March 18, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Responds to COVID-19

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Board of Ethics is delaying implementation of Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for April 20 to July 1. The ordinance imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city. Steven Berlin, Executive Director for the […]

The Board of Ethics is delaying implementation of Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for April 20 to July 1.

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

Steven Berlin, Executive Director for the Chicago Board of Ethics, explained as the city and groups around Chicago work to respond to COVID-19, delaying enforcement until the third quarter is appropriate.

Advisory Opinion Case No. 202012.Q was issued to provide guidance regarding gifts and services to aid the city in its official response to COVID-19.

The Board of Ethics also canceled the two remaining prescheduled March in-person ethics training seminars for March 17 and March 26.

Berlin indicated the training will be posted online as soon as possible and the completion deadline will be extended accordingly.

The quarterly activity reporting deadlines of April 20 and July 20 remain in effect.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 26, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Releases Fourth Binding Advisory Opinion

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics released a fourth binding advisory opinion to provide additional guidance on Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305. Effective April 20, it will impose new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city. The board states […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics released a fourth binding advisory opinion to provide additional guidance on Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305.

Effective April 20, it will impose new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

The board states the 14 questions addressed in the new advisory opinion reflect the fundamental principal of Chicago’s lobbying law:

If an individual is paid by another person or organization to influence city administrative or legislative actions, the activity should be done transparently, either through official documented administrative processes or through registration and reporting lobbying activity.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 20, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Issues Advisory Opinions

The Chicago Board of Ethics issued a press release and three binding advisory opinions. These opinions clarify what does and does not constitute lobbying activity by nonprofit organizations. The opinions include a total of 44 scenarios or hypothetical situations addressing […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics issued a press release and three binding advisory opinions.

These opinions clarify what does and does not constitute lobbying activity by nonprofit organizations.

The opinions include a total of 44 scenarios or hypothetical situations addressing concerns raised by the nonprofit community in response to recently passed amendments to lobbying laws.

Effective April 20, Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305 imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 24, 2019 •

Chicago Announces Three Month Delay in Effective Date of Ethics Ordinance

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The city of Chicago announced a three-month delay for the effective date of an ordinance expanding the definition of lobbyist. The expansion would include persons acting on behalf of a nonprofit if they undertake those efforts as a matter of […]

The city of Chicago announced a three-month delay for the effective date of an ordinance expanding the definition of lobbyist.

The expansion would include persons acting on behalf of a nonprofit if they undertake those efforts as a matter of professional engagement, regardless of pay or compensation.

Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, originally scheduled to be effective January 1, 2020, will provide exceptions to the registration requirements for persons who, either as a member of, or on behalf of, a not-for-profit entity conduct nonpartisan analysis or research, provide technical advice, or examine broad social and economic problems.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 19, 2019 •

Chicago Passes Lobbying Restrictions

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

Chicago City Council voted to pass a lobbying ordinance on December 18. The ordinance prohibits city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients. Ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois […]

Chicago City Council voted to pass a lobbying ordinance on December 18.

The ordinance prohibits city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients.

Ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois from lobbying on behalf of private clients in Chicago.

In both circumstances, the ordinance carves out an exception for elected officials who are attorneys providing legal representation in certain administrative or legislative actions.

Ordinance 2019-8541 will become effective 90 days after passage and publication.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 11, 2019 •

Chicago City Council Passes Lobbyist Restrictions

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Chicago City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously passed a proposal on December 4 to prohibit city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients. Proposed ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes […]

The Chicago City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously passed a proposal on December 4 to prohibit city elected officials and employees from lobbying state or local government on behalf of private clients.

Proposed ordinance 2019-8541 also precludes elected officials anywhere in Illinois from lobbying on behalf of private clients in Chicago.

In both circumstances, the proposed ordinance carves out an exception for elected officials who are attorneys providing legal representation in certain administrative or legislative actions.

The proposal will be presented for a vote on December 18.

If approved, the ordinance would take effect 90 days after passage and publication.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 24, 2019 •

Chicago Lobbying Ordinance Passes

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

City Council unanimously approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s ethics ordinance on July 24, changing the definition of lobbyist for purposes of registration. Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305 provides that a person acting on behalf of a nonprofit will not need to register as […]

City Council unanimously approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s ethics ordinance on July 24, changing the definition of lobbyist for purposes of registration.

Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305 provides that a person acting on behalf of a nonprofit will not need to register as a lobbyist if he or she is unpaid or is providing technical assistance to the nonprofit.

The ordinance will become effective 90 days after its passage and publication.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 23, 2019 •

Chicago Lobbying Ordinance Advances

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot - MacLean Center

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in the process of passing an ethics ordinance related to government ethics and lobbyist registration. Under Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, a person acting on behalf of a nonprofit will not need to register as a lobbyist […]

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in the process of passing an ethics ordinance related to government ethics and lobbyist registration.

Under Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, a person acting on behalf of a nonprofit will not need to register as a lobbyist if he or she is unpaid or is providing technical assistance to the nonprofit.

The full City Council is scheduled to consider the mayor’s ethics reform on July 24.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 26, 2019 •

Chicago Releases New Lobbyist Ethics Training

The city of Chicago’s lobbyist ethics training for 2018-2019 is now available. The deadline to complete the mandatory training is before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 1. The ethics training course is available at the Chicago Board of Elections website.

The city of Chicago’s lobbyist ethics training for 2018-2019 is now available.

The deadline to complete the mandatory training is before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 1.

The ethics training course is available at the Chicago Board of Elections website.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 5, 2019 •

Chicago Revises Lobbyist Ethics Training

The city of Chicago is currently revising its mandatory lobbyist ethics training course for 2018-2019. Program Director Edward Primer of the Chicago Board of Ethics said he anticipates the training will be available in mid-March. A notice will be sent […]

The city of Chicago is currently revising its mandatory lobbyist ethics training course for 2018-2019.

Program Director Edward Primer of the Chicago Board of Ethics said he anticipates the training will be available in mid-March.

A notice will be sent to all registered lobbyists when the training becomes available.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 5, 2018 •

Contribution Limits Lifted in Chicago Mayoral Race

Contribution limits have been lifted for individuals running in the 2019 Chicago mayoral race. Per state law, the limits are lifted for all candidates in a local race once a candidate contributes $100,000 to his or her own campaign within […]

Contribution limits have been lifted for individuals running in the 2019 Chicago mayoral race.

Per state law, the limits are lifted for all candidates in a local race once a candidate contributes $100,000 to his or her own campaign within a year of the election.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has a major fundraising advantage; he raised over $24 million in the 2015 race.

Businessman Willie Wilson says he made a $100,000 contribution on Wednesday in an effort to level the playing field for other candidates.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 8, 2016 •

Chicago, IL Board of Ethics Wants Electronic Filing for Lobbyists

The Chicago Board of Ethics recently submitted two amendments to City Council, potentially affecting lobbyist filing procedures. One amendment would require lobbyists to file all documents electronically in the Electronic Lobbyist Filing (ELF) system. The other amendment would establish enforcement […]

Chicago Board of EthicsThe Chicago Board of Ethics recently submitted two amendments to City Council, potentially affecting lobbyist filing procedures.

One amendment would require lobbyists to file all documents electronically in the Electronic Lobbyist Filing (ELF) system. The other amendment would establish enforcement provisions related to the electronic filing requirement.

Unless a majority of aldermen vote to disapprove them, the amendments will become effective on December 11, 2016. Once effective, the Board of Ethics will implement the new procedures beginning January 1, 2017. Paper filings will no longer be accepted after December 31, 2016.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 21, 2016 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Makes New Rule for Acceptance of Cubs Tickets

Last week, the executive director of the Chicago Board of Ethics told the mayor and aldermen they could buy Cubs playoff tickets at face value provided they went to the game themselves and were publicly acknowledged by having their names […]

cubs-ticketsLast week, the executive director of the Chicago Board of Ethics told the mayor and aldermen they could buy Cubs playoff tickets at face value provided they went to the game themselves and were publicly acknowledged by having their names announced or displayed.

A new ethics interpretation, however, will take effect before the Cubs face the Dodgers in game six of the seven-game series. In a revised memorandum, the Board of Ethics said the elected officials may accept the tickets at face value only if they perform a ceremonial duty or action and there is a clear and direct connection between the official’s attendance and performance of such ceremonial duty or action.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 23, 2015 •

Chicago Labor Unions Representing City Employees Not Bound by City Pay-to-Play Restrictions

According to the Chicago Board of Ethics, unions representing city employees should not be bound by the city’s pay-to-play limits. Current campaign finance law bars vendors from contributing an aggregate amount exceeding $1,500 to any elected city official during a […]

Chicago Board of EthicsAccording to the Chicago Board of Ethics, unions representing city employees should not be bound by the city’s pay-to-play limits. Current campaign finance law bars vendors from contributing an aggregate amount exceeding $1,500 to any elected city official during a reporting year.

The Board ruled a collective bargaining agreement with the city is not the same as an agreement between the city and a private vendor providing goods or services because a labor union is not doing or seeking to do business with the city.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close