June 1, 2020 •

Missouri Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Missouri Capitol Building

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27. Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws. The […]

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27.

Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws.

The definition will exclude legislative liaisons, defined as any state employee hired to communicate with members of the General Assembly on behalf of any elected official of the state, the judicial branch of state government, or any department, agency, board, or commission of the state, provided such entity is a part of the executive branch of state government.

The Legislature also passed Senate Joint Resolution 0038, placing a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot enacting a lobbyist gift ban.

Additionally it will reduce contribution limits made to or accepted by any candidate or committee from $2,500 to $2,000.

And finally it will repeal a redistricting plan enacted by voters in 2018.

The veto session is scheduled for September 16.

 

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May 29, 2020 •

Chicago Extends Deadline for First Quarter Lobbyist Activity Reports

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed even if there was no activity.

In addition, registered lobbyists now have until December 31st to complete their annual mandatory ethics training.

The board expects additional amendments to the city’s lobbying laws later in 2020.

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May 28, 2020 •

Illinois Special Session Adjourned

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois Legislature adjourned on May 24 at the end of a special session that started on May 20. Initially, the Senate met at the Capitol and the House at the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due […]

The Illinois Legislature adjourned on May 24 at the end of a special session that started on May 20.

Initially, the Senate met at the Capitol and the House at the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

The abbreviated special session focused mainly on budget issues and COVID-19 related legislation.

No bill permitting the Legislature to convene virtually was passed during this session.

Therefore, the Legislature will convene in person for the veto session scheduled to begin November 17.

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May 21, 2020 •

Iowa Legislature Will Remain Adjourned Until June 3

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol Building - Ashton B Crew

The Iowa Legislative Council extended the suspension of the 88th General Assembly’s 2020 regular session until 9:00 a.m. June 3. This comes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and could only change if the adjournment is shortened or further extended […]

The Iowa Legislative Council extended the suspension of the 88th General Assembly’s 2020 regular session until 9:00 a.m. June 3.

This comes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and could only change if the adjournment is shortened or further extended prior to that time.

This does not affect lobbying reporting.

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May 20, 2020 •

Illinois House Reconvenes at Bank of Springfield Center

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns. Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs […]

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs and desks with a free-standing microphone beside each lawmaker’s workstation.

Both House Republicans and Democrats went into caucus at the Bank of Springfield center shortly after they convened the special session.

The Republicans moved to another space within the convention center, and Democrats remaining on the floor.

The Senate reconvened on May 18 at the Capitol.

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May 19, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Minnesota House

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution. Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime […]

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution.

Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime Emergency ends.

If Walz wants to extend the emergency declaration again, he is obligated by law to call a special session to give both chambers the right to rescind his declaration by a majority vote.

Although Walz calls the session, the legislative branch decides when it ends.

This also takes away the governor’s power to set the agenda for the special session.

Most of the bills passed were in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, a Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding was formed to allow the House to continue conversations about the pandemic after wrapping up its regular legislative session.

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May 14, 2020 •

Michigan Adjourns Until May 19 Due to Protests

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 […]

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 rather than call the next previously scheduled meeting.

The adjournment came in fear of a repeat of the events on April 30.

Armed protesters entered the Senate Chamber’s visitors gallery, standing above the members during the session.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an opinion on May 11 saying the State Capitol Commission could ban firearms.

The commission voted to study a ban this week, and on May 12, Sen. Dayna Polehanki proposed Senate Resolution 118 to ban firearms in the Capitol.

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May 8, 2020 •

Chicago Mayor Proposes Amendment to Lobbying Ordinance

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

At the request of the Executive Director of the Board of Ethics, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the last City Council meeting, proposed an amendment to the lobbying ordinance passed late last year. Lightfoot’s proposed Ordinance 2020-2328 would amend Chapter 2-156 […]

At the request of the Executive Director of the Board of Ethics, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the last City Council meeting, proposed an amendment to the lobbying ordinance passed late last year.

Lightfoot’s proposed Ordinance 2020-2328 would amend Chapter 2-156 of the Municipal Code regarding lobbying to allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby the City Council, the mayor’s office and other city government offices, as long as the public body they represent doesn’t have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

If passed the ordinance would become effective immediately.

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May 7, 2020 •

Lawsuit Filed in North Dakota Redistricting Case

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The Office of the North Dakota Secretary of State approved a petition for a proposed constitutional amendment. This amendment will make several changes to election procedures, and make the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures. The Legislature is […]

The Office of the North Dakota Secretary of State approved a petition for a proposed constitutional amendment.

This amendment will make several changes to election procedures, and make the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures.

The Legislature is responsible for redrawing district lines every 10 years following each U.S. Census and is scheduled to do so again in 2021.

The group proposing the measure, North Dakota Voters First, will need to obtain signatures of 4% of eligible voters by July 6 to get the proposal on the ballot in November.

The group has now filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Al Jaeger in U.S. District Court claiming it should be allowed to collect electronic signatures during the pandemic.

The state law requiring petition circulators to collect necessary signatures in-person is unrealistic and dangerous.

Additionally, the inability to get the measure on the ballot this year would mean the current redistricting rules stay in place for another decade.

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May 5, 2020 •

North Dakota Ethics Commission Website Is Live

North Dakota Capitol

North Dakota Capitol Building

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live. The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms. At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission […]

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live.

The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms.

At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission procedures; additionally, they reviewed proposed 2021 ethics legislation covering legislators and executive branch officials.

The next meeting is scheduled in an online format for May 13.

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April 24, 2020 •

Wisconsin Republicans Postpone Party Convention Until July

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Republican Party of Wisconsin postponed its annual state convention from May to July because of the coronavirus pandemic. The convention will now take place over two days instead of three on July 10-11 in Green Bay. State Democrats have […]

The Republican Party of Wisconsin postponed its annual state convention from May to July because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The convention will now take place over two days instead of three on July 10-11 in Green Bay.

State Democrats have already changed their convention to one day, June 12, in Wisconsin Dells.

Additionally, the party will decide by May 1 whether it will be in-person or change to a virtual event.

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April 22, 2020 •

St. Louis Special Election Scheduled for June 23

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

The special election to fill two vacancies on the Board of Aldermen, originally scheduled for May 19, has been postponed to June 23 by a state appeals court panel. Mayor Lyda Krewson had requested the Board of Elections postpone the […]

The special election to fill two vacancies on the Board of Aldermen, originally scheduled for May 19, has been postponed to June 23 by a state appeals court panel.

Mayor Lyda Krewson had requested the Board of Elections postpone the special election in wards 4 and 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board had to go to court to reschedule as, under city charter requirements, May 19 was the latest possible date for voting in Ward 4.

Additionally May 26 the latest date allowed in Ward 12.

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April 20, 2020 •

Iowa Filing Deadlines Remain Unchanged

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol Building - Ashton B Crew

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issued a reminder for campaign disclosure report due dates. Reports for the period of January 1 through May 14 are due no later than 4:30 pm on May 19. Although the board is […]

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issued a reminder for campaign disclosure report due dates.

Reports for the period of January 1 through May 14 are due no later than 4:30 pm on May 19.

Although the board is working remotely during the disaster proclamation, because reports are filed electronically, filing deadlines have not changed.

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April 17, 2020 •

Kentucky Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

The 154th regular session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 16. The Republican supermajority in both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 2. Senate bill 2 requires voters to […]

The 154th regular session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 16.

The Republican supermajority in both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 2.

Senate bill 2 requires voters to present government-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot beginning with the November general election.

Additionally, a passed bill proposing a constitutional amendment will appear on the November ballot.

The amendment will increase the term of office for district judges from four years to eight years beginning in 2022.

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