December 9, 2019 •

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Signs Lobbyist Disclosure Bill

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker - Chi Hack Night

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill on December 5 requiring increased disclosure from lobbyists. Senate Bill 1639 provides that lobbyist registration must include each unit of local government for which the registrant is or expects to be required to register […]

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill on December 5 requiring increased disclosure from lobbyists.

Senate Bill 1639 provides that lobbyist registration must include each unit of local government for which the registrant is or expects to be required to register to lobby, as well as each elected or appointed public office to be held by the registrant at any time during the registration period.

The bill also requires the secretary of state to create a combined online database for lobbyist disclosures, campaign contributions, and public officials’ annual statements of economic interest.

Senate Bill 1639 became effective when signed.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 15, 2019 •

Colorado Secretary of State Hosts Lobbyist Rulemaking Hearing

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office hosted a proposed rulemaking hearing on November 15 concerning lobbyist regulations. The hearing included reviewing new rules to prescribe the proper use of the electronic filing system maintained by the secretary of state. Additionally […]

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office hosted a proposed rulemaking hearing on November 15 concerning lobbyist regulations.

The hearing included reviewing new rules to prescribe the proper use of the electronic filing system maintained by the secretary of state.

Additionally reviewed were amendments concerning new client disclosure and disclosure requirements during the session.

Separately, the secretary of state’s lobbyist program is developing a policy manual for lobbyists.

More details regarding the manual will become available upon conclusion of the rulemaking proceeding.

The hearing began at 1 p.m. and concluded at the end of public comment.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 15, 2019 •

Illinois Former Gaming Board Chairman Sues Ethics Commission

The former chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board filed suit against the state Executive Ethics Commission. The commission found that he engaged in unlawful political activity while a board member. The former chairman argued that state law does not bar […]

The former chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board filed suit against the state Executive Ethics Commission.

The commission found that he engaged in unlawful political activity while a board member.

The former chairman argued that state law does not bar contributions by members of state boards and that any such ban on contributions is a violation of the First Amendment.

The investigation began when the chairman contributed to a candidate for state senate and his spouse signed the check.

The Inspector General deemed suspicious 30 other instances of political donations and campaign contributions made while the chairman was on the gaming board.

While acknowledging that spouses of gaming board members are permitted to make contributions, the inspector general looked to the spouse’s history of contributing and to the number of contributions that were to the same committees her husband previously supported.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 15, 2019 •

Illinois Lawmakers Adjourn Veto Session, Approve Lobbying Measures

Illinois State Capitol Building

Lawmakers concluded the fall veto session on November 14. The legislature approved Senate Bill 1639 to require state lobbyists to disclose more information to the public. Additionally, the bill creates a combined online database for information on lobbyists, campaign contributions, […]

Lawmakers concluded the fall veto session on November 14.

The legislature approved Senate Bill 1639 to require state lobbyists to disclose more information to the public.

Additionally, the bill creates a combined online database for information on lobbyists, campaign contributions, and public officials’ annual statements of economic interest.

An approved companion measure, House Joint Resolution 93, creates a 16-member commission to recommend additional changes to the ethics laws.

Among other changes, House Joint Resolution 93 would require state lobbyists to disclose any unit of local government that they lobby and any elected or appointed office they hold.

The proposal came on the final day of the veto session, which began in late October as then state Rep. Luis Arroyo was being charged in federal court in Chicago with bribing a state senator to support sweepstakes gambling legislation that would have benefited one of Arroyo’s City Hall lobbying clients.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who called for lawmakers to take up ethics legislation this week following the criminal charge against Arroyo, praised the measures as an important first step to increasing transparency.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 7, 2019 •

Illinois State Rep. Resigns After Federal Bribery Charge

Former Rep. Luis Arroyo

Former Rep. Luis Arroyo resigned from House District 3 on November 1 after facing a federal bribery charge. Prosecutors said Arroyo allegedly paid a bribe to a state senator in exchange for support of a gambling bill which would have […]

Former Rep. Luis Arroyo resigned from House District 3 on November 1 after facing a federal bribery charge.

Prosecutors said Arroyo allegedly paid a bribe to a state senator in exchange for support of a gambling bill which would have benefited one of Arroyo’s clients.

The state constitution requires the seat to be filled by appointment within 30 days of the vacancy.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 7, 2019 •

Ohio Gov. Signs Bill Restoring Tax Exemption for Attorneys

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 26 into law on November 6, repealing a state budget amendment that would have caused many Ohio attorneys to pay higher income taxes beginning in 2020. Under Senate Bill 26, attorneys who derive their […]

Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 26 into law on November 6, repealing a state budget amendment that would have caused many Ohio attorneys to pay higher income taxes beginning in 2020.

Under Senate Bill 26, attorneys who derive their income from entities such as LLCs and LLPs qualify to pay no tax on the first $250,000 of income and will pay a flat 3 percent tax rate on income above that threshold.

Senate Bill 26 also allows educators to claim an income tax deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 5, 2019 •

Federal Appeals Court Rules Volunteers are Not Lobbyists

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

A law requiring a person designated by a nonprofit organization to register as a lobbyist for attempting to influence legislative activities was ruled unconstitutional on November 1. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit in Calzone v. Summers […]

A law requiring a person designated by a nonprofit organization to register as a lobbyist for attempting to influence legislative activities was ruled unconstitutional on November 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit in Calzone v. Summers held the state cannot require a person who engages in political activities that do not involve the transfer of money or anything of value to register as a lobbyist.

The court reasoned that people who neither spend nor receive money in connection with their advocacy do not lose their First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances simply by speaking through an organization that shares their perspective.

The Missouri Ethics Commission may choose to appeal to the United States Supreme Court, which has not heard a lobbyist registration case since 1954.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 5, 2019 •

Maine Harassment Prevention Training Times Available

Maine Capitol Building

The annual lobbyist harassment prevention training in Maine for 2020 is now available. December training will be held in State House Room 127 Taxation in Augusta. Training in January, February, and March will be held at the State House Complex. […]

The annual lobbyist harassment prevention training in Maine for 2020 is now available.

December training will be held in State House Room 127 Taxation in Augusta.

Training in January, February, and March will be held at the State House Complex.

The locations for the training will be emailed the week prior to the event.

Free registration is available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harassment-prevention-training-for-lobbyists-tickets-63813406617.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 31, 2019 •

Illinois Lawmakers Convene for Veto Session

Illinois State Capitol Building

Lawmakers are back in Springfield for a six-day abbreviated veto session to address major laws passed earlier this year. The veto session convened October 28 through October 30, and reconvenes from November 12 through November 14. The veto session agenda […]

Lawmakers are back in Springfield for a six-day abbreviated veto session to address major laws passed earlier this year.

The veto session convened October 28 through October 30, and reconvenes from November 12 through November 14.

The veto session agenda includes reviewing video gambling, marijuana, and vaping legislation.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 31, 2019 •

Wisconsin Calls Special Session on Gun Control

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Gov. Tony Evers called for the Legislature to convene in a special session on November 7 to vote on gun control legislation. The bills require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state. The legislation would also implement […]

Gov. Tony Evers called for the Legislature to convene in a special session on November 7 to vote on gun control legislation.

The bills require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.

The legislation would also implement red-flag laws requiring people perceived as threats to surrender their firearms.

The impact of a special session may be limited, as lawmakers plan to convene and then immediately adjourn the special session on the same day without voting on the proposals.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 21, 2019 •

Recall Efforts Against Colorado Senator Deemed Insufficient

Senator Leroy Garcia

Recall efforts against Colorado Sen. President Leroy Garcia of Senate District 3 failed on October 18. The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office deemed the petition insufficient after proponents of Garcia’s recall submitted four petition signatures to the […]

Recall efforts against Colorado Sen. President Leroy Garcia of Senate District 3 failed on October 18.

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office deemed the petition insufficient after proponents of Garcia’s recall submitted four petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The petition needed 13,506 signatures to recall Garcia.

Garcia was targeted for recall after voting for a bill to restrict oil and gas production in the state.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 16, 2019 •

Puerto Rico Department of Justice Releases Lobbyist Registry

The Puerto Rico Department of Justice released a lobbyist registry on its website, as required by Executive Order 2019-031, to establish a code of transparency for all agency heads in the executive branch. The lobbyist registry is part of an […]

The Puerto Rico Department of Justice released a lobbyist registry on its website, as required by Executive Order 2019-031, to establish a code of transparency for all agency heads in the executive branch.

The lobbyist registry is part of an automatic slideshow on the main page of the Department of Justice site.

There are two separate links: one to conduct a search in the registry and the other for lobbyists to register.

However, lobbyists have not yet been featured on the registry webpage.

The Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service and the Department of Justice indicated they are working to publish the content.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 15, 2019 •

Tennessee Calls Special Election for House District 77

Tennessee Capitol Building - Ichabod

A special election will take place on December 19 to fill a vacancy in House District 77. Former Rep. Bill Sanderson cited family and business demands in his resignation. The Obion County Commission appointed Casey Hood to serve as an […]

A special election will take place on December 19 to fill a vacancy in House District 77.

Former Rep. Bill Sanderson cited family and business demands in his resignation.

The Obion County Commission appointed Casey Hood to serve as an interim representative until the special election is held.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 14, 2019 •

Ohio Passes Bill Restoring Tax Exemption for Attorneys, Lobbyists

Ohio Statehouse

The House passed legislation on October 10 to reverse the state budget bill, restoring a business tax exemption for attorneys and lobbyists. Senate Bill 26 was originally introduced to allow educators to claim an income tax deduction for out-of-pocket classroom […]

The House passed legislation on October 10 to reverse the state budget bill, restoring a business tax exemption for attorneys and lobbyists.

Senate Bill 26 was originally introduced to allow educators to claim an income tax deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

The House Finance Committee approved amendments to restore the deduction for attorneys and lobbyists excluded in the two-year state operating bill tax policy of House Bill 166.

Since 2013, the state business income deduction (BID) has allowed those deriving income from any pass-through entity (e.g., LLCs, LLPs) to pay no tax on the first $250,000 of income and a flat 3% on any income above the threshold.

House Bill 166 excluded otherwise eligible income from legal services provided by an attorney or income from legislative, executive agency, or retirement system lobbying activity beginning in 2020.

Senate Bill 26 has been re-referred to the Senate for final approval.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close