October 26, 2020 •

Missouri’s Second Special Session Set for November 5

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

Gov. Mike Parson announced a special session of the General Assembly. The session begins November 5 to focus on getting federal CARES Act funding distributed to the state. This session is the second special session Parson has called this year. […]

Gov. Mike Parson announced a special session of the General Assembly.

The session begins November 5 to focus on getting federal CARES Act funding distributed to the state.

This session is the second special session Parson has called this year.

The session does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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October 26, 2020 •

Ohio Lobbyists Must Pay 2021 Registration Fees Electronically

Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee published a reminder they will not accept cash, money orders, or physical checks for payment of 2021 lobbying registration fees. The online payment portal, accessible via the lobbyist’s OLAC account was established in 2019. […]

The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee published a reminder they will not accept cash, money orders, or physical checks for payment of 2021 lobbying registration fees.

The online payment portal, accessible via the lobbyist’s OLAC account was established in 2019.

Registrations fees for 2021 must be paid electronically by VISA, MasterCard, or ACH.

Lobbyists may begin renewing registrations for legislative, executive, and retirement system engagements in OLAC on December 1.

The renewal option closes January 15, 2021.

Any lobbyist who does not complete the renewal process by January 15 must file a new initial registration statement.

The registration statement requires a signature page.

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October 21, 2020 •

Michigan Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds Published

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds. This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other […]

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds.

This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit.

The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other employee increased from $2,525 to $2,575 for any 12-month period.

The financial transaction threshold between a registered lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from $1,275 to $1,300.

Travel and lodging reimbursements increased from $825 to $850.

Food and beverage expenditures for a public official increased from $63 to $64 in any month.

Meanwhile, the $400 threshold for food and beverages purchased between January 1 and the end of the reporting period remains the same as last year.

Employee reimbursements increased from $25 to $26, and the general gift threshold also increased from $63 to $64.

Late filing fees increased from $25 a day up to a maximum of $750, to $26 and a $780 maximum.

The registration threshold of $650 for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one public official during a 12-month period and exempt expenditures at $13, remain the same as last year.

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October 19, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature’s Fifth Special Session Ends

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills. This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass. Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the […]

Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills.

This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass.

Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for lawmakers to approve the emergency declaration.

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October 14, 2020 •

Proposed Exceptions to Chicago Cross-Lobbying Ordinance Unanimously Rejected

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

In a recent vote, Chicago City Council’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously rejected an ordinance. Introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April, this would amend a previously passed amendment. The ordinance passed unanimously by City Council 10 months […]

In a recent vote, Chicago City Council’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously rejected an ordinance.

Introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April, this would amend a previously passed amendment.

The ordinance passed unanimously by City Council 10 months ago prohibits cross-lobbying.

This would include City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission by elected officials from the Illinois General Assembly or any unit of local government in the state.

The proposed amendment added an exception to permit lobbying by lobbyists with no current contractual or legislative dealings with the city.

The committee voted 16-0 not to send the measure to the full council.

The BOE announced last month it would begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1, as no action had been taken.

In addressing the committee today, Executive Director Steven Berlin stated the ordinance is historic.

He goes on to explain there are no other jurisdictions in the United States prohibiting both their own officials and employees from lobbying on behalf of private clients anywhere, while also prohibiting elected officials from other jurisdictions from lobbying the city on behalf of private clients.

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October 13, 2020 •

Chicago Lobbyist Report Deadline Extended

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics extended the lobbyist third quarter activity report deadline. Due to problems with the ELF system, the deadline is extended from October 20 to October 26. Reports must be submitted electronically through the ELF system. The […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics extended the lobbyist third quarter activity report deadline.

Due to problems with the ELF system, the deadline is extended from October 20 to October 26.

Reports must be submitted electronically through the ELF system.

The ELF system has a new look but works the same way, and has instructions available under the resources tab.

A report is due even if there is no activity during the reporting period.

A report in DRAFT, PENDING REVIEW, or PENDING PAYMENT status will prevent filing of a new activity report until those filings are finalized.

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September 28, 2020 •

South Dakota Governor Calls Special Session of Legislature

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced she is calling a special legislative session on Monday, October 5, 2020. The main purpose of this session is to consider legislation related to the use of federal stimulus relief funds, including the $1.25 […]

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced she is calling a special legislative session on Monday, October 5, 2020.

The main purpose of this session is to consider legislation related to the use of federal stimulus relief funds, including the $1.25 billion allocated to South Dakota in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF).

Unless an extension is granted, South Dakota has until December 30, 2020 to spend all CRF dollars.

The administration has spent about $114 million of the $1.25 billion in federal funds allocated to the state.

Noem has mapped out a plan to spend the bulk of the money, including up to $400 million in small business grants.

However, some House members said lawmakers should be included in the decision.

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September 16, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics to Enforce Lobbying Ban

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics announced it will begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1. The ordinance prohibits state and local elected officials from lobbying City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission. In a press release announcing […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics announced it will begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1.

The ordinance prohibits state and local elected officials from lobbying City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission.

In a press release announcing enforcement of the ban, the board indicated it had been monitoring compliance and delayed enforcement of the ordinance, which took effect April 14, because a proposal submitted to City Council by Mayor Lori Lightfoot would have affected at least one lobbyist.

The board indicated sufficient time has passed and it has confirmed there will be no changes to the ordinance.

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September 14, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature’s Fourth Special Session Begins September 11

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called a special session beginning September 11 to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. The emergency will be extended by 30 days to continue to respond to the pandemic. Walz is obligated by law to call a […]

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called a special session beginning September 11 to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

The emergency will be extended by 30 days to continue to respond to the pandemic.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for the Legislature to approve the emergency declaration.

The length of the session will be determined by the Legislature.

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September 1, 2020 •

Wisconsin Lawmakers Convene and Leave Session Open

Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin Capitol - photo by Dori

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31. The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session. No Senate Republicans were present for […]

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31.

The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session.

No Senate Republicans were present for the session.

Wisconsin law does not require lawmakers to take any action during a special session.

The session is adjourned for three days to comply with the constitutional requirement that neither house may adjourn without the consent of the other for more than 3 days.

They may continue in this manner until both houses agree on a course of action or to adjourn sine die.

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August 31, 2020 •

District Court Enjoins Missouri Ethics Commission from Enforcing 60-day Formation Deadline for PACs

Missouri Capitol Building

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the Missouri Ethics Commission from enforcing the 60-day formation deadline for continuing committees and PACs, including out-of-state and federal committees. The court found the requirement […]

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the Missouri Ethics Commission from enforcing the 60-day formation deadline for continuing committees and PACs, including out-of-state and federal committees.

The court found the requirement for committees to file a statement of organization no later than 60 days before an election for which the committee receives contributions to likely be unconstitutional.

In granting the injunction, the court relied upon the decision of the Eighth Circuit in Missourians for Fiscal Accountability v. Klahr, which found Missouri’s 30-day formation deadline for campaign committees unconstitutional.

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August 27, 2020 •

North Dakota Supreme Court Removes Measure 3 from November Ballot

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot. In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot. The measure seeks […]

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot.

The measure seeks to amend the North Dakota Constitution concerning elections and legislative districting, referencing the North Dakota Century Code.

Additionally, it does not comply with the constitutional requirement to contain the full text of the measure.

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August 27, 2020 •

Wisconsin Governor Calls Special Session

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling the legislature into special session. The main topic will be to consider a package of nine bills introduced in June relating to police reform in the wake of recent protests. The special session is […]

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling the legislature into special session.

The main topic will be to consider a package of nine bills introduced in June relating to police reform in the wake of recent protests.

The special session is set to begin at noon on August 31.

The length of the session will be determined by the Legislature.

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August 25, 2020 •

North Dakota Ethics Commission Will Have Public Hearing on Proposed Rules

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The North Dakota Ethics Commission announced it will hold a public hearing to address proposed rules. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on September 15. The proposed rules implement Article XIV of the North Dakota Constitution relating to […]

The North Dakota Ethics Commission announced it will hold a public hearing to address proposed rules.

The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on September 15.

The proposed rules implement Article XIV of the North Dakota Constitution relating to allowable gifts between lobbyists and public officials and may be reviewed at  https://www.ethicscommission.nd.gov/.

Written or oral comments may be submitted to 101 Slate Drive, Suite #4, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58503, or via email to ethicscommmission@nd.gov.

All comments received by September 29 will be considered.

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