March 19, 2020 •

Texas Governor Encourages Local Governments to Postpone Uniform Election

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott - photo by

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation on March 18 allowing local governments the option to postpone the May 2 uniform election until November 3. If a local election is postponed until November, it will postpone Texas Ethics Commission filing […]

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation on March 18 allowing local governments the option to postpone the May 2 uniform election until November 3.

If a local election is postponed until November, it will postpone Texas Ethics Commission filing deadlines associated with that election.

However, if a political subdivision opts to hold local elections on May 2, the deadlines for campaign finance reports filed by candidates, officeholders, and PACs for races or measures on the May 2 ballots remain the same.

The Texas Ethics Commission does not have the statutory authority to extend these types of filing deadlines.

The 30-day pre-election report for the May 2 uniform election is due by April 2.

The eight-day pre-election report is due by April 24.

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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

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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