January 16, 2020 •

Hawaii Rep. Chris Lee Leaving House Seat for State Senate Run

After nearly 10 years in the state House, Rep. Chris Lee will not run for re-election for his House District 51 seat. Lee’s focus is now on the state Senate seat representing District 25. The Senate District 25 seat is […]

After nearly 10 years in the state House, Rep. Chris Lee will not run for re-election for his House District 51 seat.

Lee’s focus is now on the state Senate seat representing District 25.

The Senate District 25 seat is open because incumbent Laura Thielen is not seeking another term.

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January 16, 2020 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Increases Contribution Limits

Oklahoma Capitol Building

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adjusted the contribution limit that individuals may give to 2020 candidate committees and that state candidate committees may give to other state candidate committees. This contribution limit has increased from $2,700 to $2,800 per election. However, […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adjusted the contribution limit that individuals may give to 2020 candidate committees and that state candidate committees may give to other state candidate committees.

This contribution limit has increased from $2,700 to $2,800 per election.

However, candidate committees created for elections prior to 2020 keep the same contribution limit of $2,700.

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January 15, 2020 •

New Mexico Ethics Commission Begins Work for 2020

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

New Mexico’s new Ethics Commission opened its doors January 2 to complaints regarding campaign finance, government contracting, gifts from lobbyists, and more. Voters approved the creation of the Ethics Commission in a November 2018 referendum. The new Ethics Commission has […]

New Mexico’s new Ethics Commission opened its doors January 2 to complaints regarding campaign finance, government contracting, gifts from lobbyists, and more.

Voters approved the creation of the Ethics Commission in a November 2018 referendum.

The new Ethics Commission has the power to enforce the civil provisions of several governmental conduct and disclosure laws by imposing civil penalties and recommending disciplinary action, including impeachment.

Jeremy D. Farris is the first state Ethics Commission executive director.

Farris previously served as general counsel to New Mexico’s Department of Finance and Administration.

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January 14, 2020 •

New Mexico District 42 Rep. Sworn In

Taos Mayor Dan Barrone takes his oath of office for his new position as District 42 State Representative - Morgan Timms/Taos News

Mayor Dan Barrone took his official oath of office on January 4 for the District 42 seat in the New Mexico Legislature. After applying first for the District 6 Senate position, Barrone decided to put his name in the hat […]

Mayor Dan Barrone took his official oath of office on January 4 for the District 42 seat in the New Mexico Legislature.

After applying first for the District 6 Senate position, Barrone decided to put his name in the hat for representative after Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales vacated his seat to serve in the state Senate.

He will serve his term in the Legislature while still acting as the mayor for the town of Taos.

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January 14, 2020 •

Louisiana Superintendent of Education Resigns

John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education

John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, is officially vacating his position on March 11 after eight years. The announcement came just two days after Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee announced her resignation effective January 31, after four years […]

John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, is officially vacating his position on March 11 after eight years.

The announcement came just two days after Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee announced her resignation effective January 31, after four years of service.

The news of White and Gee comes ahead of the inauguration of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ second term.

Edwards and several other state officials were sworn in on January 13.

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January 14, 2020 •

Arizona County Assessor Resigns Amid Criminal Charges

The Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen officially resigned on January 7 amid criminal charges. Peterson’s resignation comes three months after he was charged with an international adoption fraud scheme. The county board of supervisors appointed longtime county administrator Bill Wiley […]

The Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen officially resigned on January 7 amid criminal charges.

Peterson’s resignation comes three months after he was charged with an international adoption fraud scheme.

The county board of supervisors appointed longtime county administrator Bill Wiley to oversee the Assessor’s Office.

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January 3, 2020 •

Colorado Secretary of State to Host Lobbyist Filing System Training

Colorado Capitol Building

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will conduct online training sessions to introduce the new lobbyist filing system enhancement. The new filing system is pursuant to the passage of legislation effective January 1, 2020. House Bill 1248 will require lobbyists […]

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will conduct online training sessions to introduce the new lobbyist filing system enhancement.

The new filing system is pursuant to the passage of legislation effective January 1, 2020.

House Bill 1248 will require lobbyists to file notification of any new positions or position changes on new or existing legislation within 72 hours of that change.

Secretary of state staff will be available to walk through the technical aspects of how to file the new disclosure in the online system.

There will be two separate online training sessions. The first training will take place on January 6, 2020, at 9 a.m.

The second training will take place on January 7, 2020, at 11 a.m.

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December 20, 2019 •

Michigan Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Michigan State Capitol

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session. During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the […]

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session.

During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the legislature to a different purpose than the one originally specified.

The legislature also voted to pass a bill to exempt equipment owned by a data center business from local special assessment levies, and some school property tax levies.

Per the state constitution, any business, bill, or joint resolution pending at the final adjournment of a regular session held in an odd-numbered year will carry over with the same status to the next regular session.

The 2020 session is scheduled to begin on January 8, 2020.

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December 19, 2019 •

Utah Lawmakers Adjourn Special Session, Pass Tax, Health Bills

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

The Utah Legislature approved a sweeping tax-change bill during the one-day special session on December 12. The bill cuts state income taxes and hikes the sales tax on food, gas, and a list of other services. The tax bill did […]

The Utah Legislature approved a sweeping tax-change bill during the one-day special session on December 12.

The bill cuts state income taxes and hikes the sales tax on food, gas, and a list of other services.

The tax bill did not reach a two-thirds majority in either the House or Senate, subjecting it to challenge by a citizen referendum on December 16.

In order to qualify, the referendum must collect more than 115,869 validated signatures across the state by January 21.

Lawmakers also passed a bill to fund behavioral health services, moving $3.9 million from unused appropriations to provide health treatment.

The behavioral health bill passed with no opposition.

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December 19, 2019 •

Chicago Passes Lobbying Restrictions

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

Chicago City Council voted to pass a lobbying ordinance on December 18. The ordinance prohibits city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients. Ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois […]

Chicago City Council voted to pass a lobbying ordinance on December 18.

The ordinance prohibits city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients.

Ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois from lobbying on behalf of private clients in Chicago.

In both circumstances, the ordinance carves out an exception for elected officials who are attorneys providing legal representation in certain administrative or legislative actions.

Ordinance 2019-8541 will become effective 90 days after passage and publication.

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December 18, 2019 •

Illinois Lobbyist Registration Delayed Until January 6

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Office of the Secretary of State released a notice on December 17 that registration of lobbyists and lobbying entities will be delayed until January 6, 2020. The delay is due to the programming required to implement the registration changes […]

The Office of the Secretary of State released a notice on December 17 that registration of lobbyists and lobbying entities will be delayed until January 6, 2020.

The delay is due to the programming required to implement the registration changes required by Senate Bill 1639, which passed during the veto session in November.

Senate Bill 1639 requires lobbying entities to report if they are registered or expect to be required to register to lobby a unit of local government.

Additionally, the lobbying entity must disclose the name of the unit of local government.

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December 13, 2019 •

Appeals Court Tosses Tennessee Nonpartisan PAC Contribution Blackout

Tennessee Capitol Building - Ichabod

On December 12, an appeals court found Tennessee laws barring nonpartisan PACs from donating to candidates within 10 days of an election violate the state constitution and cannot stand. The ruling from the Tennessee Court of Appeals reinforces an earlier […]

On December 12, an appeals court found Tennessee laws barring nonpartisan PACs from donating to candidates within 10 days of an election violate the state constitution and cannot stand.

The ruling from the Tennessee Court of Appeals reinforces an earlier judgment from Nashville Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle and will end the donation restriction facing nonpartisan PACs.

State campaign finance laws had created a 10-day blackout period when such PACs couldn’t give to a candidate, but PACs controlled by a political party could.

The group Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws argued that the law created a double standard that unfairly penalized nonpartisan groups while giving political parties an advantage.

The Court of Appeals agreed with that argument, ruling against the state.

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December 12, 2019 •

Ohio Accepts Electronic Payment for Registration Renewals

Ohio Statehouse

For the first time, the Ohio Lobbying Activity Center (OLAC) will accept electronic payment for registration renewals, meaning lobbyists who pay electronically will not have to print and mail anything to OLAC. A lobbyist may pay individually, by client, or […]

For the first time, the Ohio Lobbying Activity Center (OLAC) will accept electronic payment for registration renewals, meaning lobbyists who pay electronically will not have to print and mail anything to OLAC.

A lobbyist may pay individually, by client, or simply by selecting the “add all pending items to cart” from the agent homepage and pay for renewals at one time.

Lobbyists may begin renewing registrations for executive and retirement engagements in OLAC on December 1. Legislative registrations do not expire until December 31, 2020.

The renewal option closes on January 15, 2020. Registrations submitted after this date will require a signature page signed by both the lobbyist and the employer.

For lobbyists who wish to still pay by check, the Office of the Legislative Inspector General must receive an invoice and filing fee no later than January 31 for each 2020 engagement.

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December 11, 2019 •

Chicago City Council Passes Lobbyist Restrictions

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Chicago City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously passed a proposal on December 4 to prohibit city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients. Proposed ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes […]

The Chicago City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously passed a proposal on December 4 to prohibit city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients.

Proposed ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois from lobbying on behalf of private clients in Chicago.

In both circumstances, the proposed ordinance carves out an exception for elected officials who are attorneys providing legal representation in certain administrative or legislative actions.

The proposal will be presented for a vote on December 18.

If approved, the ordinance would take effect 90 days after passage and publication.

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