October 11, 2018 •

Missouri Gift Ban Extends to Written Materials

A public interest law firm challenged an executive order banning lobbyists from giving anything of value, including written materials, to executive branch officials.

The Institute for Justice, a Virginia-based nonprofit libertarian law firm, filed suit against Gov. Mike Parson and members of the Missouri Ethics Commission for enforcing Executive Order 17-02, which expands the definition of gift to include publications addressing public policy issues.

The Institute for Justice claims that by prohibiting the distribution of two of its public policy publications to government officials, the executive order violates the law firm’s First Amendment right to free speech. The law firm also claims the executive order violates its right to equal protection by prohibiting only lobbyists from sharing publications with state officials of the executive branch.

The order was issued on January, 9, 2017, by former Gov. Eric Greitens.

May 20, 2019 •

Missouri Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Missouri Capitol Building

The first regular session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned May 17 at 6 p.m. after four months in session. Several lobbying bills were introduced, including House Joint Resolution 48 which made its way to the Senate Fiscal Oversight Committee. […]

The first regular session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned May 17 at 6 p.m. after four months in session.

Several lobbying bills were introduced, including House Joint Resolution 48 which made its way to the Senate Fiscal Oversight Committee.

The committee voted do not pass on May 13. The bill would have banned all lobbyist gifts to lawmakers instead of the current $5 maximum limit.

Similarly, House Bill 1199 was introduced to amend the definition of a lobbyist principal to add an entity with authority to direct the lobbyists’ activities. The bill made its way through the Legislative Oversight Committee but did not pass either chamber.

The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene on January 15, 2020.

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May 16, 2019 •

St. Louis, Missouri Aldermen Introduce Lobbyist, Campaign Finance Reforms

St. Louis Gateway Arch - Daniel Schwen [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will introduce three city charter amendments on May 17 addressing ethics and campaign finance restrictions. The proposed reforms would ban lobbyists from giving gifts of more than $5 to city elected officials. The amendments […]

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will introduce three city charter amendments on May 17 addressing ethics and campaign finance restrictions.

The proposed reforms would ban lobbyists from giving gifts of more than $5 to city elected officials.

The amendments would also restrict individuals or entities seeking city contracts from donating to a candidate for a city elected office between 90 days before the city seeks bidders and 90 days after the contract has been awarded.

The package would further bar contributions to candidates for city office made with the intent to conceal the identify of such donations’ actual source.

This restriction would apply to contributions made to committees that donate to a candidate’s campaign.

If endorsed by the board, the three city charter amendments would go before voters who must approve by a three-fifths majority at the November 2020 election.

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April 30, 2019 •

Iowa Legislature Adjourns After Overhauling Disclosure and Filing Requirements

Iowa Capitol Building

The Iowa Legislature adjourned sine die April 27 after a 104 day session.

In addition to legalizing sports betting and instituting limits on local government property taxes, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill to modify disclosure requirements for gifts or bequests to the state.

House File 393 requires the governor and executive departments to file the gift report electronically with the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board if receiving a gift or bequest on behalf of the state of over $50.

The bill removes filing requirements with the General Assembly and for any gift less than $50.

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April 23, 2019 •

Missouri Calls Special Election to Fill Two House Vacancies

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill vacancies in House Districts 99 and 158. Rep. Jean Evans resigned from District 99 to become executive director of the Missouri Republican Party. Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick left District 158 […]

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill vacancies in House Districts 99 and 158.

Rep. Jean Evans resigned from District 99 to become executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick left District 158 to serve as state treasurer.

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April 18, 2019 •

Ethics Bill Progressing In North Dakota Legislature

The North Dakota Senate approved House Bill 1521 on Wednesday, April 17.

The bill would implement the state’s new ethics rules established by the voter’s passage of Measure 1 last year.

House Bill 1521 prohibits a lobbyist from giving, offering, soliciting, initiating, or facilitating a gift over $60 to a public official.

A lobbyist will also be required to file a report with the secretary of state if they spend more than $200 on lobbying.

The bill has been returned to the House for consideration before the end of the legislative session on April 26.

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April 10, 2019 •

Missouri Appeals Court Upholds PAC Contribution Ban

Missouri corporations may not make direct contributions to their own PACs, the Court of Appeals for the Western District affirmed on April 9. The appeals court ruling upheld a similar 2018 finding in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s […]

Missouri corporations may not make direct contributions to their own PACs, the Court of Appeals for the Western District affirmed on April 9.

The appeals court ruling upheld a similar 2018 finding in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s lawsuit against the Missouri Ethics Commission.

There, the chamber challenged two of the commission’s ethics opinions that prohibited corporations from contributing directly to the PACs they form.

The Cole County Circuit Court issued a judgment in favor of the commission, determining corporations that serve as connected organizations cannot contribute corporate funds to their connected PACs.

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April 10, 2019 •

Kentucky Governor Signs House Bill 81

Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 81 on April 9. The bill expands and updates the definitions of officer and public servant. House Bill 81 also defines salaried for the purposes of gift restrictions. The bill becomes effective June 28. […]

Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 81 on April 9.

The bill expands and updates the definitions of officer and public servant. House Bill 81 also defines salaried for the purposes of gift restrictions. The bill becomes effective June 28.

Gov. Bevin also vetoed House Bill 358 aimed at providing pension relief for Kentucky’s quasi-governmental entities.

He announced that an extraordinary session will be called prior to July 1.

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February 25, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – February 25, 2019

New Gift Laws, Campaign Finance, Elections and Ethics; four stories from around the country you don’t want to miss!  

New Gift Laws, Campaign Finance, Elections and Ethics; four stories from around the country you don’t want to miss!

 

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