March 25, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Update

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24. As of today, the Commission is still receiving […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24.

As of today, the Commission is still receiving mail daily and will continue to accept filings by mail.

Documents may be hand delivered by appointment only.

For an appointment, please email ethics@wisconsin.gov.

Despite restricted public access to the office, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission continues to operate normally.

Committees can register and required campaign finance reports can be filed online at https://cfis.wi.gov.

Lobbyists and principals can process licensing and registration, pay fees, and file reports online at https://lobbying.wi.gov.

For questions concerning campaign finance, please email CampaignFinance@wisconsin.gov and for questions concerning lobbying, please email ETHLobbying@wisconsin.gov or lobbying@wi.gov.

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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 25, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “‘It Can Be Catastrophic’: Coronavirus tanks campaign fundraising” by Maggie Severns and James Arkin for Politico Connecticut: “Political Gift Limits Suspended in Latest Coronavirus Order” by Ken Dixon for Stamford Advocate Elections National: “Bloomberg Sued by Aides […]

Campaign Finance

National: “‘It Can Be Catastrophic’: Coronavirus tanks campaign fundraising” by Maggie Severns and James Arkin for Politico

Connecticut: “Political Gift Limits Suspended in Latest Coronavirus Order” by Ken Dixon for Stamford Advocate

Elections

National: “Bloomberg Sued by Aides for Stiffing Them on Yearlong Pay Promise” by Christopher Cadelsgo for Politico

National: “Democratic Convention Planners Look at Contingency Options” by Reid Epstein for New York Times

Ethics

National: “Trump Cannot Block Critics on Twitter, Federal Court Affirms in Ruling” by Ann Marimow for Washington Post

National: “Six Days: Tracking Sen. Rand Paul from coronavirus testing to positive diagnosis” by Seung Min Kim, Michael Scherer, and Paul Kane (Washington Post) for MSN

Legislative Issues

Minnesota: “In ‘the Cathedral of Hockey,’ Bipartisanship Still Exists in Minnesota” by Briana Bierschbach for Minneapolis Star Tribune

Procurement

New York: “Nassau Inspector General: Courthouse contractor did not ID key principals” by Scott Eidler for Newsday

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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 •

Connecticut Governor Modifies State Contractor Gift Disclosure Requirements

Connecticut State Capitol

On March 22, Gov. Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7J to provide for rapid state government response to the public health and civil preparedness emergency. The executive order authorizes Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the […]

On March 22, Gov. Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7J to provide for rapid state government response to the public health and civil preparedness emergency.

The executive order authorizes Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the Commissioner of Administrative Services to take any action deemed necessary to expedite property transfers, assignments of space and leasing, or use of real property by the state required to respond to COVID-19.

Additionally, the executive order modifies Connecticut General Statutes sections 4-252, 9-612(f)(2)(E), and Executive Order 49.

The order requires disclosure of certain gifts and campaign contributions by state contractors and prospective state contractors for state contracts over $50,000.

The order also modifies the requirements for competitive solicitations for certain state purchases and contracts.

Gov. Lamont issued the executive order to facilitate transfers of medical equipment donated or for sale to the state to battle the spread of the coronavirus.

The executive order is in effect for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless modified or terminated by the governor.

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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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