January 29, 2019 •

New York Enacts Election Reform

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three bills relating to elections and campaign finance on January 24. Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making expenditures for a political purpose to file with the State Board of Elections the identity of all […]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three bills relating to elections and campaign finance on January 24.

Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making expenditures for a political purpose to file with the State Board of Elections the identity of all direct and indirect owners of the membership interests and the proportion of ownership in the LLC.

Assembly Bill 779 creates a consolidated statewide primary election date and changes the protocol for calling a special election.

Senate Bill 1102 enacts early voting in the state.

Assembly Bill 779 and Senate Bill 1102 are effective immediately, and Assembly Bill 776 is effective January 31.

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January 22, 2019 •

Arizona Bill Regarding Lobbyist Gifts and Reporting Introduced

Rep. John Kavanagh introduced House Bill 2038 to the Arizona Legislature. The bill defines “hosted event” to include an event or function where one or more state officers or employees are invited and attend organized and paid for by a […]

Rep. John Kavanagh introduced House Bill 2038 to the Arizona Legislature.

The bill defines “hosted event” to include an event or function where one or more state officers or employees are invited and attend organized and paid for by a principal.

Event or function includes a party, dinner, or luncheon, but does not include an athletic event or other entertainment.

A hosted event must be reported by the actual cost incurred for food, beverage, and other tangible benefits but do not include the overall sponsorship amount incurred by the principal or lobbyist.

Opponents to the bill say only reporting the food and beverage amount and not including the price of the ticket to the event is misleading.

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January 22, 2019 •

Lobbying Bills Introduced in New Mexico Legislature

Three lobbying bills have been introduced in New Mexico. House Bill 131 would require a post-session lobbying report due after the Legislature adjourns. House Bill 140 would require periodic reports with estimated upcoming lobbying expenses for the year as well […]

Three lobbying bills have been introduced in New Mexico.

House Bill 131 would require a post-session lobbying report due after the Legislature adjourns.

House Bill 140 would require periodic reports with estimated upcoming lobbying expenses for the year as well as actual previous expenses incurred.

Senate Bill 191 amends the current expenditure reporting threshold to include individual expenditures of less than $100 by lobbyists or the employer.

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January 22, 2019 •

Special Election Announced in Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott has set a special election for House District 125 to occur on February 12. State Rep. Justin Rodriguez resigned after being appointed as a Bexar County commissioner. Early voting begins on January 28.

Gov. Greg Abbott has set a special election for House District 125 to occur on February 12.

State Rep. Justin Rodriguez resigned after being appointed as a Bexar County commissioner.

Early voting begins on January 28.

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January 21, 2019 •

Gov. Cuomo Outlines Ethics Reform in Executive Budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed several campaign finance and ethics changes in his executive budget. These recommendations include creating a code of conduct for lobbyists and campaign finance reform. The lobbyist’s code of conduct would include lowering the registration threshold, […]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed several campaign finance and ethics changes in his executive budget.

These recommendations include creating a code of conduct for lobbyists and campaign finance reform.

The lobbyist’s code of conduct would include lowering the registration threshold, require reporting of campaign contributions, increase the revolving door provision from two to five years, along with additional disclosures and penalties.

Cuomo also called for banning corporate contributions, as well as lowering individual contributions to statewide and General Assembly candidates.

He also urged the Legislature to pass a revision that closes the Limited Liability Company loophole and prevents LLCs from contributing more than $5,000 annually.

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January 15, 2019 •

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Montana Contribution Limit Case

The challenge on Montana’s contribution limits has ended. The U.S. Supreme Court did not take up the case regarding campaign finance in Montana. The 1994 law establishing the contribution limits was struck down in 2012 and 2015, but the 9th […]

The challenge on Montana’s contribution limits has ended. The U.S. Supreme Court did not take up the case regarding campaign finance in Montana.

The 1994 law establishing the contribution limits was struck down in 2012 and 2015, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the limits in October 2017.

Proponents of the case said the low limits violated the First Amendment, while opponents said the limits encouraged more civil engagement.

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January 8, 2019 •

Mississippi Governor Sets Special Election Dates

Gov. Phil Bryant signed three writ of elections today, declaring March 12 as the special election date for House Districts 32, 71, and 101. If necessary, a runoff special election will be held on April 2. Reps. Willie Perkins (District […]

Gov. Phil Bryant signed three writ of elections today, declaring March 12 as the special election date for House Districts 32, 71, and 101.

If necessary, a runoff special election will be held on April 2.

Reps. Willie Perkins (District 32), Adrienne Wooten (District 71), and Brad Touchstone (District 101) were elected to different judgeships in the November 2018 election and had to resign from the House of Representatives.

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January 8, 2019 •

Minnesota Special Election Announced for February 5

Minnesota will hold a special election for Senate District 11 on February 5. Sen. Tony Lourey resigned after being appointed to Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s cabinet. If necessary, a primary will be held on January 22.

Minnesota will hold a special election for Senate District 11 on February 5.

Sen. Tony Lourey resigned after being appointed to Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s cabinet.

If necessary, a primary will be held on January 22.

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January 8, 2019 •

Special Election for House District 124 Announced

Gov. Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matthew Dunlap announced a special election to be held on March 12 for House District 124. Rep. Aaron Frey vacated the office to serve as attorney general. House District 124 includes portions of […]

Gov. Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matthew Dunlap announced a special election to be held on March 12 for House District 124.

Rep. Aaron Frey vacated the office to serve as attorney general.

House District 124 includes portions of Bangor and Orono.

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January 7, 2019 •

Updates to Texas Lobbying Law

Effective January 8, a lobbyist who had also been elected to public office is prohibited from making or authorizing, from political contributions accepted as a candidate or officeholder, a political expenditure that is a political contribution to a candidate, officeholder, […]

Effective January 8, a lobbyist who had also been elected to public office is prohibited from making or authorizing, from political contributions accepted as a candidate or officeholder, a political expenditure that is a political contribution to a candidate, officeholder, or political committee.

This restriction applies after the ending date of the last term for which the lobbyist was elected to public office. This law was created by House Bill 505 of the 2017 Legislature and adds Section 305.029 to the Government Code.

On December 14, 2018, the Texas Ethics Commission adopted an amendment to Texas Ethics Commission Rules §50.1, increasing the legislative per diem from $190 to $221.

Per Texas law, the detailed reporting threshold for food and beverages, entertainment, transportation, and lodging is 60 percent of the legislative per diem.

The detailed reporting threshold therefore increased to $132.60 for these expenditures made on or after January 6, 2019.

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January 2, 2019 •

Special Elections Scheduled for Texas House Districts 79 and 145

Gov. Greg Abbott announced January 29, 2019, as the special election date for House Districts 79 and 145. Rep. Joe Pickett of District 79 will resign effective January 4, 2019, citing health issues. In District 145, Rep. Carol Alvarado resigned […]

Gov. Greg Abbott announced January 29, 2019, as the special election date for House Districts 79 and 145.

Rep. Joe Pickett of District 79 will resign effective January 4, 2019, citing health issues.

In District 145, Rep. Carol Alvarado resigned after being elected to the state Senate.

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January 2, 2019 •

NYC Special Election for Public Advocate Announced

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election date for public advocate to be held on February 26. Tish James, the current public advocate, is vacating the seat after being elected state attorney general.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election date for public advocate to be held on February 26.

Tish James, the current public advocate, is vacating the seat after being elected state attorney general.

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November 19, 2018 •

New Mexico Increases Contribution Limits

New Mexico law states on the day after each general election, campaign contribution limits increase in accordance with a formula based on the consumer price index. Starting November 7, the limits per election cycle are: From an individual (person or […]

New Mexico law states on the day after each general election, campaign contribution limits increase in accordance with a formula based on the consumer price index.

Starting November 7, the limits per election cycle are:

  • From an individual (person or entity): $2,600 to a non-statewide candidate; $5,700 to a statewide candidate; and $5,700 to a PAC.
  • From a PAC: $5,700 to a non-statewide candidate; $5,700 to a statewide candidate; and $5,700 to a PAC.

These limits do not apply to the candidate’s own personal contributions to the candidate’s campaign fund.

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October 22, 2018 •

Tennessee Special Election Likely for State Senate Seat

Sen. Majority Leader Mark Norris was appointed as judge to a U.S. District Court on October 11. Norris announced on October 16 that due to time restraints and official duties he won’t be able to step down from his District […]

Sen. Majority Leader Mark Norris was appointed as judge to a U.S. District Court on October 11.

Norris announced on October 16 that due to time restraints and official duties he won’t be able to step down from his District 32 Senate seat by Election Day on November 6.

This will trigger a special election and potentially a temporary appointment until the seat is filled.

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