September 28, 2018 •

New Jersey Special Election Scheduled

A special election for the Bergen County sheriff will be held on November 6, aligning with the general election. The former sheriff, Michael Saudino, resigned after controversial comments he said in January were made public. The county will send out […]

A special election for the Bergen County sheriff will be held on November 6, aligning with the general election.

The former sheriff, Michael Saudino, resigned after controversial comments he said in January were made public.

The county will send out an addendum to the already sent absentee ballots.

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September 26, 2018 •

Oklahoma Supreme Court Denies Ethics Commission Funding

In a long legal battle, the Oklahoma Ethics Commission lost a battle to receive more funding to carry out its oversight functions. The Legislature appropriates funds to the Ethics Commission, and it complained to the Supreme Court the legislatures have […]

In a long legal battle, the Oklahoma Ethics Commission lost a battle to receive more funding to carry out its oversight functions.

The Legislature appropriates funds to the Ethics Commission, and it complained to the Supreme Court the legislatures have underfunded it for years in violation of the Constitution.

The court rejected the commission’s complaint 5-4, stating it has money “sufficient to enable it to perform its duties,” which the Constitution says.

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September 26, 2018 •

Clean Missouri Amendment Will Appear on November Ballot

The Missouri Supreme Court declined to take on the Clean Missouri ballot initiative case, which means it will appear as an amendment on the ballot this November. The amendment focuses on ethics reform and state redistricting, and it was challenged […]

The Missouri Supreme Court declined to take on the Clean Missouri ballot initiative case, which means it will appear as an amendment on the ballot this November.

The amendment focuses on ethics reform and state redistricting, and it was challenged because it possibly violated a provision of the Missouri Constitution that limits the scope of initiative petitions and sought to mislead voters.

A trial court agreed, but an appellate court in Kansas City upheld Clean Missouri because all the proposed changes are included under the subject Legislature reform.

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September 20, 2018 •

Anne Arundel County Executive Introduces Ethics Reform Legislation

County Executive Steve Schuh proposed a bill to County Council to amend the county ethics provisions. Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fee for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, requires employee ethics training, and […]

County Executive Steve Schuh proposed a bill to County Council to amend the county ethics provisions.

Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fee for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, requires employee ethics training, and creates changes to comply with state ethics laws, among other provisions. The bill also updates who is required to file financial disclosure statements.

At the September 17 council meeting, an amendment passed to remove an exemption for free tickets and admission to certain events.

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September 19, 2018 •

New Mexico School Districts Suffer from Local Election Act

Earlier this year, New Mexico passed the Local Election Act, which consolidates various nonpartisan local elections into one election in November of odd-numbered years. The law’s main goal is to save taxpayer money and increase voter turnout. However, local school […]

Earlier this year, New Mexico passed the Local Election Act, which consolidates various nonpartisan local elections into one election in November of odd-numbered years. The law’s main goal is to save taxpayer money and increase voter turnout.

However, local school districts are suffering. Albuquerque Public Schools are projecting $1 million in administrative costs to facilitate their upcoming bond election, because the new law states special elections must be completed by mail.

The Santa Fe School Board voted unanimously to ask the New Mexico School Boards Association and the other 88 school districts to request lawmakers amend the law and restore the School Election Law, allowing regular elections to resume in February, when they previously were held, or special elections by mail if needed.

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September 18, 2018 •

South Dakota Holds Special Session

The South Dakota Legislature held a one-day special session on September 12 addressing online sales tax measures. The initial law to collect sales tax from online retailers was passed in 2016, but it was challenged and taken all the way […]

The South Dakota Legislature held a one-day special session on September 12 addressing online sales tax measures.

The initial law to collect sales tax from online retailers was passed in 2016, but it was challenged and taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This special session was to set an effective date for the law to go into effect.

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September 18, 2018 •

Missouri Special Session Adjourns

The Missouri Legislature adjourned on September 14 after finalizing two bills that were vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson in July. The first bill expands the definition of treatment courts as a substitute for imprisonment, and the second creates an online-based […]

The Missouri Legislature adjourned on September 14 after finalizing two bills that were vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson in July.

The first bill expands the definition of treatment courts as a substitute for imprisonment, and the second creates an online-based STEM program for public schools.

The Legislature will convene for the 2019 session on January 9.

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September 17, 2018 •

Missouri Ethics Reform Ballot Initiative in Jeopardy

A redistricting proposal and ethics reform ballot initiative titled Clean Missouri expected to be on November’s ballot is now at risk of being withdrawn. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ordered Sec. of State Jay Ashcroft to rescind the certification […]

A redistricting proposal and ethics reform ballot initiative titled Clean Missouri expected to be on November’s ballot is now at risk of being withdrawn.

Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ordered Sec. of State Jay Ashcroft to rescind the certification of the proposal because it violates the Missouri Constitution because a proposal can only cover one subject and can only amend one article of the Constitution, and the current ballot initiative breaks both of these rules.

Clean Missouri included a redistricting proposal and also proposed lowering campaign donation limits, abolishing a majority of gifts to lobbyists, and setting a two-year revolving door provision for legislators and their staffers before becoming lobbyists.

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July 30, 2018 •

Kansas City Defeats Gift Ordinance

An ethics proposal in Kansas City to limit gifts from lobbyists to $5, restrict taxpayer-funded City Council travel, and extend the revolving door provision was defeated on July 26. The proposal failed 7-4, even after a bill substitute increased the […]

An ethics proposal in Kansas City to limit gifts from lobbyists to $5, restrict taxpayer-funded City Council travel, and extend the revolving door provision was defeated on July 26.

The proposal failed 7-4, even after a bill substitute increased the gift restriction to $50.

The ordinance was introduced by Councilman Scott Taylor, who is also a Kansas City mayoral candidate.

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July 24, 2018 •

Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints New FPPC Chair

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month. Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that […]

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month.

Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that their vote is not bought and that the playing field is level and that the basic part of democracy is working for them.”

Germond will be the chair until January, when the newly-elected governor will have the option to appoint a new chairperson.

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July 24, 2018 •

Ohio Bill Regarding Special Elections Headed to Governor

A bill in Ohio has passed both the House and the Senate preventing special primary elections from occurring if only one candidate files for the election, or if no one files to be on the ballot. If only one person […]

A bill in Ohio has passed both the House and the Senate preventing special primary elections from occurring if only one candidate files for the election, or if no one files to be on the ballot.

If only one person files, he or she will automatically appear on the general election ballot.

If House Bill 18 is signed by Gov. Kasich, it would prevent the state from paying for unnecessary election costs.

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July 16, 2018 •

Berkeley, California City Council Looks to Adopt Lobbying Ordinance

On July 24, the Berkeley City Council will meet in order to adopt the first reading of a new lobbying ordinance. The ordinance requires the registration and reporting of lobbyists in the city. Information in the ordinance includes requirements for […]

On July 24, the Berkeley City Council will meet in order to adopt the first reading of a new lobbying ordinance.

The ordinance requires the registration and reporting of lobbyists in the city.

Information in the ordinance includes requirements for lobbyist training, reporting periods, audits, gift restrictions, and penalties.

The City Council will also discuss an amendment to the revolving door provision, increasing it from one to two years.

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July 5, 2018 •

Mayors in Summit County, Ohio Looking to Move 2019 Primary

Elected officials across Summit County are introducing legislation to their respective municipalities to move the 2019 primary election from September to May to coincide with the statewide primary. Once the measure is passed through the local legislative branches, it will […]

Elected officials across Summit County are introducing legislation to their respective municipalities to move the 2019 primary election from September to May to coincide with the statewide primary.

Once the measure is passed through the local legislative branches, it will be placed on the November ballot this fall for voters to decide.

If passed, the change in primary date will save taxpayer money and increase voter turnout.

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May 11, 2018 •

FEC Approves Campaign Request to Use Funds for Childcare

The FEC voted unanimously 4-0 to allow New York Congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley to spend her campaign funds on childcare. In her petition, she cited two cases where male candidates requested to use donor funds for limited childcare expenses. […]

The FEC voted unanimously 4-0 to allow New York Congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley to spend her campaign funds on childcare.

In her petition, she cited two cases where male candidates requested to use donor funds for limited childcare expenses.

The FEC ruled in an advisory opinion that Shirley’s expenses would not have existed if it weren’t for her run for office, and will therefore apply to any future candidates who may run for office.

Shirley said, “This groundbreaking decision will remove a major financial obstacle for working families and mothers at a time when women are increasingly considering elected office.”

Photo of Liuba Grechen Shirley via Facebook

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