December 18, 2018 •

Special Session Called in Kentucky

Governor Bevin called a special session to find a resolution to the public employee pension plan. Two bills were introduced to reform the current plan. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last week that a pension law passed last session was […]

Governor Bevin called a special session to find a resolution to the public employee pension plan. Two bills were introduced to reform the current plan.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last week that a pension law passed last session was unconstitutional because it was passed improperly.

The Governor needs only 51 votes to pass a bill in special session compared to the 60 he would need in the regular session convening in two weeks.

The special session must last for at least five days.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 13, 2018 •

Lawmakers Pass a Return to 2016 State Board of Elections Structure

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill to return the administration of elections, ethics, and lobbying regulations to the 2016 structure. Voters defeated a constitutional amendment in November to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, […]

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill to return the administration of elections, ethics, and lobbying regulations to the 2016 structure.

Voters defeated a constitutional amendment in November to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, which would have kept the current structure in place.

An additional provision in the bill requires re-elections when the result of an election is investigated. This would require refiling and participation in a primary and not merely a runoff.

Passage of the voter ID law would not impact any possible 2018 re-election.

The bill further addresses absentee-by-mail ballots which are the topic of the current 9th District board of elections investigation.

The bill now awaits Governor Roy Cooper’s approval.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 7, 2018 •

Portland Mayor Enacts Voter Approved Campaign Finance Measure

Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted to City Council a proclamation stating the recently passed campaign finance ballot measure is enacted and in effect. The Honest Elections City of Portland Charter Amendment prohibits corporate contributions and limits contributions from individuals and committees […]

Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted to City Council a proclamation stating the recently passed campaign finance ballot measure is enacted and in effect.

The Honest Elections City of Portland Charter Amendment prohibits corporate contributions and limits contributions from individuals and committees to $500 per election cycle.

The measure also caps independent expenditures and is likely to face legal challenge.

City Council is expected to submit the measure to the local circuit court for validation early next year.

In 1997, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down statewide campaign finance limits as a violation of free speech protection outlined by the Oregon Constitution.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 5, 2018 •

D.C. Campaign Finance Bill Passes Second Vote

The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill in a second full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent […]

The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill in a second full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to-play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

Provided the mayor approves the legislation, the act of the council travels to Congress for a 30-day review. If approved and funded, the bill would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 29, 2018 •

Alaska Law on Out-of-State Contributions Found Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Alaska law regulating the annual aggregate limit on campaign contributions from nonresidents of Alaska is unconstitutional. Two members of the three-judge panel found the nonresident limit does not meet an important […]

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Alaska law regulating the annual aggregate limit on campaign contributions from nonresidents of Alaska is unconstitutional.

Two members of the three-judge panel found the nonresident limit does not meet an important state interest and therefore violates the First Amendment.

To meet the important state interest bar, the state must show that the law limiting out-of-state contributions is an effort to prevent corruption, not merely to prevent undue influence.

Annual limits on individual contributions to a political candidate, a nonpolitical party group, or what a political party may contribute to a candidate were unanimously held to be constitutional.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 26, 2018 •

D.C. Council Approves Pay-to-Play Reforms

The Washington D.C. Council approved a bill in a first full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent […]

The Washington D.C. Council approved a bill in a first full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to- play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

The council votes again on the bill in December. If approved and funded, the bill would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 19, 2018 •

FPPC Approves Cost of Living Adjustments for Gift Limits

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. The proposed regulations would […]

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020.

The proposed regulations would change the gift limit from $470 to $500 and make increases to campaign contribution limits for candidates.

Adjusted contribution limits for gubernatorial candidates would increase from $29,200 to $31,000.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 16, 2018 •

San Diego Council to Close Confidential Document Loophole

The city council of San Diego voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance providing tighter restrictions on the handling of confidential documents by council members. Following a breach and subsequent criminal probe for information provided to investors by a council member […]

The city council of San Diego voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance providing tighter restrictions on the handling of confidential documents by council members.

Following a breach and subsequent criminal probe for information provided to investors by a council member last year, the council voted to close the loophole allowing disclosure if done as a necessary function of official duties.

In addition, new language in the code now makes it illegal for lobbyists who may receive confidential documents from using or disclosing them in any way.

Lobbyists are also prohibited from disseminating a confidential document through intermediaries, such as a spouse or a cousin.

Penalties for lobbyists who illegally review or disseminate confidential documents include potential misdemeanor charges and the possibility of being sued by the city for damages.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 16, 2018 •

The District of Columbia Adjusts Procurement and Lobbying Requirements

Act A22-0442, which included the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Amendment Act of 2018, passed congressional review. The Act expands the scope of procurement lobbying in the District of Columbia to include action by an executive agency or official […]

Act A22-0442, which included the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Amendment Act of 2018, passed congressional review.

The Act expands the scope of procurement lobbying in the District of Columbia to include action by an executive agency or official in the executive branch to contract, grant or procure goods or services.

The lobbyist reporting periods change from semi-annual to quarterly reporting in January 2019.

Additional registration requirements were added including the precise description of the subject matter, including any bill, proposed resolution, contract, or other legislation of all writing or oral communications related to lobbying activities conducted with an executive or legislative member or official’s staff.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 15, 2018 •

Congressman-elect Resigns Current State Senate Seat

North Dakota Congressman-elect Kelly Armstrong resigned his District 36 seat in the State Senate. District 36 Republicans will nominate their replacement to finish the remaining two years of Armstrong’s term by November 30, 2018. Armstrong will replace Kevin Cramer in […]

North Dakota Congressman-elect Kelly Armstrong resigned his District 36 seat in the State Senate.

District 36 Republicans will nominate their replacement to finish the remaining two years of Armstrong’s term by November 30, 2018.

Armstrong will replace Kevin Cramer in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 8, 2018 •

Citizens of Portland Vote to Limit Large Political Contributions

Portland, Oregon voters passed a campaign finance measure to limit large political campaign contributions. The amended charter limits independent expenditures to an aggregate of $5,000 per individual and an aggregate of $10,000 per political committee, provided contributions to the committee […]

Portland, Oregon voters passed a campaign finance measure to limit large political campaign contributions.

The amended charter limits independent expenditures to an aggregate of $5,000 per individual and an aggregate of $10,000 per political committee, provided contributions to the committee by individuals does not exceed $500 per individual per year.

The campaign limits are vulnerable to legal challenge. In 1997, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down statewide campaign finance limits as a violation of free speech protection outlined by the Oregon Constitution.

Prior to the passage of this measure, the City of Portland adopted a public finance system by City Council vote.

It provides matching funds to eligible candidates for mayor, city commissioner, and auditor with funding to begin in the 2019-2020 election.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 7, 2018 •

San Diego Passes Restrictions on City Officials

City of San Diego voters approved Measure L to limit lobbying and campaign activities of elected city officers. The measure increases the restriction on lobbying by former city officials from one to two years. The measure also eliminates the city […]

City of San Diego voters approved Measure L to limit lobbying and campaign activities of elected city officers.

The measure increases the restriction on lobbying by former city officials from one to two years.

The measure also eliminates the city elective officer exception to receiving honoraria prohibited by state law.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 7, 2018 •

Long Beach California Votes to Create an Ethics Commission

The City of Long Beach, California voted to establish a city ethics commission. Measure CCC creates an independent ethics commission charged with administering and implementing rules concerning campaign financing, lobbying, conflicts of interest and governmental ethics. The commission will also […]

The City of Long Beach, California voted to establish a city ethics commission.

Measure CCC creates an independent ethics commission charged with administering and implementing rules concerning campaign financing, lobbying, conflicts of interest and governmental ethics.

The commission will also develop an educational program for candidates and lobbyists with the city.

The city’s agreement with the Fair Political Practices Commission to assist in the enforcement of local ethics laws remains in place.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 7, 2018 •

North Carolina Rejects Bipartisan Board of Elections

North Carolina voters defeated a constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. In defeating the amendment, voters validated a previous North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that struck down a 2017 law establishing the eight-member […]

North Carolina voters defeated a constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

In defeating the amendment, voters validated a previous North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that struck down a 2017 law establishing the eight-member board because it reduced the governor’s executive authority and failed to provide representation for unaffiliated voters.

Currently, the governor appoints eight of nine members of the board from nominees provided by the two largest political parties.

The governor appoints the ninth member from nominations provided by the other eight members.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close