March 18, 2020 •

California Legislature Suspends Session in Response to COVID-19

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

The California Legislature voted to suspend its 2020 session for nearly a month in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Lawmakers Monday night voted unanimously to recess from March 20 until April 13, though the date is subject to change. The […]

The California Legislature voted to suspend its 2020 session for nearly a month in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Lawmakers Monday night voted unanimously to recess from March 20 until April 13, though the date is subject to change.

The Legislature passed a relief package that sends $1.1 billion in support to hospitals, facilities, local governments and schools to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

Wyoming Legislature Wraps Up Legislative Session

Wyoming Capitol

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

The 2020 budget session of the Wyoming Legislature adjourned sine die on March 13 after 24 days in session. The session lasted an extra four days this year because of a decision made by lawmakers last year. During the session, […]

The 2020 budget session of the Wyoming Legislature adjourned sine die on March 13 after 24 days in session.

The session lasted an extra four days this year because of a decision made by lawmakers last year.

During the session, legislators passed a bill expanding limitations on campaign contributions.

Senate File 20 expands limitations on campaign contributions from organizations to include a candidate’s campaign committee or any political party or political action committee that directly coordinates with a candidate or a candidate’s campaign committee.

The bill becomes effective July 1, 2020, and does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Offices Will Be Closed During Public Health Order

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

Mayor London N. Breed announced the Health Officer of the City and County of San Francisco has issued a Public Health Order. This order requires residents to remain in place, with the only exception being for essential needs. This measure […]

Mayor London N. Breed announced the Health Officer of the City and County of San Francisco has issued a Public Health Order.

This order requires residents to remain in place, with the only exception being for essential needs.

This measure is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Public Health Order is effective as of midnight on Tuesday, March 17 until April 7, unless amended or extended.

The physical offices of the ethics commission will be closed for the duration of the Public Health Order until April 7, unless otherwise noticed.

The regular monthly meeting scheduled for Friday, March 20, has been canceled.

However, the ethics commission remains open for business through its telework policy and technology.

Staff will continue to assist with filing guidance, online disclosure tools and resources, advice, and compliance assistance, among its other duties.

Filing deadlines established by law applying during this period remain in effect and have not been extended.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

Oregon Legislators Call for Special Session to Deal with Coronavirus Pandemic

Oregon State Capitol Building

Oregon Legislatures called for a special legislative session to address the impact COVID-19 is having on the state. The special session will convene when the Legislature has an emergency response package ready for consideration. The Legislature’s Special Joint Committee on […]

Oregon Legislatures called for a special legislative session to address the impact COVID-19 is having on the state.

The special session will convene when the Legislature has an emergency response package ready for consideration.

The Legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response is scheduled to hold its first meeting Wednesday, March 18 at 10 a.m.

This will not affect any lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

Wyoming Democrats Cancel In-Person Portion of Caucus Because of COVID-19

Wyoming Capitol

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

The Wyoming Democratic Party has canceled all county conventions and the in-person portion of its upcoming caucus. The party has taken the precautions over increasing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak. The events to assign Wyoming’s 13 pledged delegates, scheduled for […]

The Wyoming Democratic Party has canceled all county conventions and the in-person portion of its upcoming caucus.

The party has taken the precautions over increasing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

The events to assign Wyoming’s 13 pledged delegates, scheduled for April 4, will now be handled exclusively through the mail.

Voters can still drop their ballots off in person at one of the party’s dozens of collection spots around the state.

Voters can drop off their ballots on March 28 and April 4, and have them postmarked by March 20.

The change is not anticipated to interfere with any of the traditional functions of the caucus itself.

However, county delegates to the state convention, normally selected in person, could be elected by other means, pending approval by the Democratic National Committee.

As of now, the June 6 state convention in Powell is on schedule.

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March 13, 2020 •

Wyoming Governor Signs Procurement Bill

Wyoming Capitol

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

Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill modifying provisions related to procurement and contracting by governmental entities. House Bill 50 increases the amount to $15,000 for bids or contracts for supplies or services required to be made by competitive sealed bidding. […]

Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill modifying provisions related to procurement and contracting by governmental entities.

House Bill 50 increases the amount to $15,000 for bids or contracts for supplies or services required to be made by competitive sealed bidding.

Additionally, the bill allows an elected state official to contract for supplies or services by competitive negotiation without department approval.

This can be done when:

    • The contract is for $25,000 or less
    • The elected state official determines the use of competitive sealed bidding is not feasible or practical

House Bill 50 becomes effective October 1, 2020.

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March 13, 2020 •

FPPC of California Creates Task Force

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced the formation of a Digital Transparency Task Force. The purpose of this group is to address the issues surrounding political advertising through social media and other digital outlets. The Digital Transparency Task […]

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced the formation of a Digital Transparency Task Force.

The purpose of this group is to address the issues surrounding political advertising through social media and other digital outlets.

The Digital Transparency Task Force will study the current landscape of these outlets.

They will also look at trends and ways to keep up with the ever-changing field, including regulations possibly needing updated, enhanced, added, or strengthened.

The FPPC created the task force to help set standards and to develop best practices for transparent digital political advertising.

They will also assist the public to easily find the information in a publicly accessible database.

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March 13, 2020 •

Washington Legislature Adjourns, Ups COVID-19 Funding

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Washington State Capitol Building - Cacophony

The 2020 session of the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 12 after 60 days in session. Lawmakers’ final hours of work were overshadowed by the continued onslaught of COVID-19 news in the state. This prompted passage of […]

The 2020 session of the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 12 after 60 days in session.

Lawmakers’ final hours of work were overshadowed by the continued onslaught of COVID-19 news in the state.

This prompted passage of a supplemental state budget doubling funding from $100 million to $200 million for the COVID-19 response.

Lawmakers noted the sense of urgency to finish their work quickly due to growing concerns about the spread of the virus.

During the session, legislators passed 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.

The certification must state the corporation’s ownership is comprised of less than 50% of foreign nationals.

Legislators also passed a procurement bill providing for accountability and transparency in government contracting.

House Bill 1521 requires evaluation of contract performance.

The evaluation assess whether decisions to contract out government services to the private sector are achieving their stated objectives.

In addition, the bill intends to ensure public contractors given access to state resources are held to ethical standards consistent with public values.

Gov. Jay Inslee has 20 days to act on the bills.

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March 10, 2020 •

Oregon Legislative Session Officially Ends

Oregon State Capitol Building

The Oregon legislative session officially ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. The short session came to a halt when both House and Senate Republican lawmakers walked out. This was done in order to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed […]

The Oregon legislative session officially ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

The short session came to a halt when both House and Senate Republican lawmakers walked out.

This was done in order to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed to combat climate change.

Only three bills passed the Legislature during this session, with more than 250 bills left stalled.

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March 10, 2020 •

Fundraising Window to Open for Los Angeles Citywide 2022 Candidates

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Los Angeles City Hall - Michael J Fromholtz

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced the fundraising window for the regular 2022 primary election. The window for citywide candidates will open March 8, 2020, while primary election are scheduled for March 8, 2022. City law specifies the primary election […]

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced the fundraising window for the regular 2022 primary election.

The window for citywide candidates will open March 8, 2020, while primary election are scheduled for March 8, 2022.

City law specifies the primary election fundraising window for citywide races will be 24 months.

Additionally, the window for City Council and Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education (LAUSD) races will be 18 months.

The fundraising window for City Council and LAUSD candidates in the regular 2022 primary election will open September 8, 2020.

The Ethics Commission has not changed the campaign contribution limits for candidates at this time.

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February 26, 2020 •

Oregon Republican Legislators Walkout Over Climate Bill

Oregon State Capitol Building

The Oregon state legislature adjourned Tuesday after House Republicans joined their Senate counterparts in walking out. Their goal is to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed to combat climate change. The walkout came as Republican legislators accused the majority […]

The Oregon state legislature adjourned Tuesday after House Republicans joined their Senate counterparts in walking out.

Their goal is to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed to combat climate change.

The walkout came as Republican legislators accused the majority Democrats of attempting to rush through aggressive emissions restrictions on industry and business.

They argue the proposed limits should be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.

The House walkout came a day after Senate Republicans staged their own walkout.

This denies Democrats the two-thirds majority needed to reach a quorum.

Senate Republicans walked out twice during last year’s session over a similar cap-and-trade bill and a $1 billion a year tax for education.

The House has not declared sine die, though the session is scheduled to end March 8.

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February 17, 2020 •

Judge Set to Confirm Most of San Francisco Political Ad Disclosure Rules

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will uphold the bulk of a San Francisco ordinance requiring political ads to disclose top donors and secondary funding sources. Proposition F requires print, audio, and video political ads disclose the top three donors who […]

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will uphold the bulk of a San Francisco ordinance requiring political ads to disclose top donors and secondary funding sources.

Proposition F requires print, audio, and video political ads disclose the top three donors who contributed at least $5,000. If one of those donors is a PAC, the committee’s top two donors must also be disclosed.

The judge rejected claims the ad disclosure law hinders political speech.

Yes on Prop B argued the law unconstitutionally burdens its right to free speech and cited an en banc Ninth Circuit panel decision in American Beverage Association v. San Francisco blocking the city from requiring health warnings taking up 20% of billboard ads for sodas and sweetened drinks.

Judge Breyer found the court decision was not really on point because Proposition F was passed by a voter referendum and regulates political speech as opposed to commercial speech.

The judge also rejected an argument donor information is easily accessible on the San Francisco Ethics Commission website stating putting the onus on voters to look up the information would not match the law’s intent.

While refusing to block most of the law, Judge Breyer agreed requiring lengthy disclaimers for small print and short length political ads is likely unconstitutional and indicated he will issue a partial injunction blocking those types of restrictions.

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February 17, 2020 •

Alaska Supreme Court Allows Recall Dunleavy to Begin Gathering Signatures

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy

The Alaska Supreme Court issued an order allowing the campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy to begin collecting signatures. The decision reverses a lower court ruling pausing signature gathering and putting the case on an extremely speedy schedule by the […]

The Alaska Supreme Court issued an order allowing the campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy to begin collecting signatures.

The decision reverses a lower court ruling pausing signature gathering and putting the case on an extremely speedy schedule by the standards of the court.

Oral arguments over the legality of the recall will be held on March 25.

The Division of Elections will begin printing petition booklets for Recall Dunleavy to collect the required 71, 252 signatures.

If the Supreme Court rules the recall campaign legal, any election would take place 60 to 90 days after the Division of Elections confirms enough signatures have been gathered.

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February 13, 2020 •

Idaho Election Filing Deadlines Extended

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

At the request of Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, and in consultation with the office of the Governor, the Idaho Office of the Secretary of State is extending the February 10 filing deadline for PACs and candidates under the […]

At the request of Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, and in consultation with the office of the Governor, the Idaho Office of the Secretary of State is extending the February 10 filing deadline for PACs and candidates under the Idaho Sunshine Laws to February 17, 2020.

Being the first report due under the new revisions of the Sunshine Law, various unanticipated issues have made achieving the deadline by midnight unlikely for some candidates and PACs.

The fines stipulated by the new laws will also be pushed back and not be assessed at this time.

Another contributing factor to the delayed deadline is for many in local and special district offices, this report represents their first time ever filing with the Office of the Secretary of State and many were not aware of the steps required to gain access to the state’s campaign finance filing system.

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