November 23, 2020 •

Missouri Special Session Continued Until After Thanksgiving Break

Missouri Capitol Building

The second special session of the Missouri General Assembly has been delayed until after the Thanksgiving break. This comes in response to a number of positive COVID-19 cases among members and staff. The special session began on November 5 to […]

The second special session of the Missouri General Assembly has been delayed until after the Thanksgiving break.

This comes in response to a number of positive COVID-19 cases among members and staff.

The special session began on November 5 to focus on getting federal CARES Act funding distributed to the state.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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November 23, 2020 •

Third Cincinnati Council Member Arrested

Cincinnati Skyline

Cincinnati Skyline - by Mr. RNGAndreson

Cincinnati City Councilman Alexander “P.G.” Sittenfeld was arrested on federal corruption charges. He is the third council member to be arrested this year. Sittenfeld denies the allegations of bribery and attempted extortion and does not plan to resign. If he […]

Cincinnati City Councilman Alexander “P.G.” Sittenfeld was arrested on federal corruption charges.

He is the third council member to be arrested this year.

Sittenfeld denies the allegations of bribery and attempted extortion and does not plan to resign.

If he does resign, four members of the council will choose his successor by a majority vote.

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November 23, 2020 •

San Luis Obispo County Adopts Campaign Contribution Limits

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo - by MARELBU

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 on Friday to set campaign contribution limits at $25,000. Hundreds of community members called in asking the county go with the forthcoming state limit of $4,700. Opponents of the $25,000 […]

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 on Friday to set campaign contribution limits at $25,000.

Hundreds of community members called in asking the county go with the forthcoming state limit of $4,700.

Opponents of the $25,000 ceiling voiced concerns the higher limit would lead to corruption.

Others argued the county should not make a decision until a replacement for deceased Supervisor Adam Hill is seated.

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation limiting campaign contributions to local candidates to $4,700 in cities and counties not having their own contribution limits.

Those limits go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

The $25,000 limit will apply to candidates for 10 county offices, including the five supervisors, the district attorney, and the sheriff.

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November 20, 2020 •

Colorado Governor Calls for Special Session November 30

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced the start date of the previously announced special session on COVID-19 relief to begin November 30 at 10 a.m. Among the action items to be addressed during the session are childcare support, housing and direct […]

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced the start date of the previously announced special session on COVID-19 relief to begin November 30 at 10 a.m.

Among the action items to be addressed during the session are childcare support, housing and direct rental assistance, food insecurity, and public health response.

It is expected to take at least three days to approve the legislation. A professional lobbyist must disclose within 72 hours if a lobbyist agrees to lobby for an existing client or takes a new position in connection to legislation, standard, rules, or rates during a special session.

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November 20, 2020 •

New Mexico Governor Announces Special Session

New Mexico Capitol

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced November 19 she will call a special legislative session prior to Thanksgiving to provide COVID-19 relief. The state has about $300 million in federal aid. Gov. Grisham and lawmakers want to use the […]

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced November 19 she will call a special legislative session prior to Thanksgiving to provide COVID-19 relief.

The state has about $300 million in federal aid. Gov. Grisham and lawmakers want to use the resources toward small businesses and unemployment.

The special session is scheduled to begin Tuesday, November 24, and is expected to last one day. The Roundhouse will be closed to the public during that time.

A legislative report will be due within 48 hours for each separate expenditure of $500 or more made or incurred by a lobbyist or employer during the special legislative session.

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November 20, 2020 •

Illinois Cancels Veto Session due to the Surge in Coronavirus Cases

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois Legislature canceled the veto session originally scheduled for this week and December 1-3, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. State lawmakers hope to meet in January, though no date has been set. Generally, the veto session, a short session […]

The Illinois Legislature canceled the veto session originally scheduled for this week and December 1-3, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State lawmakers hope to meet in January, though no date has been set.

Generally, the veto session, a short session in the fall, is used to override bills that have been vetoed and resolve conflicts with the governor.

There are no vetoes to address this year, but lawmakers could address other matters.

The next General Assembly will be inaugurated on January 13, 2021.

Therefore, the veto session would have to take place before then if it is held.

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November 19, 2020 •

Oregon Lawmakers Considering First-Ever Catastrophic Special Session

Oregon Senate Chamber

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Lawmakers on Wednesday signaled support in using a provision from the state constitution never before used. Under the provision, Gov. Kate Brown can declare a catastrophic disaster. In addition, she can convene a special legislative session under looser rules than […]

Lawmakers on Wednesday signaled support in using a provision from the state constitution never before used.

Under the provision, Gov. Kate Brown can declare a catastrophic disaster.

In addition, she can convene a special legislative session under looser rules than lawmakers would normally abide by.

Legislators likely would not be required to appear at the Capitol for such a session, eliminating concerns about spreading the coronavirus.

The House and Senate also could operate without a two-thirds quorum of lawmakers in attendance.

If Gov. Brown does declare a catastrophic emergency, it can only last for 30 days unless extended by lawmakers.

A spokesperson for Brown stated the governor is open to holding another special session if legislators can agree to a succinct list of policies addressing Oregonians’ most pressing needs.

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November 19, 2020 •

Alaska Voters Approve Election Changes By Passing Ballot Measure

Hand dropping ballot

Originally reported as defeated, Ballot Measure 2 was approved with 50.5% of the vote reported as of November 17. The measure will make several changes to the election process, including replacing partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, […]

Originally reported as defeated, Ballot Measure 2 was approved with 50.5% of the vote reported as of November 17.

The measure will make several changes to the election process, including replacing partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices.

Also, the measure establishes ranked-choice voting for general elections, including the presidential election, in which voters can rank the candidates.

Additionally, Ballot Measure 2 requires persons and entities contributing more than $2,000 derived from donations, contributions, dues, or gifts to disclose the true sources (as defined in law) of the political contributions.

The approved system of top-four primaries and ranked-choice voting general elections will be first used in 2022.

This will include the gubernatorial, U.S. House, and a U.S. Senate election in Alaska.

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November 18, 2020 •

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Plans to Call a Special Session on COVID Relief

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

The Colorado General Assembly is preparing for a special session to provide more relief to those impacted by COVID-19. Gov. Jared Polis wants lawmakers to take immediate action on elements of his $1.3 billion stimulus package. This would include relief […]

The Colorado General Assembly is preparing for a special session to provide more relief to those impacted by COVID-19.

Gov. Jared Polis wants lawmakers to take immediate action on elements of his $1.3 billion stimulus package. This would include relief for restaurant owners and other small businesses.

The special session is expected after the Thanksgiving holiday, before lawmakers return on January 13 for their next regular session. It will take at least three days to approve the legislation.

A professional lobbyist must disclose within 72 hours if a lobbyist agrees to lobby for an existing client or takes a new position in connection to legislation, standard, rules, or rates during a special session.

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November 16, 2020 •

Cincinnati Councilmembers Introduce Proposed Ethics Reforms

Cincinnati Skyline

Cincinnati Skyline - by Mr. RNGAndreson

Two Cincinnati Councilmembers, Greg Landsman and Betsy Sundermann held separate news conferences in front of City Hall today. The two councilmembers announced a series of proposed reforms to restore the public’s trust in government after two members were charged with […]

Two Cincinnati Councilmembers, Greg Landsman and Betsy Sundermann held separate news conferences in front of City Hall today.

The two councilmembers announced a series of proposed reforms to restore the public’s trust in government after two members were charged with corruption just this year.

The proposed reforms include establishing an ethics commission, designating a chief ethics and good government officer, campaign finance reform, ongoing training, and a potential charter amendment that would allow for the recall of people in office.

At this time, there is no provision in the Cincinnati Charter addressing what happens in the event of public corruption allegations.

Tamaya Dennard resigned from council in February. Councilman Jeff Pastor, who was arrested Tuesday has not resigned despite calls for him to do so.

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November 16, 2020 •

Puerto Rico House Representative Néstor Alonso Vega Resigns

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

Rep. Néstor Alonso Vega of the Puerto Rico New Progressive Party resigned from his seat in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on November 10. Vega, who held an at-large seat in the chamber, had been arrested and indicted for […]

Rep. Néstor Alonso Vega of the Puerto Rico New Progressive Party resigned from his seat in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on November 10.

Vega, who held an at-large seat in the chamber, had been arrested and indicted for allegedly increasing an employee’s salary to receive half of the increase in return.

Vega had recently won re-election to his seat on November 3. He is the third member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives to resign after being arrested and charged with corruption this year, after María Charbonier Laureano and Nelson Del Valle Colón.

The Puerto Rico House of Representatives is the lower chamber of Puerto Rico’s bicameral legislature. All 51 of Puerto Rico’s House seats were up for election on November 3.

Special elections to fill the vacant seats have not yet been announced.

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November 12, 2020 •

Cincinnati Council Member Arrested on Federal Charges

Cincinnati Skyline

Cincinnati Skyline - by Mr. RNGAndreson

Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents for leading a bribery scheme involving payoffs for city development projects. Pastor is accused of bribery, money laundering, extortion, wire fraud, theft of honest services, and conspiracy. If convicted, […]

Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents for leading a bribery scheme involving payoffs for city development projects.

Pastor is accused of bribery, money laundering, extortion, wire fraud, theft of honest services, and conspiracy.

If convicted, he could face more than 20 years in prison.

Additionally, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and many council members have called for Pastor to resign.

Pastor is the second council member this year charged with taking bribes from developers.

Tamaya Dennard resigned from the council in February after her arrest on fraud and bribery charges in an unrelated case.

Finally, if Pastor resigns, Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman will select his replacement.

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November 11, 2020 •

General Assembly Special Session Finally Comes to End

Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol - KWL / CC BY-SA

After nearly 12 weeks, the Virginia General Assembly ended its special session on November 9. Lawmakers approved changes returned by Gov. Northam on a handful of bills and finally agreed on a final passage of the budget.

After nearly 12 weeks, the Virginia General Assembly ended its special session on November 9.

Lawmakers approved changes returned by Gov. Northam on a handful of bills and finally agreed on a final passage of the budget.

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November 11, 2020 •

Two Georgia Runoffs to Determine Control of U.S. Senate

Georgia Capitol

Georgia State Capitol Building

Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue failed to secure a majority in his reelection bid, which means now both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races will be decided by runoff elections on January 5, 2021. Perdue will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossof […]

Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue failed to secure a majority in his reelection bid, which means now both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races will be decided by runoff elections on January 5, 2021.

Perdue will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossof and Democrat Raphael Warnock will face Republican Kelly Loefflerin.

The runoffs will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

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