March 13, 2020 •

Missouri Senate to Recess Over Coronavirus

Missouri Capitol Building

Senate Majority Leader of Missouri Caleb Rowden announced, due to concerns over spreading the COVID-19 illness, the Senate will not meet next week. The legislative spring break was set to begin on March 19, meaning the Senate is not scheduled […]

Senate Majority Leader of Missouri Caleb Rowden announced, due to concerns over spreading the COVID-19 illness, the Senate will not meet next week.

The legislative spring break was set to begin on March 19, meaning the Senate is not scheduled to reconvene for the rest of the month.

The House will meet next week to work on the budget.

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January 21, 2020 •

Emergency Session Held on Yona Leadership Crisis

Legislators met in an emergency special session last Friday to solve the leadership crisis in Yona, Guam. Yona Mayor Jesse Blas is currently in jail awaiting trial on extortion and bribery charges stemming from a methamphetamine smuggling operation he allegedly […]

Legislators met in an emergency special session last Friday to solve the leadership crisis in Yona, Guam.

Yona Mayor Jesse Blas is currently in jail awaiting trial on extortion and bribery charges stemming from a methamphetamine smuggling operation he allegedly facilitated.

Blas has not resigned and has continued to make appointments from behind bars.

In the emergency session, the unicameral Legislature passed a bill requiring a municipal planning council to appoint an acting mayor in the event of an extended mayoral absence.

Lawmakers declined to pass proposed language that would authorize and fund a recall election in Yona.

Vice Speaker Telena Nelson called the session after Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, who opposed the idea, temporarily made Nelson acting speaker when she left the territory to attend a funeral.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero now has ten days to sign or veto the new bill, or it will automatically become law.

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January 21, 2020 •

New York Special Election Will Coincide with Presidential Primary

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo - Shinya Suzuki

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set April 28 as the date for a special election for the 27th U.S. Congressional District, meaning the election will coincide with the state’s presidential primary election. The New York Republican Party sued to have the […]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set April 28 as the date for a special election for the 27th U.S. Congressional District, meaning the election will coincide with the state’s presidential primary election.

The New York Republican Party sued to have the election scheduled for an earlier date, but lost in the state Supreme Court.

The seat was vacated when Congressman Chris Collins, a Buffalo Republican, resigned after pleading guilty to insider trading.

State party leaders will pick the nominees for the special election.

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January 16, 2020 •

Atlanta Mayor Proposes an Office of Inspector General

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - Michael A. Schwarz.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order calling for the city to create an Office of Inspector General. The office would create the new position of Inspector General and an independent board with the authority to conduct administrative appeals […]

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order calling for the city to create an Office of Inspector General.

The office would create the new position of Inspector General and an independent board with the authority to conduct administrative appeals and ethics investigations.

The board would appoint the Inspector General, who would serve a fixed term and could only be removed with cause.

The office would also gain the ability to appoint and remove the city auditor and city ethics officer, two existing positions.

Current City Auditor Amanda Noble criticized the new proposal, saying it would not serve the public interest.

Bottoms is facing two separate ethics investigations, one from the State Ethics Commission and another from the City Council.

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January 16, 2020 •

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Sues Secretary of State for Right to Lobby

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist. The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in […]

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist.

The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in March of 2019, citing his federal convictions for fraud and extortion.

DiMasi is currently registered as a lobbyist with the city of Boston.

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January 16, 2020 •

Ethics Commission Proposes Stricter Grassroots Lobbying Regulations

Maine Capitol Building

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation. The current threshold to trigger a report […]

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation.

The current threshold to trigger a report is $15,000, and even then only if the group first employs a traditional lobbyist.

The commission’s proposal is partly a response to the environmental organization Stop the Corridor, which ran advertisements last year opposing a proposed transmission line while lawmakers were considering bills pertaining to the project.

Ethics Commission proposals go to the state Legislature, which decides if it will craft them into legislation.

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January 9, 2020 •

Special Elections Scheduled to Replace Lawmakers Elected to Higher Office

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

House Speaker Mike Turzai scheduled special elections for March 17 to replace three lawmakers that won higher office in last November’s election. Rep. Tedd Nesbit of Grove City and Rep. Justin Walsh of Rostraver, Republicans who represented the 8th and […]

House Speaker Mike Turzai scheduled special elections for March 17 to replace three lawmakers that won higher office in last November’s election.

Rep. Tedd Nesbit of Grove City and Rep. Justin Walsh of Rostraver, Republicans who represented the 8th and 58th House Districts, respectively, were both elected to county judgeships.

18th District Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Bensalem Republican, won a seat on the Bucks County Board of Commissioners.

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January 7, 2020 •

Special Election Set for Borough President

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has scheduled a special election to be held on March 24 for Queens borough president. The seat became vacant when President Melinda Katz, a Democrat from Forest Hills, resigned to become Queens District […]

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has scheduled a special election to be held on March 24 for Queens borough president.

The seat became vacant when President Melinda Katz, a Democrat from Forest Hills, resigned to become Queens District Attorney.

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January 7, 2020 •

New Mexico State Ethics Commission Opens

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

The New Mexico state ethics commission opened on January 2. The commission was created by a constitutional amendment passed in November 2018. The seven member-structure was specified in a bill signed last March by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Former Judge […]

The New Mexico state ethics commission opened on January 2.

The commission was created by a constitutional amendment passed in November 2018.

The seven member-structure was specified in a bill signed last March by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Former Judge William F. Lang was appointed by Lujan Grisham to be the commission’s first chairman.

The commission will issue advisory opinions regarding campaign finance, government contracts, and lobbying disclosure law and will investigate complaints of potential violations.

The alleged offense must have occurred after June of 2019, and all accusations will be confidential until the commission decides to hold a public hearing.

The commission has the authority to impose civil penalties and can recommend disciplinary action, including impeachment.

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January 3, 2020 •

Special Election Set for Another Massachusetts Vacant House Seat

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Another special election has been scheduled, this time for the 37th Middlesex district. The House seat will become vacant on January 8 when Rep. Jen Benson, a Lunenberg Democrat, will resign to become president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. […]

Another special election has been scheduled, this time for the 37th Middlesex district.

The House seat will become vacant on January 8 when Rep. Jen Benson, a Lunenberg Democrat, will resign to become president of the Alliance for Business Leadership.

The primary special election for Benson’s replacement will be held on March 3 and the general special election will be held on March 31.

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December 23, 2019 •

Campaign Finance Overhaul Becomes Law in New York

New York Capitol Building

The campaign finance overhaul unveiled in New York last month by the Campaign Finance Reform Commission is now law. This happened automatically when the Legislature missed a December 22 deadline to convene and vote to block or amend the proposal. […]

The campaign finance overhaul unveiled in New York last month by the Campaign Finance Reform Commission is now law.

This happened automatically when the Legislature missed a December 22 deadline to convene and vote to block or amend the proposal.

The changes include:

  • Steep drops in state contribution limits
  • Stricter ballot qualification criteria
  • The creation of a new regulatory agency called the Public Campaign Finance Board
  • Public financing of elections

Many of the new rules become effective at the start of the new year.

However, the public financing will not kick in until 2026.

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December 19, 2019 •

Washington State Representative Resigns

Former Rep. Kristine Reeves

State Rep. Kristine Reeves, a Federal Way Democrat, resigned from the Legislature Monday. Reeves, who represented the 30th Legislative District, implied she may run for the U.S. Congress next year. There will not be a special election to fill the […]

State Rep. Kristine Reeves, a Federal Way Democrat, resigned from the Legislature Monday.

Reeves, who represented the 30th Legislative District, implied she may run for the U.S. Congress next year.

There will not be a special election to fill the vacancy. Instead, the state Democrat party will call a meeting of the 30th District Precinct Committee officers to choose three candidates.

King and Pierce county council members will then host a joint meeting to choose Reeves’ successor.

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December 19, 2019 •

Special Elections Scheduled for Massachusetts House and Senate

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Special elections for the 32nd Middlesex House District and Plymouth and Barnstable Senate District have been scheduled by their respective legislative bodies. Both seats were vacated when their officeholders left for executive positions. Rep. Paul Brodeur, a Democrat, resigned after […]

Special elections for the 32nd Middlesex House District and Plymouth and Barnstable Senate District have been scheduled by their respective legislative bodies.

Both seats were vacated when their officeholders left for executive positions.

Rep. Paul Brodeur, a Democrat, resigned after winning the Melrose mayoral election.

Sen. Vinny DeMacedo, Republican from Plymouth, stepped down to become director of regional partnerships at Bridgewater State University.

The 32nd Middlesex primary election will be held on February 4, and a general election will be held on March 3.

The Plymouth and Barnstable primary election will be held on March 3, and a general election will be held on March 31.

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December 18, 2019 •

Pennsylvania Special Election Set for February

Former Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell

House Speaker Mike Turzai announced a special election for House District 190. The seat became vacant when Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Philadelphia Democrat, resigned. Johnson-Harrell was indicted for allegedly embezzling over a half million dollars from her charity, Motivations Education […]

House Speaker Mike Turzai announced a special election for House District 190.

The seat became vacant when Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Philadelphia Democrat, resigned.

Johnson-Harrell was indicted for allegedly embezzling over a half million dollars from her charity, Motivations Education and Consultation Associates (MECA).

The special election will be held on February 25.

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