April 6, 2020 •

California Legislature Extends Recess to May 4

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

The California Legislature pushed back a scheduled return to the legislative session by three weeks to give public health officials more time to deal with the coronavirus spreading through the state. The Legislature now is scheduled to reconvene on May […]

The California Legislature pushed back a scheduled return to the legislative session by three weeks to give public health officials more time to deal with the coronavirus spreading through the state.

The Legislature now is scheduled to reconvene on May 4.

Lawmakers had voted unanimously on March 16 to suspend its session until April 13.

The initial decision last month to suspend activities at the state Capitol was unprecedented in California history.

The decision came after legislators grappled for several days to balance public health concerns with the need for action to address the impact of the pandemic.

Both houses quickly passed a $1 billion relief plan on March 16 before putting a halt to all legislative business.

Whether a return in early May will be possible could depend on the state’s success or failure this month in slowing the rate of infection.

Early spring is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the Legislature, with hundreds of bills considered by policy committees before receiving final votes in either of the two houses by May 31.

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April 6, 2020 •

FPPC Interested Persons Meeting; Disclosure of Political Activity by LLC’s

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) staff will hold an interested persons meeting on Monday, April 20, at 10:00 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public input regarding legislative and regulatory proposals to enhance disclosure of political activity […]

Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) staff will hold an interested persons meeting on Monday, April 20, at 10:00 a.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public input regarding legislative and regulatory proposals to enhance disclosure of political activity by limited liability companies (LLCs) in California elections.

Current law enables LLCs to make contributions or independent expenditures solely in the name of the LLC without disclosing any information, or even a way to determine, the source of the funds expended by the LLC and individuals responsible for operating the LLC.

The FPPC is interested in increasing the amount of information available to the public concerning political activity by LLCs.

Regulatory proposals will be considered for adoption or amendment on or after the May 21 meeting.

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April 3, 2020 •

Justices Decline Challenge to Seattle Democracy Vouchers

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to Seattle’s first-in-the-nation democracy voucher program for public financing of political campaigns. The court denied the challenge brought by two local property owners arguing the program violated the First Amendment by forcing them, […]

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to Seattle’s first-in-the-nation democracy voucher program for public financing of political campaigns.

The court denied the challenge brought by two local property owners arguing the program violated the First Amendment by forcing them, through their tax dollars, to support candidates they don’t like.

In 2015, Seattle voters decided to tax themselves $3 million a year in order to receive four $25 vouchers they can donate to participating candidates in city elections.

The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the voucher program last year.

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April 3, 2020 •

Idaho’s May Primary Election Won’t Be Delayed, Deadline for Absentee Ballots Pushed Back

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

Idaho Gov. Brad Little won’t delay the May 19 primary election, but the election will now be all-absentee due to the risk from coronavirus. Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has extended the deadline to submit absentee ballots to June 2. […]

Idaho Gov. Brad Little won’t delay the May 19 primary election, but the election will now be all-absentee due to the risk from coronavirus.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has extended the deadline to submit absentee ballots to June 2.

Idahoans will be able register to vote and request an absentee ballot up until 8 p.m. on May 19.

The extension pushes back voters’ deadline to submit ballots to county clerks to 8 p.m. on June 2.

Normally that deadline would have been 8 p.m. May 19.

The Office of the Secretary of State will be sending out absentee ballot requests to every registered voter who has not already requested one.

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April 2, 2020 •

Wyoming Democrats Change Mail-In Date for Caucus

Wyoming Capitol

Wyoming Capitol - By Bradlyons - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Democratic Party has canceled all county conventions and the in-person portion of its upcoming caucus over increasing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak. All Wyoming Democrats registered by March 20 were automatically sent a ballot in the mail, to the […]

The Democratic Party has canceled all county conventions and the in-person portion of its upcoming caucus over increasing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

All Wyoming Democrats registered by March 20 were automatically sent a ballot in the mail, to the address on their voter registration.

The deadline to request a replacement ballot was March 31.

Ballots must be mailed back to the Wyoming Democratic Party (postage paid envelope is included) and received by April 17.

Ballots received after April 17 will not be tabulated.

Caucus results will be released as soon as possible.

Counties will hold delegate elections and conventions electronically, no later than May 24.

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March 27, 2020 •

Nevada to Conduct All Voting in Primary Election by Mail

Nevada State Capitol Octagonal Annex

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced plans to conduct an all-mail election for the June 9, 2020 primary election. All active registered voters in Nevada will be mailed an absentee ballot for the primary election. Voters will be able to […]

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced plans to conduct an all-mail election for the June 9, 2020 primary election.

All active registered voters in Nevada will be mailed an absentee ballot for the primary election.

Voters will be able to mark their ballot at home and then return it by mail using a postage-prepaid envelope.

Voters can also drop off a ballot in person at a designated county location.

This announcement applies only to the June 9, 2020 primary election.

In order to accommodate same-day voter registration, as well as assist voters who have issues with the ballot mailed to them, at least one in-person polling location will be available in each county.

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March 27, 2020 •

Montana Governor Allowing Counties to Conduct Upcoming Elections by Mail

Montana Capitol Building

Montana Capitol Building - gillfoto

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive on Wednesday authorizing counties to conduct upcoming elections entirely by mail. The directive allows counties to decide whether to adopt a mail ballot for the June primary election. Montanans are still permitted to vote […]

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive on Wednesday authorizing counties to conduct upcoming elections entirely by mail.

The directive allows counties to decide whether to adopt a mail ballot for the June primary election.

Montanans are still permitted to vote in person during the 30-day voting window, even if they have received a mail ballot.

If counties choose to participate in mail voting for the June primary, they must submit plans to do so.

Mail ballots would be released on May 8 and early voting would be available in person through the close of the primary election on June 2.

Voters will not be required to pay postage to return their ballots by mail.

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March 27, 2020 •

Washington Governor Signs Political Contribution Bill

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Washington State Capitol Building - Cacophony

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill concerning certification of the level of foreign national ownership for corporations participating in state elections. Senate Bill 6152 requires a certification from each corporation making a contribution to the candidate, political committee, or incidental […]

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill concerning certification of the level of foreign national ownership for corporations participating in state elections.

Senate Bill 6152 requires a certification from each corporation making a contribution to the candidate, political committee, or incidental committee stating the corporation’s ownership comprises less than 50% foreign nationals.

The bill becomes effective June 11, 2020.

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March 27, 2020 •

California FPPC Extending Form 700 Deadline

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is allowing a 60-day extension for those required to file a 2019 annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700). This two-month extension means forms normally due on April […]

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is allowing a 60-day extension for those required to file a 2019 annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700).

This two-month extension means forms normally due on April 1, 2020, will be accepted by the FPPC as timely until June 1.

The extension will apply to all officials required to file in April.

The FPPC intends to formally ratify this extension at its April 2 special meeting.

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March 26, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Behested Payment Reporting in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for […]

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for charitable or government organizations.

In doing so, an elected official should be aware of and may be required to file a behested payment report.

The current statewide shelter-in-place order, closure of government offices, and various other circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic may make it difficult to file these reports on time.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) encourages elected officials to make best efforts to timely file behested payment reports.

If circumstances caused by the pandemic inhibit an official’s ability to file reports, the official should communicate these issues to their agency and document all attempts to file and the issues faced.

If an official makes best efforts to comply with the Political Reform Act’s behested payment reporting rules but is unable to do so due to the pandemic, the FPPC will consider this a strong mitigating factor in determining whether an enforcement action against the official is appropriate.

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March 25, 2020 •

Gov. Newsom Issues Executive Order for Upcoming Elections

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending vote-by-mail for three upcoming elections. The order comes as part of government efforts to protect public health and combat the spread of coronavirus. Under the executive order, county election officials are […]

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending vote-by-mail for three upcoming elections.

The order comes as part of government efforts to protect public health and combat the spread of coronavirus.

Under the executive order, county election officials are to distribute vote-by-mail to all voters eligible to participate in the special elections.

The elections include the special election for the 28th Senate District, a runoff election for the 25th Congressional District, and a special recall election held in the city of Westminster.

In addition to calling for changes to the way the upcoming special elections are conducted, the governor’s order also extends the deadlines for the ballot counting, tabulation and other responsibilities related to California’s presidential primary election for 21 days.

This will allow for the implementation of appropriate social distancing measures.

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March 25, 2020 •

Alaska Shifts to Mail-In Primary Due to COVID-19

Alaska State Capitol Buildling - Jay Galvin

On Monday, Alaska became one of the most recent states to alter presidential primary plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Alaska Democratic Party canceled in-person voting in the state scheduled for April 4. Additionally the party expanded the ability to […]

On Monday, Alaska became one of the most recent states to alter presidential primary plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alaska Democratic Party canceled in-person voting in the state scheduled for April 4.

Additionally the party expanded the ability to vote by mail by extending the deadline to mail in ballots from March 24 to April 10.

The Alaska Republican Party also announced its Republican state convention, scheduled for April 2-4 will convene electronically.

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March 23, 2020 •

Idaho House Adjourns, Ending Legislative Session

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

The second session of the 65th Idaho Legislature has ended. The House adjourned sine die on Friday after balancing fears of spreading the coronavirus with potential vetoes of several bills representatives will now be powerless to override. If the House […]

The second session of the 65th Idaho Legislature has ended.

The House adjourned sine die on Friday after balancing fears of spreading the coronavirus with potential vetoes of several bills representatives will now be powerless to override.

If the House stayed in session, it would have given them the option of holding an override vote.

The override would be necessary if Gov. Brad Little vetoed any of the bills sent to him in the last days of the session.

The House voted 32-28 to end the legislative session a day after the Senate adjourned sine die.

During the session, lawmakers passed a bill relating to the filing of campaign finance reports and a bill relating to codifier’s corrections.

Senate Bill 1233 amends who can file reports of contributions and expenditures to include the political committee and the candidate.

The bill was an emergency and became effective January 1, 2020.

Senate Bill 1334 makes non-substantive changes to definitions relating to lobbying and contributions.

The bill becomes effective May 19, 2020.

This does affect lobbyist reporting.

The statutory requirement to file monthly reports when the Legislature is in session will end with the report due April 15.

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March 20, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Campaign Finance Filings in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) understands the unique and extraordinary situation caused by the united efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The FPPC recognizes offices around the state are closed and […]

In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) understands the unique and extraordinary situation caused by the united efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FPPC recognizes offices around the state are closed and the stay at home directive makes the filing of campaign statements and reports difficult.

An advisory has been issued encouraging candidates and committees to continue to make best efforts to timely disclose campaign activity to the public.

State and local candidates are encouraged to make use of electronic filing options, if available.

All candidates and committees filing campaign statements and reports with the Office of the Secretary or State may use the online filing system.

Local candidates and committees should contact their local filing officers to determine if electronic filing is available in their jurisdiction.

If a candidate or committee makes best efforts to comply with the Political Reform Act’s campaign finance disclosure rules but is unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FPPC will consider this a strong mitigating factor in determining whether an enforcement action against the candidate or committee is appropriate.

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