April 14, 2014 •

Delaware AG Appeals District Court Ruling Enjoining Election Disclosures Act

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove are appealing a federal district court ruling, enjoining enforcement of a Delaware campaign finance law. Section 8031 of the Delaware Election Disclosures Act requires any person who makes an expenditure […]

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Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove are appealing a federal district court ruling, enjoining enforcement of a Delaware campaign finance law.

Section 8031 of the Delaware Election Disclosures Act requires any person who makes an expenditure for a third-party advertisement exceeding $500 during an election period to file a report with the Elections Commission, including the names and addresses of each person who has made contributions exceeding $100. The district court found the disclosure provision to be too broad and likely unconstitutional.

Biden and Manlove are appealing the ruling.

 

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April 1, 2014 •

Federal Court Enjoins Delaware Reporting Requirement

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware granted a preliminary injunction sought by Delaware Strong Families, who challenged a new Delaware campaign finance law requiring sponsors of third-party advertisements to disclose the identities of their donors. Specifically, […]

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The United States District Court for the District of Delaware granted a preliminary injunction sought by Delaware Strong Families, who challenged a new Delaware campaign finance law requiring sponsors of third-party advertisements to disclose the identities of their donors.

Specifically, Section 8031 of the Delaware Election Disclosures Act, which became effective January 1, 2012, requires any person who makes an expenditure for a third-party advertisement exceeding $500 during an election period to file a report with the Elections Commission, including the names and addresses of each person who has made contributions to the sponsor of the third-party advertisements exceeding $100.

Delaware Strong Families alleged such donor disclosure requirement was overbroad and therefore unconstitutional. The District Court agreed and enjoined further enforcement of this reporting requirement, noting that the Act is so broadly worded as to include virtually every communication made during an election period, no matter how indirect and unrelated it is to the electoral process.

 

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January 10, 2014 •

Delaware Ethics Commission Extends Deadline for Campaign Finance Reports to Feb. 20

The Delaware Ethics Commission has extended the deadline for year-end campaign finance reports due to glitches in the online filing system. The deadline to file year-end reports is now February 20.

Flag of DelawareThe Delaware Ethics Commission has extended the deadline for year-end campaign finance reports due to glitches in the online filing system.

The deadline to file year-end reports is now February 20.

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December 9, 2013 •

Delaware to Debut New Campaign Finance Website 12/17

The Delaware Department of Elections has begun construction on a new campaign finance reporting system, which will debut on December 17. The new system will allow all contribution reports, both those filed online and via paper submission, to be searched […]

Flag_of_Delaware.svgThe Delaware Department of Elections has begun construction on a new campaign finance reporting system, which will debut on December 17.

The new system will allow all contribution reports, both those filed online and via paper submission, to be searched with one system. It will allow the public to track all contributions by one donor, an action taking more than 40 hours using the current online system.

The system upgrade does not affect filing or reporting requirements.

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July 1, 2013 •

Delaware Legislature Adjourns

Background checks and slot machines among issues decided on the last day

Delaware State CapitolIt was a late night for the Delaware State Legislature, but at around 1 a.m., they finally adjourned their 2013 session on July 1. Among the major issues discussed in the waning hours of the session were background checks on firearm sales, slot machines, and abortion regulations.

The Legislature passed a bill allowing the operation of slot machines in veterans lodges and also expanded background checks on firearm sales. House lawmakers unanimously passed an expansion of abortion regulations in the wake of unsafe and unsanitary conditions at a clinic in Wilmington.

The bill, which now heads to Governor Jack Markell’s desk, allows clinic employees to lodge complaints with public health officials, which could in turn prompt an inspection. The state could call a special session if any other pressing issues come up, but for now, the Legislature will not meet again until 2014.

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November 29, 2012 •

Delaware Senate to Convene for Special Session

December 5 session to deal with judicial nominations

Seal of DelawareGovernor Jack Markell has announced that he plans to call a special session of the state senate on December 5 to consider various judicial nominations.

The senate will be considering and voting on seven judicial appointees nominated by the governor.

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August 15, 2012 •

Delaware Governor Markell Signs Three Bills to Increase Transparency

Bills will increase lobbyist and campaign finance reporting

Jack Markell signatureGovernor Jack Markell signed three bills into law in an attempt to shine more light onto the state’s lobbyist and campaign finance reports.

Senate Bill 185 requires lobbyists to report any direct communication with a public official concerning a bill, resolution, or regulation pending before the general assembly or a state agency. The report will be due within five days of the first direct communication by the lobbyist. The bill also makes electronic registration and reporting mandatory for lobbyists. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2013.

House Bill 300 requires a political committee to register within 24 hours after it receives any contribution or makes any expenditure that would cause the aggregate contributions or expenditures to exceed $500 during an election period. It will also increase disclosure and reporting requirements for campaign and third-party advertisements. These new requirements will go into effect June 30, 2013.

House Bill 310 increases the penalties and the number of people who can be penalized for late, incomplete, or missing campaign finance reports. These new penalties will go into effect immediately.

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July 5, 2012 •

Del. Governor Markell Signs Procurement Bill into Law

New law will increase online presence

Gov. Jack MarkellGovernor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 212 into law in an effort to improve the online presence and public notice capabilities of the state’s procurement office.

The bill mandates that the state create, by May 1, 2013, a one-stop website which will post all bids with an estimated value of more than $50,000.

This website must be accessible to all contractors and the general public. Further, the website will allow the state’s municipalities to advertise their bidding opportunities on the same site.

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July 5, 2012 •

Legislative Sessions Adjourn

Two state legislatures have adjourned this week.

government buildingDELAWARE: The Delaware General Assembly adjourned sine die early in the morning on July 1, 2012.

NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned on July 3, 2012.

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July 2, 2012 •

Delaware Legislature Passes Lobbying Bill 185

Governor Markell is expected to sign the bill.

Gov. Jack MarkellOne of Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s largest focus areas since entering office has been creating a responsible government. His state took one step closer to that goal when the legislature passed Senate Bill 185. The bill, which Governor Markell spearheaded, increases lobbyist reporting when making direct communications with state officials and employees. If a lobbyist makes a direct communication to a member of the general assembly, the lieutenant governor, or the governor on any bill or resolution pending before the general assembly, then that lobbyist is required to report the direct communication. A lobbyist will also have to report any direct communications concerning a proposed regulation with an employee or official of the state agency proposing the regulation.

The lobbyist report will be due no later than the fifth business day after the date on which the direct communication took place. If the direct communication was about a bill, resolution, or regulation that has not yet been introduced, the report is due no later than the fifth business day after that bill, resolution, or regulation is introduced.

The lobbyist is only required to disclose there was a direct communication that took place and the identity of the bill, resolution, or regulation that the communication was concerning. The bill, resolution, or regulation may be identified by name or by number. The lobbyist does not have to disclose the identity of the person with whom he or she had the direct communication. Further, the reporting requirement does not apply to a lobbyist when he or she is fulfilling duties as a member of a commission, committee, task force, or other public body.

All of the reports filed under this law must be filed electronically by the lobbyist with the Delaware State Public Integrity Commission. The commission, in turn, will post the reports in an online database for the public to access.

Governor Markell has stated he will sign the bill. If he does, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2013.

Photo of Governor Markell by John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV on Wikipedia.

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May 18, 2012 •

Delaware House Approves Lobbyist Reporting Bill

Governor expected to sign bill into law

Delaware State CapitolDelaware is now a signature away from adding to its lobbyist reporting requirements. On Thursday, the House passed Senate Bill 185, leaving the bill only a governor’s signature away from becoming a law.

The bill requires lobbyists to report to the Public Integrity Commission the identity of each bill, resolution, or regulation they have lobbied for or against. These reports would be due within five days after the first direct communication a lobbyist makes. The Public Integrity Commission will make the reports available online so that the public will be able to see who is lobbying on each measure going through the legislature.

If the governor signs the bill, which he is expected to do, the law would become effective in 2013.

Photo of Legislative Hall in Dover courtesy of Joshua Daniel Franklin on Wikipedia.

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April 26, 2012 •

Lobbying in the News

Here is today’s lobbying news:

blue star1,000 Independent Agents Lobbying Lawmakers in Washington” by Young Ha in Insurance Journal.

Alabama: “Lawmakers recommend reprimand for lobbyist” by Sebastian Kitchen in the Montgomery Advertiser.

California: The San Francisco Ethics Commission announced that their Lobbyist Electronic Filing System will experience down time for maintenance. For the schedule, see the Ethics Commission news update.

Delaware: “Bill would expand lobbyist disclosures” by Randall Chase (Associated Press) on WDEL.com.

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April 3, 2012 •

Delaware Bill To Require More Lobbyist Disclosure

And Electronic Filing

Delaware State Capitol
Legislative Hall in Dover

A bill requiring lobbyists to disclose all legislation they are trying to influence will be introduced into the Delaware Senate, possibly as soon as this week.

Senate Bill 185, as proposed by Senator Anthony J. DeLuca and endorsed by Governor Jack Markell and members of both parties of the General Assembly, mandates lobbyists report to the Public Integrity Commission the identity, by number, of each bill, resolution, or regulation for which the lobbyist has tried to promote, advocate, influence, or oppose. Disclosure of the name of the employer on whose behalf such direct communication occurred is also required.

Additionally, lobbying relating to any subject contained within any budget appropriation bill or bond and capital improvement bill must also include identification of the specific subject of the direct communication. Reports will be due within five business day after the date the first direct communication with a relevant public official regarding bills, resolutions, and regulations takes place. The bill provides for electronic filing of registration and reporting with the Public Integrity Commission.

The Commission will make the reports available online in a manner which can be easily reviewed by bill, resolution, regulation, lobbyist, or employer.

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January 23, 2012 •

Delaware Governor Announces Creation of New Database

Database to Link Lobbyists to Legislation

Gov. MarkellGovernor Jack Markell has announced plans to create an online database which will link registered lobbyists to the specific pieces of legislation they are lobbying for or against.

Photo of Gov. Markell by Stilltim on Wikipedia.

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