March 23, 2020 •

Massachusetts Lawmakers Postpone March 31 Elections

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Due to Governor Baker’s Executive Order 591, declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, leaders of the Legislature have rescheduled elections set for March 31. President of the Senate Karen Spilka has ordered the elections to fill the […]

Due to Governor Baker’s Executive Order 591, declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, leaders of the Legislature have rescheduled elections set for March 31.

President of the Senate Karen Spilka has ordered the elections to fill the vacancies in Plymouth and Barnstable District and 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District to take place on Tuesday, May 19.

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has ordered the elections to fill vacancies in 37th Middlesex District and 3rd Bristol District to take place on Tuesday, June 2.

Lawmakers also enacted Senate Bill 2608.

Senate Bill 2608 will authorize any city or town with any municipal caucus or annual or special municipal election scheduled to take place between March 23 to May 30 to postpone the election if necessary.

The bill is currently awaiting the governor’s signature for approval.

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February 26, 2020 •

Massachusetts State Rep. David Nangle Announces Resignation After Federal Indictment

Massachusetts Capitol Building

On February 19, State Rep. David Nangle announced his resignation from Middlesex District 17. Rep. Nangle was arrested by the FBI and the IRS on federal charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and making false statements […]

On February 19, State Rep. David Nangle announced his resignation from Middlesex District 17.

Rep. Nangle was arrested by the FBI and the IRS on federal charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and making false statements to a bank.

Nangle was indicted for using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, defraud his bank lender, and collect income he did not report to the IRS.

A date to conduct a special election will be announced to fill the vacancy.

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January 16, 2020 •

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Sues Secretary of State for Right to Lobby

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist. The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in […]

Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is suing Secretary of State Bill Galvin in state court for the right to register as a state lobbyist.

The State Lobbyist Division, which is overseen by the secretary of state, denied DiMasi’s application in March of 2019, citing his federal convictions for fraud and extortion.

DiMasi is currently registered as a lobbyist with the city of Boston.

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January 3, 2020 •

Special Election Set for Another Massachusetts Vacant House Seat

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Another special election has been scheduled, this time for the 37th Middlesex district. The House seat will become vacant on January 8 when Rep. Jen Benson, a Lunenberg Democrat, will resign to become president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. […]

Another special election has been scheduled, this time for the 37th Middlesex district.

The House seat will become vacant on January 8 when Rep. Jen Benson, a Lunenberg Democrat, will resign to become president of the Alliance for Business Leadership.

The primary special election for Benson’s replacement will be held on March 3 and the general special election will be held on March 31.

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December 19, 2019 •

Special Elections Scheduled for Massachusetts House and Senate

Massachusetts Capitol Building

Special elections for the 32nd Middlesex House District and Plymouth and Barnstable Senate District have been scheduled by their respective legislative bodies. Both seats were vacated when their officeholders left for executive positions. Rep. Paul Brodeur, a Democrat, resigned after […]

Special elections for the 32nd Middlesex House District and Plymouth and Barnstable Senate District have been scheduled by their respective legislative bodies.

Both seats were vacated when their officeholders left for executive positions.

Rep. Paul Brodeur, a Democrat, resigned after winning the Melrose mayoral election.

Sen. Vinny DeMacedo, Republican from Plymouth, stepped down to become director of regional partnerships at Bridgewater State University.

The 32nd Middlesex primary election will be held on February 4, and a general election will be held on March 3.

The Plymouth and Barnstable primary election will be held on March 3, and a general election will be held on March 31.

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December 2, 2019 •

Massachusetts Expands Campaign Finance Depository System of Reporting

Massachusetts Capitol Building

On November 26, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new campaign finance bill into law. The bill amends the state’s law by now requiring House, Senate and all mayoral candidates to use the depository system of campaign finance reporting. According […]

On November 26, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new campaign finance bill into law. The bill amends the state’s law by now requiring House, Senate and all mayoral candidates to use the depository system of campaign finance reporting.

According to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OPCF), “Nearly 500 House and Senate candidates will transition into the depository campaign finance reporting system, as well as about 100 mayoral candidates in cities of 65,000 or less.” House Bill 4087 also requires banks to file monthly disclosure reports on behalf of candidates and certain committees.

Previously, the disclosures were required twice a month. The bill also mandates the OCPF establish regulations concerning social media and its use by appointed public employees.

Additionally, the bill establishes a commission to study the use of campaign funds for family and child care.

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October 17, 2019 •

Massachusetts State Senator deMacedo Resigning, Special Election Date Not Yet Determined

Massachusetts Capitol Building

State Senator Viriato deMacedo announced he will resign from office within the next few weeks. Sen. deMacedo will begin employment as the Director of Regional Partnerships with Bridgewater State University. Sen. deMacedo, who has been serving in the Senate for […]

State Senator Viriato deMacedo announced he will resign from office within the next few weeks.

Sen. deMacedo will begin employment as the Director of Regional Partnerships with Bridgewater State University.

Sen. deMacedo, who has been serving in the Senate for the Plymouth and Barnstable District since 2015, was first elected to the state legislature as a representative in 1998. He held that seat until his move to the Senate.

“I’ve done this for 21 years and it’s been phenomenal, but everything has a season,” deMacedo told the Cape Cod Times.

A date for a special election to fill the upcoming vacancy has not yet been determined.

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July 26, 2019 •

Memorandum to Amend Boston Lobbying Ordinance Submitted

This month, a group of member associations, non-profits, and businesses working within the City of Boston submitted a memorandum of legal analysis regarding the city’s Lobbyist Registration and Regulation Ordinance expressing their key concerns with the legislation. The ordinance, passed […]

This month, a group of member associations, non-profits, and businesses working within the City of Boston submitted a memorandum of legal analysis regarding the city’s Lobbyist Registration and Regulation Ordinance expressing their key concerns with the legislation.

The ordinance, passed in October of 2018, took effect on April 16, 2019 and implemented broad lobbyist registration requirements and quarterly reporting.

The submitted memorandum asserts the ordinance is overbroad and does not include lobbyist registration exceptions present in state and federal law, including the de minimis threshold for incidental lobbying activity.

The memorandum also suggests language for proposed amendments to provide clarity while continuing to promote transparency and accountability.

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June 17, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – June 17, 2019

New FARA Regulations, and changes being made to lobbying disclosures in various states. Catch up with all of it in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

New FARA Regulations, and changes being made to lobbying disclosures in various states. Catch up with all of it in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

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June 14, 2019 •

Massachusetts Offering Seminars on New Disclosure Reporting System

Massachusetts Capitol Building

The Lobbyist Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office announced they are transitioning to a new disclosure reporting system on June 19. Exclusive, hour-long introduction and training seminars on the new system will be held from June 19 […]

The Lobbyist Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office announced they are transitioning to a new disclosure reporting system on June 19.

Exclusive, hour-long introduction and training seminars on the new system will be held from June 19 to June 21.

Appointment requests can be sent to lob@sec.state.ma.us.

Firms should offer three preferable times between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any of the three available days.  Walk-ins for the seminar will not be accepted.

The Lobbyist Division will be offering additional training for all registered entities, lobbyists, and clients from June 24 to July 12.

Organizations that are unable to attend the introduction seminars can apply for these training sessions instead.

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May 20, 2019 •

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Corporate Contribution Case

United States Supreme Court Building

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would decline to hear a challenge to a Massachusetts law. The law in question bans corporate contributions to campaigns, parties and candidate-focused political action committees. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial […]

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would decline to hear a challenge to a Massachusetts law.

The law in question bans corporate contributions to campaigns, parties and candidate-focused political action committees.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously rejected the challenge, brought by 1A Auto Inc. and 126 Self Storage Inc., in September.

The suit claimed disparate treatment by banning for-profit corporate contributions while allowing significant contributions by unions and nonprofits.

After the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, state law was updated to allow corporate spending for independent expenditures but not political contributions.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey applauded Monday’s decision not to hear the case for the integrity of state elections.

Opponents of the law are hopeful the Supreme Court will take up the issue in another case.

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May 6, 2019 •

Massachusetts Campaign Finance Updates Delayed

Massachusetts Capitol Building

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) missed a self-imposed deadline this week to release updated regulations limiting political contributions from labor unions. A spokesperson for the agency said it could take several more weeks to work out […]

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) missed a self-imposed deadline this week to release updated regulations limiting political contributions from labor unions.

A spokesperson for the agency said it could take several more weeks to work out the details and release the new rules.

The push to update a labor union contribution loophole comes after a 2018 court ruling upholding the state’s ban on corporate contributions.

The ruling acknowledged the significant difference for labor unions.

The draft regulations released in March seek to reduce the amount of money a union can contribute to a candidate annually from $15,000 to $1,000.

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February 8, 2019 •

Massachusetts Considering Lowering Union Contribution Limit

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance released draft regulations this week that would reduce the amount of money a union can contribute to a candidate annually from $15,000 to $1,000. A state law banning corporate contributions was upheld […]

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance released draft regulations this week that would reduce the amount of money a union can contribute to a candidate annually from $15,000 to $1,000.

A state law banning corporate contributions was upheld by the high court this year, but the ruling noted Massachusetts law was unclear regarding contributions from unions.

The draft regulation would also cap union contributions at $500 to a PAC, and $5,000 to a political party.

A public hearing on the draft regulations will be held on March 15 with the final regulations expected by May.

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November 7, 2018 •

Massachusetts Passes Ballot Measure to Limit the Influence of Money in Politics

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters passed Question 2, paving the way for campaign finance reform. The ballot measure establishes a citizen commission tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in the Massachusetts and promoting an amendment […]

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters passed Question 2, paving the way for campaign finance reform.

The ballot measure establishes a citizen commission tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in the Massachusetts and promoting an amendment to the United States Constitution. The commission would also report on whether the state can legally limit corporate contributions.

Proponents of the ballot question hope it will help in overturning the 2010 decision in Citizens United, while those against it argued the measure was a protest vote and created a new governmental body solely for symbolic gesture.

The measure passed 71.3 percent to 28.69 percent, with 81.8 percent of precincts reporting.

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