April 8, 2013 •

Arkansas Widens Revolving Door Restrictions

Act 486 requires one-year wait to lobby

Flag of ArkansasGovernor Mike Beebe has approved a bill expanding restrictions on former public officials seeking to register as lobbyists. Senate Bill 331, now Act 486, prohibits statewide elected officers, certain state employees, and state agency executives from registering as a lobbyist for one year following expiration of employment.

Previously, only members of the General Assembly were subject to this revolving door restriction.

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April 5, 2012 •

Arkansas Group Gets Campaign Finance and Ethics Initiative Certified

Signatures needed by July 6th to get on the ballot

Seal of ArkansasAttorney General Dustin McDaniel certified the language of a proposed initiated act regarding campaign finance and ethics law. The measure would prohibit direct corporate and union contributions to individual campaigns. Currently, corporations and unions are able to directly contribute at the same $2,000 level as individuals.

The measure would also ban lawmakers from accepting gifts of any value from lobbyists. Legislators can currently receive gifts, food, or other items valued up to $100 from a lobbyist.

The group supporting the measure, Regnat Populus, must gather at least 62,507 signatures by July 6 to qualify for the November ballot.

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March 9, 2012 •

Legislative Session News

Five state legislatures report end to sessions

United StatesARKANSAS: The fiscal session of the Arkansas General Assembly adjourned at noon on Friday, March 9, 2012.

OREGON: The Oregon Legislative Assembly has adjourned sine die for the 2012 regular session on March 5.

UTAH: The 2012 general session of the Utah State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8, ending on its 45th day, the last permitted by the Constitution for annual general sessions. Governor Gary Herbert has until March 28 to sign or veto bills presented to him by the legislature.

WASHINGTON: The 2012 regular session of the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8, 2012. Governor Gregoire has called for a special session to begin on March 12, 2012 to address a supplemental budget plan.

WYOMING: The State of Wyoming Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8. Governor Matt Mead has until March 26 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

Many thanks to our terrific Research Department for this update!

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February 9, 2011 •

Arkansas Moves Closer to Passing Bill

Legislature Targets ‘Revolving Door’

Arkansas State Capitol BuildingThe House and Senate have passed identical bills, House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 194, aimed at delaying a legislator’s ability to become a lobbyist upon leaving the legislature.

The measures, often referred to as “revolving door legislation,” prohibit any former member of the legislature from registering as a lobbyist until one year after the expiration of the term the legislator was elected to serve.

Each chamber will now review the other’s bill. Governor Mike Beebe is expected to sign the legislation once passed.

Photo of the Arkansas State Capitol Building by Stuart Seeger on Wikipedia.

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September 28, 2010 •

Arkansas Ethics Commission Releases Opinion

Commission advises against candidates making transfers of funds to their party – with an exception.

Little RockThe Arkansas Ethics Commission has released an opinion against allowing candidates to transfer to their political party any campaign funds unless the candidate is running unopposed or the election is over. This opinion comes at the request of Doyle Webb, chairperson of the Republican Party of Arkansas, after current Democratic Governor Mike Beebe made such a transfer during his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

Prior to the 2006 election, Beebe transferred $230,000 to the state Democratic Party from his accumulated campaign funds. However, in the opinion the ethics commission stopped short of calling such a transfer “illegal,’ merely stating “the Commission would advise against making such a transfer,” and noted that further facts concerning the situation would need to be determined prior to any determination as to whether such action would violate the campaign finance laws of Arkansas.

Webb noted that no request was made for Governor Beebe to be penalized for the transfer and the opinion was requested primarily for future reference.

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