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 25, 2020 •

Arkansas Governor Calls Special Legislative Session

Arkansas State Capitol

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special session of the Arkansas Legislature on Thursday, March 26. The session will fill budget holes caused by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Gov. Hutchinson announced the special session would grant him the authority […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special session of the Arkansas Legislature on Thursday, March 26.

The session will fill budget holes caused by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Gov. Hutchinson announced the special session would grant him the authority to use the state’s $173 million unallocated budget surplus.

He plans to fill budget needs after his administration cut the state’s general revenue by $353 million to $5.38 billion.

The governor made the budget cuts in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The special session triggers a lobbyist activity report (monthly) due April 10 for the reporting period of March 1 through March 31.

The special session is expected to span three calendar days.

The House of Representatives will meet at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center rather than the Capitol to limit close contact of legislators.

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March 25, 2020 •

Minnesota Lawmakers Scheduled to Convene March 26

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic. That […]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic.

That bill was signed by Gov. Tim Walz the same day.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said the new proposed legislation will provide further relief than the governor is able to deliver via executive order.

Lawmakers had agreed to recess until April 14, with the understanding they would return as needed.

Arrangements are being made to ensure the legislature follows the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Specifically they look to keep members, staff and the public safe, Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a joint statement late Tuesday.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 25, 2020 •

Northern Mariana Islands Suspends Legislative Operations

USA and Northern Marina Islands flags

The Administrative Officer for the Legislative Bureau announced the suspension of legislative operations until March 30, or until further notice. The suspension in necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Administrative Officer for the Legislative Bureau announced the suspension of legislative operations until March 30, or until further notice.

The suspension in necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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March 24, 2020 •

Guam Legislature Postpones Session Indefinitely

Guam Congress Sign - by MosheA

Speaker of the Legislature Tina Rose Muña Barnes announced the postponement of the legislative session indefinitely to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Additionally the postponement includes the emergency session expected to convene on March 23. The purpose is to […]

Speaker of the Legislature Tina Rose Muña Barnes announced the postponement of the legislative session indefinitely to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally the postponement includes the emergency session expected to convene on March 23.

The purpose is to discuss a bill relating to an unemployment benefits program.

Finally the Legislature is exploring the possibility of holding virtual sessions for the unemployment bill and state budget.

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March 24, 2020 •

Arizona Legislature Approves $50 Million Relief Package, Recesses for Three Weeks

Arizona State Capitol

Lawmakers approved a $50 million relief package for COVID-19 relief before recessing for three weeks as a public health precaution. The relief package allows Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration to use the funds for the following: Housing assistance Aid for businesses […]

Lawmakers approved a $50 million relief package for COVID-19 relief before recessing for three weeks as a public health precaution.

The relief package allows Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration to use the funds for the following:

    • Housing assistance
    • Aid for businesses
    • Nonprofits and healthcare providers with fewer than 50 employees
    • Assistance for food banks as well as organizations serving people experiencing homelessness

The budget will keep state government operating into the new fiscal year beginning in July.

The Legislature is suspended until April 13 unless the House speaker and Senate president announce otherwise.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 24, 2020 •

Indiana Lobby Registration Commission Update

Indiana State Capitol - By Daniel Schwen / CC BY-SA

The Lobby Registration Commission staff will be working from home until April 7 to comply with Executive Order 20-09, issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 24. Certain procedures have been changed until further notice. During this time, any reporting […]

The Lobby Registration Commission staff will be working from home until April 7 to comply with Executive Order 20-09, issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 24.

Certain procedures have been changed until further notice.

During this time, any reporting or lobbying law questions should be emailed to Ed Ferguson at eferguson@lrc.in.gov.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and all other inquiries may be submitted by email to Amy Nicholson at amynicholson@lrc.in.gov.

MOUs must include a current phone number and contact name.

Submitters will be contacted via telephone to provide the social security number.

Executive Order 20-09 also extended the expiration date for any state agency-issued license, certification, or permit expiring during the public health emergency to May 22.

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March 24, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Reconvened for Emergency Funding Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19. The emergency session […]

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency session is scheduled to last three legislative days.

There is no set date for when the 2020 legislative session will officially resume.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 24, 2020 •

North Carolina Runoff Election Postponed

North Carolina State Legislative Building

The North Carolina Board of Elections issued an emergency executive order postponing the runoff election in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District. The election will be moved from May 12 to June 23 to accommodate concerns regarding the […]

The North Carolina Board of Elections issued an emergency executive order postponing the runoff election in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District.

The election will be moved from May 12 to June 23 to accommodate concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

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March 24, 2020 •

No Late Fees for DC Lobbyist Reports due April 15

Washington D.C. City Hall

On March 23, the District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a notice to lobbyists informing them penalties will not be issued for late filings due in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. On April 15, lobbyists […]

On March 23, the District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a notice to lobbyists informing them penalties will not be issued for late filings due in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 15, lobbyists are required to file activity reports for the first three months of calendar year 2020.

That deadline has not been changed.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is open and operating on full telework status through April 27.

Filing electronically online is working normally and payments can still be accepted by mail.

However, the OGE will be unable to provide walk-in assistance or to accept deliveries.

In addition to the OGE not assessing late fees on filings that are delayed due to the public health crisis, the agency will also consider other measures to assist registrants during this time, according to the notice.

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March 23, 2020 •

Rhode Island Governor to Postpone Presidential Primary

Rhode Island State House

In response to COVID-19 concerns, the Board of Elections voted to request Gov. Gina Raimondo postpone the presidential primary from April 28 to June 2. The board also requested the June presidential primary be a substantially vote-by-mail election. On March […]

In response to COVID-19 concerns, the Board of Elections voted to request Gov. Gina Raimondo postpone the presidential primary from April 28 to June 2.

The board also requested the June presidential primary be a substantially vote-by-mail election.

On March 23, Gov. Raimondo has indicated her intent to follow the Board of Election’s recommendations and issue an executive order to reschedule the election.

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March 23, 2020 •

Massachusetts Lawmakers Postpone March 31 Elections

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Due to Governor Baker’s Executive Order 591, declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, leaders of the Legislature have rescheduled elections set for March 31. President of the Senate Karen Spilka has ordered the elections to fill the […]

Due to Governor Baker’s Executive Order 591, declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, leaders of the Legislature have rescheduled elections set for March 31.

President of the Senate Karen Spilka has ordered the elections to fill the vacancies in Plymouth and Barnstable District and 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District to take place on Tuesday, May 19.

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has ordered the elections to fill vacancies in 37th Middlesex District and 3rd Bristol District to take place on Tuesday, June 2.

Lawmakers also enacted Senate Bill 2608.

Senate Bill 2608 will authorize any city or town with any municipal caucus or annual or special municipal election scheduled to take place between March 23 to May 30 to postpone the election if necessary.

The bill is currently awaiting the governor’s signature for approval.

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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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