November 9, 2018 •

Steve Sisolak Wins Seat Against Adam Laxalt in Nevada

In a state sweep, Democratic candidate Steve Sisolak won the governor’s race, ending twenty years of Republican control. Nevada’s gubernatorial election was marked by heavy turnout, which kept voters casting ballots for nearly three hours after polls where scheduled to […]

In a state sweep, Democratic candidate Steve Sisolak won the governor’s race, ending twenty years of Republican control.

Nevada’s gubernatorial election was marked by heavy turnout, which kept voters casting ballots for nearly three hours after polls where scheduled to close, according to the Washington Times.

Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commissioner, beat Republican Adam Laxalt, the state’s attorney general, winning with 49.47 percent of the vote, in what’s called “one of the tightest gubernatorial races in recent Nevada memory.”

Notably, 12 members of Laxalt’s family published an op-ed in the Reno Gazette-Journal opposing his gubernatorial run, and outgoing republican governor Brian Sanodval did not endorse Laxalt.

Sisolak additionally ran against independent candidate Ryan Bundy (son of Cliven Bundy), who received less than 2 percent of the state’s vote.

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November 7, 2018 •

Michelle Lujan Grisham Wins New Mexico Gubernatorial Seat

Democratic Congresswoman and former state health secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham won last night’s New Mexico gubernatorial election with 56.91 percent of the vote. Lujan Grisham became the first Democratic Latina governor, taking over a seat held by Republicans for two […]

Democratic Congresswoman and former state health secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham won last night’s New Mexico gubernatorial election with 56.91 percent of the vote. Lujan Grisham became the first Democratic Latina governor, taking over a seat held by Republicans for two terms.

Lujan Grisham’s win will mark the first time a Democratic candidate has won the gubernatorial seat since 2002, according to Vox.

She focused her platform on an expansion of preschool education, lowering crime rates, economic expansion, and investments in solar and wind energy.

Lujan Grisham has an extensive political tenure—she is a three-term U.S. congresswoman currently serving New Mexico’s first district. Prior to her federal service, she served as cabinet secretary for three different New Mexico governors.

Upon taking office, her current U.S. seat will be filled by Debra Haaland.

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November 7, 2018 •

New Hampshire Gubernatorial Race Finishes with Sununu Win

Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu won last night’s election in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only one of two states where governors are elected to two-year terms. Sununu, son of former governor John H. Sununu, was first elected in 2016.  […]

Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu won last night’s election in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only one of two states where governors are elected to two-year terms.

Sununu, son of former governor John H. Sununu, was first elected in 2016.  At 42 years old, he was the youngest governor in the United States when he initially took office.

Sununu’s centrist platform focused on the strong economy, low unemployment rate, success with fighting the state’s opioid crisis, and reforming mental health and child welfare systems, according to US News.

Molly Kelly, a former state senator from Harrisville, was the 2018 democratic challenger. Kelly presented a strong challenge to Sununu, despite early polling indications giving him a double digit projected win.

Despite the strong challenge, this was an uphill battle—state voters very rarely unseat an incumbent governor after their first term, with only two governors in the last 100 years losing after one term.

Despite the governor’s office being a democratic stronghold from 1997 to 2017, New Hampshire has elected 13 Republican governors since World War 2.

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April 4, 2018 •

Ask The Experts – Covering Expenditures for Site Visits

Q. As a company, we would like to organize site visits for agency officials, so they can better understand our company and industry.  Can we cover expenditures for these visits? A. State and local gift restrictions will apply to company expenditures […]

Q. As a company, we would like to organize site visits for agency officials, so they can better understand our company and industry.  Can we cover expenditures for these visits?

A. State and local gift restrictions will apply to company expenditures associated with a site visit by a government official or employee, especially if your company is a lobbyist employer or state contractor.  Food, beverage, entertainment, travel, lodging, or other promotional/welcome gifts could be restricted or banned.  However, many jurisdictions have specific gift exceptions allowing expenditures in conjunction with site visits.  Each jurisdiction has its own requirements for gift law compliance…

Read the full article here

For more information, be sure to check out the Gift Law and Reports Required sections of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for any  jurisdiction. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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April 6, 2017 •

Ask The Experts – Giving Gifts to University Officials and Employees

Q: Our company is a registered lobbyist employer in many states, and we regularly do business with universities. Can my company give gifts to university officials and employees? A: Gifts to university officials and employees fall under the purview of […]

Myra CottrillQ: Our company is a registered lobbyist employer in many states, and we regularly do business with universities. Can my company give gifts to university officials and employees?

A: Gifts to university officials and employees fall under the purview of state ethics laws in a majority of states.  Additionally, universities will often have more restrictive gift policies with respect to vendors. It is especially important to understand what your company can and can’t do at this level, because university employees (especially professors) are sometimes unaware of potential restrictions. Potential penalties can include loss of contracts with a university and/or state fines. Further, if your company is registered as a lobbyist employer, some gifts will need to be disclosed on appropriate reports.

The first step to determine whether a gift to a university official or employee will be permissible is to determine the scope of a state’s gift restrictions…

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Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc. Send your questions to experts@stateandfed.com.

We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or email us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need. Our replies are not legal advice, just our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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December 17, 2015 •

Ask the Experts – Key Components for a Successful Government Affairs Compliance Program

Q. What are the key components for a successful government affairs compliance program? A. We collaborate closely with our clients to create comprehensive and effective compliance programs. During this process, our clients often request guidance on best internal practices and […]

Myra Cottrill

Q. What are the key components for a successful government affairs compliance program?

A. We collaborate closely with our clients to create comprehensive and effective compliance programs. During this process, our clients often request guidance on best internal practices and procedures. Certainly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach—a successful compliance program will adapt seamlessly into the fabric of the corporate structure, making every program unique. Notwithstanding, here are five common components for successful government affairs compliance programs:

1. Centralized Oversight: Great compliance programs have a strong organizational structure with oversight and review vested in one dedicated team of government affairs professionals. All requests for corporate contributions, gifts, and events should be approved by the central team. There should be   one employer signatory for all state and local filings—one person who is responsible for oversight and who can attest to the accuracy of registrations and reports. This person typically has oversight of internal team activity, which affords an opportunity for a big picture overview of state and local responsibilities. The responsibility for all company reports should stay within the company—contract lobbyists typically should not be responsible for filing a company’s employer reports. Often, non-lobbyist employee activity, corporate contributions, and/or in-house corporate expenses need to be disclosed on employer reports. Contract lobbyists are not always privy to the necessary reporting information. We recommend working closely with your contract lobbyists to identify necessary reporting information (percentage of retainer dedicated to lobbying efforts, subject matter, etc.) and reviewing draft disclosure reports against company invoices to ensure accuracy in reporting.

2. Recurring Training Opportunities & Assessments: Providing adequate training opportunities for your team is necessary to ensure compliance. Ideally, this should be done on an annual basis, and completion should be required and documented. State and local requirements change quickly, as do team members. This is especially true for sales and procurement executives. We recommend a general training session or refresher course and individual follow-up to assess registration and/or reporting needs.

3. Broad Outreach Across Lines of Business and Departments: Contact with state and local government officials is usually not isolated to only the government affairs team—it can happen anywhere in your corporation, from the executive level to sales. A strong compliance program allows you to reach across lines of business and departments to ensure anyone engaging officials on behalf of your company is staying compliant with relevant rules and restrictions.

4. Clear Policies for Employee Engagement: Can you identify clear internal gift and contribution policies? Your compliance program should utilize and strengthen your existing gift, ethics, and corporate contribution policies. Ensure these policies are specific. For example, what employee activity triggers the policy? What activities are prohibited? What activities require pre-approval by your team? A well-structured compliance program will disseminate these policies companywide, and include a clear roadmap for employee compliance.

5. Open Door Policies and Procedures: In sum, you must make it easy to comply. If it’s too difficult to access information or request approval, your employees simply won’t do it. Is there an intranet, form, or a ticket system you can utilize to ensure your employees can easily access guidance? What resources do you provide to your employees?   Is there a company contact employees can reach to discuss questions or concerns? Further, there must be a fast turn-around time for questions and guidance. The longer something sits in a queue, the higher the risk for noncompliance.

In 2016, it will be more important than ever to keep a close watch on your compliance program.  Having a solid program in place will help when questions arise from the media, stockholders, and activists.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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August 13, 2015 •

Ask the Experts – Conference Attendance and Gift Limits

Q. I will be attending several upcoming conferences where legislators and other public officials will be present.   I’m not a registered lobbyist at the state level—do I still need to worry about gift limits? A. Even if you are not […]

Myra Cottrill

Q. I will be attending several upcoming conferences where legislators and other public officials will be present.   I’m not a registered lobbyist at the state level—do I still need to worry about gift limits?

A. Even if you are not a registered lobbyist, you will still need to be mindful of the various gift limits applicable to legislators and public officials you engage at these conferences.  Depending on your company’s status as a lobbyist employer, you may be subject to more stringent limits in certain jurisdictions.  It’s important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determining permissibility.  Each state addresses gift limits differently, and what will be permissible in one jurisdiction will not be permissible in another.   Further, you should not depend on the legislator or public official to know applicable gift limits.  Because gift limits may vary depending on your company’s status as a lobbyist employer, officials may not be aware of which limit to apply when accepting gifts and benefits.

Numerous states have gift exceptions specifically applicable to expenditures at national conferences to which all members of the legislature are invited (such as NCSL) as long as the expenditures are part of the conference agenda.  Examples of this include lunch/dinner events, or a sponsored state night.  However, for private dinners and events and other expenditures not included on the official agenda, you will still be subject to a state’s regular gift limits and restrictions.

In some cases, your expenditures on behalf of these individuals will need to be disclosed on a lobbyist employer report.  You will need to coordinate closely with your company’s government affairs or legal department to not only determine permissibility, but to determine whether the expense is reportable. For jurisdictions requiring disclosure, you may need to report the date of the expense, the name of the individual(s) receiving the benefit, a brief description, and the value of the expense.   Make sure to save itemized receipts.  Some jurisdictions require you to report the name and address of the vendor (such as a restaurant or catering company) and may additionally require you to determine the reportable amount by specific benefit received.  Some states do not permit meal expenditures to be calculated on a prorated basis (i.e., a dinner valued at $375, divided by the number of attendees) but instead require disclosure of a specific amount attributed to a particular legislative official or employee (i.e., $15.75 for the salmon entrée).

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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October 3, 2014 •

Ask the Experts – Contingency Fee Restrictions

Q. I am a registered lobbyist, and I receive a contingency fee as part of my compensation.  Should I be worried? A. In a majority of jurisdictions, there are express provisions prohibiting registered lobbyists from receiving a contingency-based fee.  Every […]

Myra Cottrill

Q. I am a registered lobbyist, and I receive a contingency fee as part of my compensation.  Should I be worried?

A. In a majority of jurisdictions, there are express provisions prohibiting registered lobbyists from receiving a contingency-based fee.  Every jurisdiction treats this issue differently, and there is a wide range of statutory oversight.  This issue becomes especially problematic for in-house employees who wear dual hats—you may be required to register as a lobbyist because of your interactions with government officials on behalf of your company, but you may additionally be involved in sales work.

In some jurisdictions, including Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Wyoming, there are no prohibitions whatsoever. Other jurisdictions, such as Nevada, only narrowly prohibit contingency fees for influencing the outcome of legislative action. However, there are even more restrictive bans in other jurisdictions, including Florida and Arkansas, that not only prohibit registered lobbyists from receiving a contingency-based fee, but prohibit this for anyone involved in government procurement, absent meeting a limited exception for salespersons or sales agents.

New York is one example of a jurisdiction banning lobbyists from receiving contingency fees, although the state does have a well-defined registration exception for individuals who qualify as commissioned salespersons. To qualify, the primary purpose of employment must be sales, other lobbying activity must be limited, and the individual must meet specific requirements regarding the percentage of the commission. Another example is North Carolina, where the contingency fee ban is not applicable to an individual doing business with the state whose regular remuneration includes commissions based on these types of sales.

Bottom line, if you are required to register as a lobbyist, you must be aware of the laws applicable in your jurisdiction if you receive a contingency-based fee for your work.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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May 5, 2014 •

Ask the Experts – California NLE Reporting Requirements

Q. My company is a registered lobbyist employer in California.   I do not currently meet the threshold for lobbyist registration, however, I do engage in some lobbying activity.  Am I required to disclose this activity on the company’s report? A. […]

Myra Cottrill

Q. My company is a registered lobbyist employer in California.   I do not currently meet the threshold for lobbyist registration, however, I do engage in some lobbying activity.  Am I required to disclose this activity on the company’s report?

A. In California, lobbyist employers are required to track and disclose compensation and expenditures for non-lobbyist employees (NLEs) on quarterly disclosure reports. If you meet the NLE threshold for reporting, you are required to disclose your pro-rata share of compensation and related expenditures, even if you do not meet the registration threshold.  Specifically, you qualify as an NLE if you spend more than 10 percent of your compensated time in any calendar month in connection with lobbying activities.  However, this does not include compensation paid to an employee whose duties are solely clerical, manual, or are limited to the compilation of data or statistics.

If you qualify as an NLE, you must track your compensation and reimbursed expenditures dedicated to state lobbying activities.  This combined figure is included on the employer report (Form 635) in Part D, Other Payments to Influence Legislative or Administrative Action.  When estimating your time, you will need to include all time spent in connection with lobbying activities, including direct communications with public officials in the presence of your company’s or trade association’s contract lobbyist.  Although there is an exception in the Fair Political Practices Commission regulations allowing employees to not count this type of direct communication towards the registration threshold, you must nevertheless track and disclose this time on your company’s employer report if you exceed the NLE reporting threshold.   You will also need to include grassroots activity, research, and preparation time.

Be mindful of the gap between the NLE reporting threshold and the lobbyist registration threshold. If your level of activity exceeds the lobbyist registration threshold, you are required to register within 10 days.  The registration threshold for in-house employees is defined as spending one-third or more of your compensated time in any calendar month engaging in direct communications with a qualifying official for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

 

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June 26, 2013 •

Ask the Experts – New Changes to Lobbying Law in Indiana

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottrill
Myra Cottrill, Esq.

Q. I’m registered as a legislative lobbyist in Indiana.  How do the new changes in the law affect me?

A. Recently, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed Enrolled Act 1222, expanding the definition of lobbying and requiring lobbyists to file registrations and reports electronically. This bill also increases the annual lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $200 and syncs the lobbyist registration year to correspond with the current lobbyist reporting periods (November-April and May-October).  As such, one of the most significant changes requiring your attention is that registration statements issued for 2013 will expire on November 1, not on December 31.

Most of the bill’s provisions will become effective July 1, 2013.  Here is a brief summary of important changes.

Lobbying Thresholds:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, the definition of legislative person includes all employees of the legislative department of state government for determining what communications constitute legislative lobbying.
  • For purposes of determining whether a person is a lobbyist, the annual registration fee is not to be considered when calculating the $500 compensation and expenditure registration thresholds.

Registrations:

  • As noted, current 2013 lobbyist registrations will expire on November 1, 2013. Registration will be required for each reporting year beginning on November 1, 2013, or within 15 business days after becoming a lobbyist, whichever is later. The commission may accept registration statements up to 60 days before the first day of the reporting year.
  • Effective November 1, 2013, the registration fee is $200. However, the registration fee is $100 if the lobbyist is a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, or an employee of a lobbyist nonprofit organization who performs lobbying services for the employer as part of the lobbyist’s salaried responsibilities.
  • Effective November 1, 2013, electronic registration is required unless the commission grants an exception.

Reporting:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, gift reports and purchasing reports need to be filed only with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission and the legislative person with respect to whom the report was made.
  • Effective January 1, 2014, electronic filing is mandatory unless the commission grants an exception.

You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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June 26, 2013 •

Ask the Experts – New Changes to Lobbying Law in Indiana

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottrill
Myra Cottrill, Esq.

Q. I’m registered as a legislative lobbyist in Indiana.  How do the new changes in the law affect me?

A. Recently, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed Enrolled Act 1222, expanding the definition of lobbying and requiring lobbyists to file registrations and reports electronically. This bill also increases the annual lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $200 and syncs the lobbyist registration year to correspond with the current lobbyist reporting periods (November-April and May-October).  As such, one of the most significant changes requiring your attention is that registration statements issued for 2013 will expire on November 1, not on December 31.

Most of the bill’s provisions will become effective July 1, 2013.  Here is a brief summary of important changes.

Lobbying Thresholds:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, the definition of legislative person includes all employees of the legislative department of state government for determining what communications constitute legislative lobbying.
  • For purposes of determining whether a person is a lobbyist, the annual registration fee is not to be considered when calculating the $500 compensation and expenditure registration thresholds.

Registrations:

  • As noted, current 2013 lobbyist registrations will expire on November 1, 2013. Registration will be required for each reporting year beginning on November 1, 2013, or within 15 business days after becoming a lobbyist, whichever is later. The commission may accept registration statements up to 60 days before the first day of the reporting year.
  • Effective November 1, 2013, the registration fee is $200. However, the registration fee is $100 if the lobbyist is a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, or an employee of a lobbyist nonprofit organization who performs lobbying services for the employer as part of the lobbyist’s salaried responsibilities.
  • Effective November 1, 2013, electronic registration is required unless the commission grants an exception.

Reporting:

  • Effective July 1, 2013, gift reports and purchasing reports need to be filed only with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission and the legislative person with respect to whom the report was made.
  • Effective January 1, 2014, electronic filing is mandatory unless the commission grants an exception.

You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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December 26, 2012 •

Ask the Experts – Disclosing Expenditure and Compensation for Lobbying Activities

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottrill
Myra Cottrill, Esq.

Q. I am an in-house employee; however, I am not a registered lobbyist in my responsible state. Although I engage in lobbying activities from time to time, I do not meet the state’s registration threshold. However, other people from my company are registered. Do I have to disclose my expenditure and/or compensation for lobbying activities on company reports?

A. In some jurisdictions, although you are not a registered lobbyist, you may be required to include your expenditure and/or compensation information on company lobbying disclosure reports. There are 27 states requiring some level of reporting for non-lobbyist employees, including Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Every state treats non-lobbyist reporting differently. For example, in California, you are only required to include your compensation and reimbursed expenditures on a quarterly employer report if you spend more than 10% or more of your compensated time in a calendar month engaging in lobbying activities. In states such as North Carolina, Illinois, or New Jersey, permissible expenditures on behalf of public officials must be reported by the employer or registered lobbyist.

In the above jurisdictions where your company has an active lobbying presence, monitoring potential reportable activity is incredibly important. Although your level of activity may not necessitate registration in a state, you must become familiar with the state’s non-lobbyist reporting requirements, and carefully track activity, which may include the following:

  • Compensation for lobbying activity;
  • Personal reimbursed expenditures for food, travel, or lodging in connection with lobbying activity;
  • Expenditures on behalf of public officials or employees;
  • Sponsorships for events where public officials or employees will be present and receive a benefit; and/or
  • Subject matter lobbied, including agencies contacted.

In sum, as you are reviewing your potential lobbyist registration obligations for the new year, it is just as important to review your potential reporting obligations as a non-lobbyist employee in the jurisdictions where your level of activity does not require registration.

You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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August 7, 2012 •

Ask the Experts – Reporting State-Level Lobbying When You Have Contracts with State Agencies

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottrill
Myra Cottrill, Esq.

Q. My company has existing, ongoing contracts with various state agencies. Sometimes, I have discussions with employees of these agencies (technicians, managers, and directors) regarding their use of my company’s products. Do I have to register and report as a lobbyist?

A. As a general rule for state-level lobbying, as long as discussions are limited to the evaluation and servicing of existing contracts, this type of activity will not typically be considered lobbying, the definition of which often includes influencing executive branch action.

However, in some states, executive branch action encompasses the state’s procurement process, including decisions to modify, extend, expand, or renew existing contracts. Once discussions of this type occur, lobbyist registration and reporting may be triggered, depending on the state’s specific time and expenditure thresholds. Every state has different thresholds, and requires its own specific analysis.

Here are some important things to track when evaluating whether you need to be registered in a specific jurisdiction:

  1. Who are you talking to? In jurisdictions requiring registration for procurement lobbying, registration may hinge on whether the agency employee is considered a covered official. In some states, covered official is broadly defined to include all employees, while other jurisdictions require registration and reporting for attempting to influence directors or other major decision makers.
  2. How many contacts have you had with the agency? How much time have you spent? Some jurisdictions require registration before the very first contact, while other jurisdictions require registration and reporting once you spend a certain amount of time engaging in procurement lobbying. You may need to determine your pro-rata share of compensation for time you have spent preparing for and engaging in the communication.
  3. Is there a pending RFP or a contract renewal on the horizon? In some jurisdictions, the timing of your conversation with an agency official is important. Is there a pending decision before the state agency which would affect your company’s bottom line? If so, registration as a lobbyist may be required before engaging in communication which could be perceived as influencing the decision making process.
  4. Did you expend any money on behalf of agency employees or officials? In some jurisdictions, registration may be triggered by expenditures on behalf of employees or officials.

You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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December 22, 2011 •

Ask the Experts – Am I Really Required to Wear a Lobbyist Badge?

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Myra Cottril
Compliance Associate Myra Cottrill

Q:  I’m a registered lobbyist in many different states.   I’ve noticed some states have badge requirements.  Am I really required to wear a badge? 

A:  The 2012 registration season is upon us.  As legislative sessions commence in various states, it is important to take stock of your various lobbyist registration requirements.   As you probably know, it is important to timely file your registration renewal.  However, there are other auxiliary requirements you must mind before you step onto capital grounds, such as your jurisdiction’s training and badge requirements.

The short answer to your question is a resounding yes—in some jurisdictions, wearing your badge is required to engage in lobbying activity.  In some states, you are unable to complete your registration, or file lobbyist disclosure reports unless you pick up your name badge.   Some states may require a personal visit to have your picture taken.  For example, in Georgia, upon initial registration, you must visit the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission to have your photo taken for your badge.  For quick reference, here is a list of states where badges and/or name tags are required:

  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

However, in some jurisdictions, although wearing a badge is encouraged, it is not absolutely required.  These states include Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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