July 25, 2014 •

DE Governor Signs Package of Campaign Finance, Lobbying Bills

  On July 22, 2014, Gov. Jack Markell signed several bills amending Delaware’s campaign finance and lobbying laws. Senate Bill 187 allows political committees to donate prohibited contributions to certain charitable organizations. House Bill 300 protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation […]

 

On July 22, 2014, Gov. Jack Markell signed several bills amending Delaware’s campaign finance and lobbying laws. Senate Bill 187 allows political committees to donate prohibited contributions to certain charitable organizations. House Bill 300 protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation for reporting campaign finance violations or participating in the investigation of such violations.

Both Senate Bill 187 and House Bill 300 became effective upon the governor’s signature. House Bill 301 requires contributions given from a joint account, whether by check, debit card, or credit card, to be attributed to the signator of the contribution. Senate Bill 186 requires entities making contributions of more than $100 to disclose the name and address of one responsible party. A responsible party, as defined by the bill, is an individual who exercises control over the entity.

House Bill 301 and Senate Bill 186 are effective January 1, 2015. Also effective January 1, 2015, is House Bill 306, which imposes late filing fees on lobbyists who file late reports. A fee of $25 will be assessed for the first day and $10 for each subsequent day a lobbyist report is delinquent. The maximum late fee allowable is $100. The Public Integrity Commission may waive such late filing fees if it determines circumstances make imposition of the fee inappropriate.

Of the newly minted legislation, Gov. Markell said, “We must always look to improve our laws to strengthen the public’s confidence in the political process.”

Photo of Governor Jack Markell by John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV on Wikimedia Commons.

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July 2, 2014 •

Arkansas Adjourns Special Session

Lawmakers ended a special session shortly after midnight on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The House and Senate gave approval to a package of bills regarding teacher health insurance premiums, prison overcrowding, and limits on lottery monitor games. Photo of Arkansas […]

Arkansas State Capitol BuildingLawmakers ended a special session shortly after midnight on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The House and Senate gave approval to a package of bills regarding teacher health insurance premiums, prison overcrowding, and limits on lottery monitor games.

Photo of Arkansas State Capitol Building by Stuart Seeger on Wikimedia Commons.

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January 4, 2013 •

Highlighted Site of the Week – First Live Televised House Proceedings Edition

the First Televised House Proceedings

Seal of the U.S. House of RepresentativesIt’s Friday again and Highlighted Site of the Week has a special edition for you. This week, we honor the anniversary of the first televised broadcast of the U.S. House proceedings, which took place on January 3, 1947.

The first feature is the Historical Highlights page from the U.S. House of Representatives’ History, Art & Archives site. We also have the U.S. Congress and Television page from The Museum of Broadcasting Communications.

On the Archives website, you will find information about what happened during the proceedings. According to the site:

“The first live television broadcast from the House Chamber occurred during the opening session of the 80th Congress (1947–1949). The two-hour broadcast appeared on a local television station and was transmitted to Philadelphia and New York. The broadcast captured the ritual of opening day ceremonies and concluded after Speaker Joseph Martin’s opening address.”

On the Museum site it will give you more in depth details about the congress and their televised proceedings.

If you would like to see videos from the history of the Office of the Clerk, take a look at their YouTube Channel.

Thanks for reading and we will see you next time!

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October 12, 2011 •

House Hearing on FEC

Commissioners to Appear

House Committee and FECAll six Commissioners from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) are slated to appear before a House Subcommittee tomorrow at 3pm.

The Committee on House Administration’s Subcommittee on Elections has designated the scheduled meeting “Federal Election Commission: Reviewing Policies, Processes and Procedures.”

Among its other election-related duties, the Subcommittee on Elections oversees the FEC.

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October 12, 2011 •

Watch the U.S. House Video Feed from Your Smartphone!

HouseLive.gov beta tests a new channel of communication.

HouseLive.govYou can now watch streaming video feed from the U.S. House floor on your mobile device. HouseLive.gov is beta testing the process, which uses Silverlight, Flash, and HTML5. It should be compatible with your Android device, or on an iPhone and iPad.

Alex Howard of Govfresh wrote a great blog about it in “HouseLive.gov embraces open format to bring live video to mobile devices” on October 11.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s blog made the announcement about it here: “House Floor Now Streams to Your Mobile Device via HouseLive.gov” by Don Seymour.

 

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October 7, 2011 •

Highlighted Site of the Week – This Day in History

On this day in 1918, the U.S. House public galleries were closed because of the outbreak of the Spanish flu pandemic.

U.S. House public galleries pass Each week the U.S. House Office of the Clerk gives “Historical Highlights” and today it remembers how 93 years ago the country was facing a flu pandemic. The House and Senate decided to close the public galleries.

The Office of the Clerk gives us an idea of the scope the problem: “According to some modern estimates, more than 50 million persons perished worldwide in the 1918–1919 outbreak; most sources attribute 500,000 or more deaths in the U.S. alone to the Spanish flu. Washington, D.C., swelled by an influx of government workers during the First World War, was particularly hard hit.”

They reported that there were 400 deaths in D.C. during the second week of October, and 730 deaths the week after that. A number of House members were absent from the session and action had to be taken.

U. S. Rep. Henry Rainey (D-Ill.) said, “Mr. Speaker, it is matter of common knowledge that an epidemic of alarming proportions is prevailing throughout the country. … Out of an abundant precaution the Senate has ordered the galleries closed, which action, I understand, meets with the approval of the medical authorities, and so I ask unanimous consent that the Speaker be instructed to close the galleries of this House until further action shall be taken by the House.”

The motion was approved without objection, and the House and Senate galleries were closed and were not reopened until November 4.

Spanish Flu Ward Walter Reed
The Spanish Flu ward at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

 

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August 15, 2011 •

House Looking to Move to a Unified Communications System

House of Representives possibly to move to a Unified Communications System

Unified Communications System PictureWith government officials communicating by email and other online tools such as messenger just as often as using the telephone, it makes sense for all communications systems to be consolidated.

According to an article posted on NextGov.com, The House of Representatives wants to migrate its separate voice and data communications systems to a single unified communications system, which eventually also could support voice and videoconferencing and instant messaging on an integrated Internet protocol network.

To learn more about what more would be involved in this conversion to such a communications system, read “House Eyes Move to VoIP Phone System” written by Bob Brewin.

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