June 4, 2019 •

Maryland State Ethics Commission Launching New Lobbying Filing System

Flag of Maryland

The State Ethics Commission will launch a new lobbying filing system, replacing the current system that has been in use for over 10 years. The current system uses outdated software and there is a limited number of programmers who can […]

The State Ethics Commission will launch a new lobbying filing system, replacing the current system that has been in use for over 10 years. The current system uses outdated software and there is a limited number of programmers who can work on the system, which necessitated the change. The new system will utilize the latest advancements in software and should be user friendly. The new filing system is expected to go live on September 1.

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May 29, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Allows Election Law Bills to Become Law Without Signing

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan allowed two election law bills to become law without his signature. House Bill 878 alters fees due for failure to file campaign finance reports or affidavits. The bill raises the fees from $10 each day a report […]

Gov. Larry Hogan allowed two election law bills to become law without his signature.

House Bill 878 alters fees due for failure to file campaign finance reports or affidavits.

The bill raises the fees from $10 each day a report or affidavit is overdue to $20 for each of the first seven days.

Thereafter, the fee increases to $35 for the next seven days, and $50 for each day after that.

The maximum fee for overdue reports or affidavits has also been raised from $500 to $1,000.

House Bill 1025 authorizes the state administrator of elections or the state administrator’s designee to investigate potential violations of coordinated expenditure provisions.

The bill also authorizes the administrator to, in furtherance of an investigation, issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness to testify.

The state administrator may also subpoena for the production of records.

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May 14, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Signs Bill Allowing Limits on County Developer Contributions

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill authorizing Anne Arundel County to change local ethics rules covering county elections to limit developer money and reduce influence on campaigns. The bill also prohibits a member of the Anne Arundel County Council from […]

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill authorizing Anne Arundel County to change local ethics rules covering county elections to limit developer money and reduce influence on campaigns.

The bill also prohibits a member of the Anne Arundel County Council from participating in any legislative action relevant to a zoning change, amendment, or an application if the member has received or benefited from a contribution or donation.

The bill becomes effective July 1.

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May 7, 2019 •

Annapolis Mayor Sets Dates for Ward 6 Special Elections

Annapolis City Hall via Preserve Maryland

On May 5, Mayor Gavin Buckley issued a proclamation declaring the Ward 6 council seat vacant after the resignation of former Alderwoman Shaneka Henson. Henson was selected to complete the term of the late Michael Busch in the Maryland House […]

On May 5, Mayor Gavin Buckley issued a proclamation declaring the Ward 6 council seat vacant after the resignation of former Alderwoman Shaneka Henson.

Henson was selected to complete the term of the late Michael Busch in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Henson resigned after last Monday’s regular City Council meeting.

According to the City Charter, the Mayor had to issue a proclamation to fill the council seat within five days after receiving the resignation and schedule the dates for a special election.

The dates for the two special elections are the primary on June 4, with the general on July 2.

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May 1, 2019 •

Maryland Delegates Elect New Speaker

Del. Adrienne Jones (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland House of Delegates elected Del. Adrienne Jones as the new House speaker on May 1. Last month, Gov. Larry Hogan called the special session to elect a successor to the late Michael E. Busch, who passed away on […]

The Maryland House of Delegates elected Del. Adrienne Jones as the new House speaker on May 1.

Last month, Gov. Larry Hogan called the special session to elect a successor to the late Michael E. Busch, who passed away on April 7.

Del. Jones was the speaker pro tem and had been Busch’s second-in-command for 16 years.

The special session was delayed for more than two hours as Democrats battled over who should succeed the longtime speaker.

After much debate, Del. Jones won the nomination and was subsequently elected to the position, making her the first female and first African American speaker in state history.

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May 1, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment or Discrimination

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan signed House Bill 679 on April 30. The bill prohibits a state official from unlawfully harassing or discriminating against a regulated lobbyist based on any characteristic protected by law. Additionally, House Bill 679 prohibits a regulated lobbyist […]

Gov. Larry Hogan signed House Bill 679 on April 30.

The bill prohibits a state official from unlawfully harassing or discriminating against a regulated lobbyist based on any characteristic protected by law.

Additionally, House Bill 679 prohibits a regulated lobbyist from discriminating or harassing a state official or employee.

The Department of General Services will be able to revoke the special access to the state legislative complex granted to a regulated lobbyist who violates this prohibition.

House Bill 679 becomes effective October 1.

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April 18, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Signs Bill Requiring Electronic Filing By Lobbyists; Calls Special Session

Gov. Larry Hogan signed Senate Bill 79 on April 18.

The bill requires lobbyists to file registrations and certain reports electronically with the State Ethics Commission.

The State Ethics Commission is also required to develop procedures regarding these electronic filings by lobbyists.

Gov. Hogan also signed an executive order calling for the Maryland General Assembly to convene a special session on Wednesday, May 1.

The special session will allow the House of Delegates to elect a successor to the late Speaker Michael E. Busch, who passed away on April 7.

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April 9, 2019 •

Maryland General Assembly Adjourns

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 8. Legislators were in mourning due to the death of House Speaker Michael Busch the day prior. A Democrat from Anne Arundel County, Busch served as speaker for 16 years, longer […]

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 8.

Legislators were in mourning due to the death of House Speaker Michael Busch the day prior.

A Democrat from Anne Arundel County, Busch served as speaker for 16 years, longer than anyone in state history.

Though delegates will vote for a new leader at a later date, county committee members will appoint a successor to Busch’s House seat.

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January 7, 2019 •

Federal Judge Enjoins Maryland from Enforcing Provisions of Election Law

U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm, has enjoined Maryland from enforcing M.C.E.L. §§ 13-405 and 13-405.1. The statutes in question, require online platforms, like search engines and social media sites, to publicly disclose the contact information and amount paid by […]

U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm, has enjoined Maryland from enforcing M.C.E.L. §§ 13-405 and 13-405.1.

The statutes in question, require online platforms, like search engines and social media sites, to publicly disclose the contact information and amount paid by the purchaser to the online platform for the placement of the qualifying paid digital communication within 48 hours.

In the 50-page opinion, the judge concludes the statutes encroach on First Amendment freedoms. The state may file an interlocutory appeal.

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December 4, 2018 •

Baltimore Lobbying Bill Becomes Law without Mayor’s Signature

On October 15, 2018, the Baltimore City Council passed an ethics bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen. Ordinance No. 18-0230, also known as the Transparency in Lobbying Act, became law without the mayor’s signature on December 3, 2018. The […]

On October 15, 2018, the Baltimore City Council passed an ethics bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen.

Ordinance No. 18-0230, also known as the Transparency in Lobbying Act, became law without the mayor’s signature on December 3, 2018.

The ordinance requires lobbyists to file reports twice a year and affirmatively identify their clients when approaching city government officials. Additionally, any lobbyist violating the act may be banned for a period of three years.

An amendment was adopted delaying the effective date of the reporting provisions. As a result, lobbyists will file the annual report due January 31, 2019.

Following the 2019 annual report, lobbyists will likely report semi-annually beginning with a report due on July 31, 2019.

The bill will be effective March 3, 2019, while the section impacting reporting requirements will be effective March 3, 2019, or 30 days from a viable online reporting system being implemented, whichever is later.

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November 7, 2018 •

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Wins Second Term

Larry Hogan, a moderate Republican who has emphasized bipartisanship, was re-elected as Maryland’s governor. He is the first Republican to win re-election in Maryland since 1954, although Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state 2-1. Hogan has the same priorities for […]

Larry Hogan, a moderate Republican who has emphasized bipartisanship, was re-elected as Maryland’s governor.

He is the first Republican to win re-election in Maryland since 1954, although Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state 2-1.

Hogan has the same priorities for his second term as his first: making improvements in education, job creation, transportation infrastructure and working for tax relief.

Hogan defeated Ben Jealous, who would have been Maryland’s first black governor and is a former national president of the NAACP.

Jealous had a progressive agenda that included tuition-free college and expanding Medicare to all. He supported funding full-day, universal kindergarten with the tax revenue from his proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

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November 5, 2018 •

Anne Arundel County Ethics Bill Signed by County Executive

On October 15, 2018, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a public ethics bill originally proposed by County Executive Steve Schuh. Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fees for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, […]

On October 15, 2018, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a public ethics bill originally proposed by County Executive Steve Schuh.

Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fees for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, requires employee ethics training, and creates changes to comply with state ethics laws, among other provisions.

The bill also updates who is required to file financial disclosure statements.

The bill was signed by Schuh and will be effective on December 6, 2018.

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October 24, 2018 •

Baltimore City Council Passes Lobbying Act

On October 15, 2018, the Baltimore City Council passed an ethics bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen. Ordinance No. 18-0230, also known as the Transparency in Lobbying Act, requires lobbyists to file reports twice a year and affirmatively identify […]

On October 15, 2018, the Baltimore City Council passed an ethics bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen.

Ordinance No. 18-0230, also known as the Transparency in Lobbying Act, requires lobbyists to file reports twice a year and affirmatively identify their clients when approaching city government officials. Additionally, any lobbyist violating the act may be banned for a period of three years.

An amendment was adopted delaying the effective date of the reporting provisions. As a result, lobbyists will file the annual report due January 31, 2019.

Following the 2019 annual report, lobbyists will likely report semi-annually beginning with a report due on July 31, 2019. The bill will become effective 90 days from the signature of Mayor Catherine Pugh.

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October 16, 2018 •

Anne Arundel County Passes Public Ethics Bill

On October 15,2018, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a public ethics bill originally proposed by County Executive Steve Schuh. Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fees for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, requires […]

On October 15,2018, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a public ethics bill originally proposed by County Executive Steve Schuh.

Bill No. 80-18 increases late filing fees for lobbyists and employees, adds a revolving door provision, modifies certain definitions, requires employee ethics training, and creates changes to comply with state ethics laws, among other provisions. The bill also updates who is required to file financial disclosure statements.

The bill will become effective 45 days from the signature of the County Executive.

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