May 22, 2020 •

Rhode Island General Assembly Extends Delay and Schedules Committee Hearings

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Rhode Island Skyline

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has extended the delay of the legislative session.

House and Senate legislative sessions have been canceled for the week of May 25 to May 29.

Three Senate Committees are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 26, Wednesday, May 27, and Thursday, May 28.

The House Finance Committee is also expected to meet during the week and the schedule will be announced at a later date.

The State House building remains closed to the public due to the emergency.

The full General Assembly is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 2.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

June 3, 2020 •

Republican Convention Will Not Be Held in North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper

N. Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper - by NCDOTcommunications

After a prolonged standoff with the state’s Democratic governor, President Donald Trump says Republicans will seek another state instead of North Carolina to hold its August convention. Gov. Roy Cooper rejected a proposal for a full convention and insisted on […]

After a prolonged standoff with the state’s Democratic governor, President Donald Trump says Republicans will seek another state instead of North Carolina to hold its August convention.

Gov. Roy Cooper rejected a proposal for a full convention and insisted on scaling back the event due to uncertainty as to what the status of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in August.

Several other locations are expected to or have already expressed interest in hosting the event, but the GOP is still weighing its options for the event.

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June 3, 2020 •

Kansas Lawmakers Return for Special Legislative Session

Kansas Capitol Building

Kansas Capitol Building

Kansas lawmakers are returning for a special legislative session June 3 after Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed COVID-19 legislation passed during the final day of session. Gov. Kelly called lawmakers back to create a new bill that redefines her emergency powers. […]

Kansas lawmakers are returning for a special legislative session June 3 after Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed COVID-19 legislation passed during the final day of session.

Gov. Kelly called lawmakers back to create a new bill that redefines her emergency powers.

The previous bill sought to curb Gov. Laura Kelly’s emergency powers and give the Legislative Coordinating Council appropriation power over the $1.25 billion in federal money allocated to Kansas in the CARES Act.

Gov. Kelly would also have been barred from issuing a new COVID-19 disaster declaration unless at least six members of the State Finance Council sign off on it.

There is no time limit on the special session, so the work is expected continue for as long as necessary.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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June 3, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Montana: “U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Montana Campaign Finance Law” by Holly Michels for Bozeman Daily Chronicle Pennsylvania: “Pa. Can’t Ban Everyone Involved in the Gaming Industry from Donating to Political Campaigns: U.S. court” by Matt […]

Campaign Finance

Montana: “U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Montana Campaign Finance Law” by Holly Michels for Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Pennsylvania: “Pa. Can’t Ban Everyone Involved in the Gaming Industry from Donating to Political Campaigns: U.S. court” by Matt Miller for PennLive.com

Elections

National: “As Trump Attacks Voting by Mail, GOP Builds 2020 Strategy Around Limiting Its Expansion” by Amy Gardner, Shawn Boberg, and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) for MSN

Ethics

National: “Interior Watchdog: Agency official pressed EPA to hire relative” by Ben Lefebvre for Politico

National: “Judge Asks Court Not to ‘Short Circuit’ His Review of Flynn Case” by Charlie Savage for New York Times

California: “Lawyer at Center of Tax-Sharing Deals Being Probed on Ethics Law” by Laura Mahoney for Bloomberg Tax

Michigan: “Gov. Whitmer: I didn’t OK Dem firm for coronavirus project, despite emails” by Jonathan Oosting for Bridge Michigan

West Virginia: “This Billionaire Governor’s Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.” by Ken Ward Jr, and Alex Mierjeski for ProPublica

Legislative Issues

National: “Lawmakers Have Been Sleeping in Their Capitol Offices for Years, Coronavirus Is Reviving a Push to End It” by Cristal Hayes for USA Today

Procurement

Florida: “Florida Demands State Vendors Identify Links with China” by John Haughey for The Center Square

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June 2, 2020 •

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Campaign Finance Law

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law. Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election. In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit […]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law.

Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election.

In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Montana’s law requiring nonprofit groups running ads mentioning candidates, political parties or ballot issues in the 60 day window before an election to report any spending of $250 or more and disclose who funded their efforts.

This law is part of the state’s Disclosure Act, while the case was filed by the National Association of Gun Rights in 2016.

In their lawsuit, the group stated they were planning on sending mailers in Montana.

However, they would not report their donors or spending because it violated their constitutional rights of free speech.

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June 2, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “Campaign Funds for Judges Warp Criminal Justice, Study Finds” by Adam Liptak for New York Times California: “More Costly Campaigns During COVID? Councilwoman Asks About Raising Contribution Limits” by Jason Ruiz for Long Beach Post Connecticut: “Jon […]

Campaign Finance

National: “Campaign Funds for Judges Warp Criminal Justice, Study Finds” by Adam Liptak for New York Times

California: “More Costly Campaigns During COVID? Councilwoman Asks About Raising Contribution Limits” by Jason Ruiz for Long Beach Post

Connecticut: “Jon Lender: Despite COVID-19, legislators and PACs still put the touch on lobbyists, others for contributions; but now the touch is virtual” by Jon Lender for Hartford Courant

Nevada: “Nev. Elections Office Reviewing MedMen Donation Allegations” by Michelle Price for AP News

Ethics

National: “Judge Sullivan’s Refusal to Immediately Dismiss Flynn’s Case Raises Novel Questions About the Limits of Judicial Power” by Ann Marimow for Washington Post

National: “Houston Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s Bestselling New Book Got Boost from Purchases by House GOP Campaign Arm” by Tom Benning for Dallas Morning News

Colorado: “Hickenlooper Subpoenaed to Testify Thursday About Private Flights” by Jason Wingerter for Denver Post

Michigan: “Bucci Pleads Guilty in Macomb Extortion Scandal” by Robert Snell for Detroit News

Mississippi: “Lt. Governor Withdraws Request for Ethics Decision Over Small Business Grants for Lawmakers” by Luke Ramseth for Jackson Clarion-Ledger

North Carolina: “Raleigh Mayor Now Working for Company That Got $6M City Contract. No Conflict, She Says.” by Anna Johnson for Raleigh News and Observer

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June 1, 2020 •

Newark, New Jersey Lawmakers Amend Pay-to-Play Laws

New Jersey Capitol Building

On May 20, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed Ordinance No. 20-0515 amending the city’s contractor pay-to-play laws to reflect state law. The ordinance removes Essex County political party committees, political committees and continuing political committees regularly engaging in the support […]

On May 20, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed Ordinance No. 20-0515 amending the city’s contractor pay-to-play laws to reflect state law.

The ordinance removes Essex County political party committees, political committees and continuing political committees regularly engaging in the support of candidates for Newark municipal offices or County of Essex offices from the definition of campaign committee.

Additionally, ordinance 20-0515 removed the monetary thresholds of $300 per calendar year and annual aggregate limit of $2,500 for all business entity contributions to covered Newark political recipients.

Under the ordinance, all contributions to covered recipients by a business entity submitting a proposal, in negotiations for, or in agreement with the city for services is prohibited during the term of the contract.

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June 1, 2020 •

Missouri Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Missouri Capitol Building

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27. Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws. The […]

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27.

Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws.

The definition will exclude legislative liaisons, defined as any state employee hired to communicate with members of the General Assembly on behalf of any elected official of the state, the judicial branch of state government, or any department, agency, board, or commission of the state, provided such entity is a part of the executive branch of state government.

The Legislature also passed Senate Joint Resolution 0038, placing a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot enacting a lobbyist gift ban.

Additionally it will reduce contribution limits made to or accepted by any candidate or committee from $2,500 to $2,000.

And finally it will repeal a redistricting plan enacted by voters in 2018.

The veto session is scheduled for September 16.

 

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June 1, 2020 •

U.S. Court of Appeals Permanently Enjoins PA Ban on Gaming Contributions

Cards, Chips and Dice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit permanently enjoined the Commonwealth’s prohibition on political contributions from gaming-license applicants, licensees, and principals of licensees. Judge Richard Nygaard upheld the lower court’s conclusion and granted summary judgment in favor of […]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit permanently enjoined the Commonwealth’s prohibition on political contributions from gaming-license applicants, licensees, and principals of licensees.

Judge Richard Nygaard upheld the lower court’s conclusion and granted summary judgment in favor of appellees Deon and Hardy.

Judge Nygaard found Section 1513 of the Gaming Act furthers a substantially important state interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption.

However, the restriction imposed on political contributions is unconstitutional because the Commonwealth did not closely draw the scheme to address the issue.

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