July 20, 2020 •

Missouri Bill Modifying Definition of Legislative Lobbyist Passes

Missouri Capitol Building

Gov. Mike Parson approved Missouri House Bill 1386, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws to exclude legislative liaisons. Legislative liaison is defined as any state employee hired to communicate with members of the General Assembly on behalf […]

Gov. Mike Parson approved Missouri House Bill 1386, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws to exclude legislative liaisons.

Legislative liaison is 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.

Any state employee employed as a legislative liaison who performs lobbying services for any other entity must register as a lobbyist with respect to such lobbying services.

The law becomes effective August 28, 2020.

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July 16, 2020 •

Missouri General Assembly to Hold Special Session

Missouri Capitol Building

Gov. Mike Parson announced a Special Session of the General Assembly beginning July 27 to focus on addressing violent crime in Missouri. The escalating violence has become especially deadly in St. Louis and Kansas City, and both cities have tried […]

Gov. Mike Parson announced a Special Session of the General Assembly beginning July 27 to focus on addressing violent crime in Missouri.

The escalating violence has become especially deadly in St. Louis and Kansas City, and both cities have tried various measures to stem the violence.

A new Kansas City program announced by the White House last week, Operation Legend, will bring in more than 100 agents from the FBI and other agencies to battle violent crime.

Parson said stopping this trend is more than just a big city problem, “It is a Missouri problem and we cannot wait until next session to address it.”

Other states are considering police reforms in the wake of protests.

Parson indicated Missouri lawmakers will focus only on measures that could strengthen laws and put more people behind bars.

He wants lawmakers to focus on six issues: juvenile certification, witness statement admissibility, witness protection funds, the unlawful transfer of weapons, and laws against endangering the welfare of a child.

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July 15, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Adopts Formal Opinion

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the contribution window.

The contribution window begins the first day authorized by law for the circulation of nomination papers as a candidate at a general election or special election and closes the day of the general or special election.

A contribution to a candidate for legislative office may only be made during the period if the Legislature has concluded its final floor period and is not in special or extraordinary session.

The contribution window opened on May 14 and will close on November 3.

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July 8, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature to Hold Another Special Session Beginning July 13

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

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

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13. Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that […]

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13.

Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that other issues should get top billing.

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

The Senate tried to revoke the governor’s executive power during the first special session ending June 19.

However, the attempt failed because it requires the vote of both chambers.

In the first special session, no deals were reached on legislation both parties said was necessary and everything will be on the agenda again.

The Legislature will determine the length of the session.

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July 6, 2020 •

Chicago Lobbying Ordinance Stalled

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot - MacLean Center

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled. The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for […]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled.

The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for a vote.

The Mayor introduced Ordinance 2020-2328 in April over concerns that the language in the original ordinance passed by City Council late last year was too broad.

Additionally, there were concerns the ordinance would force registered lobbyists to give up positions on suburban bodies in order to keep lobbying Chicago government.

The proposed amendment would allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby City Council, the mayor, and other city offices.

This would be allowed as long as the public body they represent does not have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

In response to Smith’s statement, a spokesman for Lightfoot stated the administration looks forward to partnering with Smith to make necessary updates to any existing lobbying policies.

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July 2, 2020 •

Toledo Mayor Calls for Resignation of City Council Members

Toledo, Ohio skyline

Toledo, Ohio skyline - by NorthernMagnolia

Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has requested the resignation of four City Council members accused of encouraging and accepting bribes in exchange for votes. Yvonne Harper (District 4), Tyrone Riley (District 1), Gary Johnson (At-large), and Larry Sykes (At-large), are […]

Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has requested the resignation of four City Council members accused of encouraging and accepting bribes in exchange for votes.

Yvonne Harper (District 4), Tyrone Riley (District 1), Gary Johnson (At-large), and Larry Sykes (At-large), are named in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court at the conclusion of a two-year FBI investigation.

The court documents detail how each of the members allegedly accepted payments in the range of $500 to $5,000 for “yes” votes on zoning requests to internet cafes.

In an official statement, Kapszukiewicz explained these members are entitled to their day in court and should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

However, he is concerned about the cloud of doubt that would rest over city government if they continue to hold office.

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June 19, 2020 •

Illinois Board of Elections Announces Amnesty Period for Late Contribution Reports

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15. No penalties will be assessed for reports filed […]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15.

No penalties will be assessed for reports filed on or before June 30.

Similarly, no penalties will be assessed for late Schedule A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more, due between March 18 and June 30, as long as they are filed on or before June 30.

Late reports (Quarterly or A-1) filed after June 30 will be subject to statutorily mandated penalties.

The Board’s one-time amnesty will not apply to the upcoming June 2020 Quarterly Report, which is due no later than July 15. 

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June 19, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Delays Non-Profit Lobbying Laws Until 2021

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Board of Ethics announced a further delay in the implementation Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for July 1, 2020. The implementation will now be on January 1, 2021 due to the continuing work by the city and many non-profit […]

The Board of Ethics announced a further delay in the implementation Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for July 1, 2020.

The implementation will now be on January 1, 2021 due to the continuing work by the city and many non-profit organizations to respond to COVID-19 crisis.

The ordinance imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

With the announcement, the Board and the Mayor’s Office stated they are committed to working with non-profit organizations and stakeholders to understand and respond to their concerns about this law.

In addition, the office states they are committed on working toward amendments that increase transparency in Chicago.

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June 15, 2020 •

Iowa Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol Building - Ashton B Crew

Following a nearly two-and-a-half-month interruption, the Iowa Legislature adjourned the 88th General Assembly sine die on Sunday after a marathon overnight debate. This debate ends a two-week session shortened by the coronavirus pandemic and recent protests. In addition to the […]

Following a nearly two-and-a-half-month interruption, the Iowa Legislature adjourned the 88th General Assembly sine die on Sunday after a marathon overnight debate.

This debate ends a two-week session shortened by the coronavirus pandemic and recent protests.

In addition to the passing the budget, the session included action to protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuitsaddress police misconduct, and change rules regarding election procedures.

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June 11, 2020 •

Gov. Walz Calls Special Session of Minnesota Legislature

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

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

Gov. Tim Walz called a special session which will begin June 12. The primary purpose of the session will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days, making sure the state can quickly respond to the pandemic. The […]

Gov. Tim Walz called a special session which will begin June 12.

The primary purpose of the session will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days, making sure the state can quickly respond to the pandemic.

The House and Senate adjourned sine die on May 18, marking the end of the 2020 legislative session.

However, unfinished business and recent protests have added to the agenda.

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

Although, the length of the session will be determined by the Legislature.

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June 11, 2020 •

Guidance on New Kentucky Reporting Requirements and Forms

The Kentucky State Capitol building

The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission passed an emergency regulation and provided guidance on a passed bill. This bill passed amends registration requirements for executive agency lobbying. Effective July 1, Senate Bill 157 requires the initial registration statement to include […]

The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission passed an emergency regulation and provided guidance on a passed bill.

This bill passed amends registration requirements for executive agency lobbying.

Effective July 1, Senate Bill 157 requires the initial registration statement to include compensation paid to, or received by, each executive agency lobbyist, employer, and real party in interest as part of the engagement.

The emergency regulation provides the procedures for filing lobbyist forms and includes changes to the lobbyist forms.

In addition, electronic fillable forms and instructions will be posted on the commission’s website soon.

In the regular reminder notices, the new forms and revisions will also be addressed.

Each lobbyist, employer and real party in interest receives these notices.

All initial registration and updated registration statements must now be submitted using the 2020 revised forms.

Additionally, a credit card payment app will be available starting July 1.

The commission also extended the filing period deadline for the required updated registration filing forms and registration fee payment from July 31 to August 31 due to COVID-19.

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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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