March 27, 2020 •

New Jersey Commission Providing Grace Period For Business Entities Affected By State Emergency

New Jersey Capitol Building

The Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) advises required companies to file Business Entity Disclosures (FORM BE) as soon as possible if they are currently operational or otherwise able to file by the deadline, March 30. ELEC will provide a grace […]

The Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) advises required companies to file Business Entity Disclosures (FORM BE) as soon as possible if they are currently operational or otherwise able to file by the deadline, March 30.

ELEC will provide a grace period for any business entities during their period of closure if a business is affected by the current public health emergency.

To receive the grace period business entities may send a request by email to efiling@elec.nj.gov is required.

The request must indicate the business entity and the duration of the closure if known.

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March 20, 2020 •

New Jersey Governor Postpones Elections until May

Gov. Phil Murphy - by Phil Murphy for Governor

On March 19, Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 105 to implement changes to state elections in response to COVID-19. The executive order postpones local elections to be held on March 21, March 31, and April 21 until May 12 […]

On March 19, Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 105 to implement changes to state elections in response to COVID-19.

The executive order postpones local elections to be held on March 21, March 31, and April 21 until May 12 the same day as scheduled municipal elections.

The executive order also requires all elections held on May 12 to be done exclusively by vote-by-mail ballots.

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March 18, 2020 •

New Jersey Legislature Cancels All Meetings after March 19

New Jersey Capitol Building

On March 19, the Senate will convene a voting session regarding emergency bills to address COVID-19. All other Senate and Assembly committee meetings and sessions that scheduled for the month of March have been cancelled. These actions do not affect […]

On March 19, the Senate will convene a voting session regarding emergency bills to address COVID-19.

All other Senate and Assembly committee meetings and sessions that scheduled for the month of March have been cancelled.

These actions do not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

New Jersey Federal Court Enjoins Donor Disclosure Law

New Jersey Capitol Building

On March 11, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey permanently enjoined the state from enforcing Senate Bill 150. The bill was signed by the governor last June and was scheduled to take effect on October […]

On March 11, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey permanently enjoined the state from enforcing Senate Bill 150.

The bill was signed by the governor last June and was scheduled to take effect on October 15, 2019.

The dark money bill required independent expenditure committees to report contributions in excess of $10,000.

Additionally, the bill required reporting of expenditures in excess of $3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The order does not prevent the Legislature to revisit the issue with new legislation.

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February 21, 2020 •

New Jersey Governor Proposes Ethics and Transparency Reforms

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

On February 19, Gov. Murphy released a legislative package of Ethics and Transparency Reforms. The legislative package contains five bills with the aim to strengthen restrictions on lobbying, enhance financial disclosures, and increase public access. The lobbying bill requires lobbying […]

On February 19, Gov. Murphy released a legislative package of Ethics and Transparency Reforms.

The legislative package contains five bills with the aim to strengthen restrictions on lobbying, enhance financial disclosures, and increase public access.

The lobbying bill requires lobbying firms and companies to disclose when a person or firm is hired to provide professional services other than lobbying.

Additionally, the bill reduces the registration threshold from 20 hours of lobbying to one hour per calendar year.

The bill will prohibit legislators and their staff from accepting any gift related to their public duties.

Furthermore, the bill aligns the gift rules to the same standard currently governing executive branch employees.

The legislative package also extends the one-year cooling off period for the governor, cabinet, and legislators to two years before being able to register as lobbyists.

Gov. Murphy also introduced a bill to increase transparency and requires bills or resolutions not to be voted on unless their final form has been publicly available for 72 hours on the Legislature’s website.

The governor is also expected to issue other executive actions regarding requirements for those that do business with the state.

The bill proposals were sent to Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin for review.

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February 11, 2020 •

New Jersey Introduces Local Lobbying Disclosure Bill

New Jersey Capitol Building

On February 3, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly establishing the Local Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act. Assembly Bill 2432 extends the same disclosure, reporting, and other requirements that govern the activities of governmental affairs agents to […]

On February 3, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly establishing the Local Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act.

Assembly Bill 2432 extends the same disclosure, reporting, and other requirements that govern the activities of governmental affairs agents to their activities with respect to all local government levels.

If passed, this act takes effect immediately.

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October 9, 2019 •

Judge Blocks New Jersey Political Disclosure Bill from Taking Effect

New Jersey Capitol Building

On October 2, 2019, a U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued an opinion and order issuing a preliminary injunction. The Injunction prohibits the state of New Jersey from enforcing the changes in the law from a […]

On October 2, 2019, a U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued an opinion and order issuing a preliminary injunction.

The Injunction prohibits the state of New Jersey from enforcing the changes in the law from a bill passed earlier this year concerning disclosure requirements by independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 150, which was to take effect on October 15, requires the committees to disclose donors giving more than $10,000 and expenditures over $3,000.

The parties filing the lawsuit, Americans for Prosperity v. Grewal, argue the disclosure requirements are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment.

The preliminary injunction will continue while the lawsuit proceeds.

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June 27, 2019 •

New Jersey Dark Money Bill Signed, Challenged

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Last week, New jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors. Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires certain groups, like 501(c)(4) […]

Last week, New jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors.

Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires certain groups, like 501(c)(4) political nonprofits to disclose the identities of donors who give more than $10,000.

Additionally, the groups are required to report expenditures in excess of $3,000.

Gov. Murphy previously conditionally vetoed the bill.

However, the Governor signed an identical version when faced with a veto override because the bill’s sponsors agreed to tweak the legislation before it takes effect.

Since signed, the bill has faced opposition from citizen-based organizations and advocacy groups.

Those groups are arguing the new disclosure requirements will prevent people from donating to them.

On Tuesday, a federal lawsuit challenging the legislation was filed by Americans for Prosperity, a libertarian advocacy nonprofit founded by the Koch brothers.

Americans for Prosperity asked for the new law not to be enforced until the suit challenging the constitutionality of the law is decided.

New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission and Attorney General Lee Moore declined to comment on the pending legislation.

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May 20, 2019 •

New Jersey Dark Money Disclosure Bill Vetoed

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors. Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires disclosure of contributors giving more than $10,000 […]

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors.

Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires disclosure of contributors giving more than $10,000 to 501(c)(4) groups engaging in political activities and lobbying.

In issuing the veto, Gov. Murphy said the bill contained loopholes and inconsistent disclosure standards.

He also expressed concern about the legislation not passing judicial scrutiny because of broad disclosure requirements beyond spending in elections for groups involved in issue campaigns.

The veto went on to recommend requiring companies receiving large scale tax credits from the state to disclose public contracts and political contributions to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

The recommendation also sought to strike a provision limiting elected officials from managing dark-money groups.

Supporters of Senate Bill 1500, which overwhelmingly passed both houses, argued the legislation leveled the playing field by requiring all groups to disclose if trying to sway elections, legislation, or policy.

The legislature can attempt an override of the governor’s veto or work towards amending the bill based on the governor’s recommendations.

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March 26, 2019 •

NJ Legislature Sends Independent Expenditure Disclosure Bill to Governor

Senate Bill 1500 has made it Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after being introduced in early 2018. The bill requires committees to report contributions in excess of $10,000 and expenditures in excess of $3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission. Additionally, […]

Senate Bill 1500 has made it Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after being introduced in early 2018.

The bill requires committees to report contributions in excess of $10,000 and expenditures in excess of $3,000 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Additionally, when the contributor is an individual giving more than $10,000, the committee must disclose the occupation of the individual and the name and mailing address of the individual’s employer.

If signed by the governor, the bill will impact the January 15, 2020, independent expenditure report.

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September 28, 2018 •

New Jersey Special Election Scheduled

A special election for the Bergen County sheriff will be held on November 6, aligning with the general election. The former sheriff, Michael Saudino, resigned after controversial comments he said in January were made public. The county will send out […]

A special election for the Bergen County sheriff will be held on November 6, aligning with the general election.

The former sheriff, Michael Saudino, resigned after controversial comments he said in January were made public.

The county will send out an addendum to the already sent absentee ballots.

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January 26, 2018 •

New Jersey Governor Signs Code of Conduct Executive Order for Self, Future Governors

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 2A, which places limits on gifts and defines personal relationships for the governor of the Garden State. This order requires the governor to disclose gifts received from anyone he has met in […]

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 2A, which places limits on gifts and defines personal relationships for the governor of the Garden State.

This order requires the governor to disclose gifts received from anyone he has met in the past three years before being inaugurated.

“Anyone we’ve met since then is going to be subject to complete disclosure above the threshold of whatever the gift levels are,” said Murphy.

Any relationship established before then is considered pre-existing and is exempt from the order.

The executive order puts New Jersey in line with federal standards.

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November 8, 2017 •

Democrat Phil Murphy is New Jersey’s Next Governor

Democrat Phil Murphy was elected as New Jersey’s 56th governor. Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, may impact Congress if he appoints a replacement for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. Menendez is currently on trial for […]

Democrat Phil Murphy was elected as New Jersey’s 56th governor.

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, may impact Congress if he appoints a replacement for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

Menendez is currently on trial for corruption charges and the jury began deliberations on November 6, 2017.  If convicted, Menendez will face pressure to step down allowing a Democrat, opposed to exiting Republican Gov. Chris Christie, to appoint a replacement.

Murphy is set to take office on January 16, 2018.

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March 9, 2017 •

Paterson Mayor Indicted on Corruption Charges

Paterson Mayor Jose Torres will continue to serve in office despite recently being indicted on multiple corruption-related charges. Indictments do not prevent him from serving, and city officials do not expect him to resign anytime soon. An investigation revealed Torres […]

TorresPaterson Mayor Jose Torres will continue to serve in office despite recently being indicted on multiple corruption-related charges.

Indictments do not prevent him from serving, and city officials do not expect him to resign anytime soon.

An investigation revealed Torres asked city employees to work at a warehouse leased by his daughter and nephew; city employees were also found to have been performing various jobs around his home.

Torres denies the allegations, claiming the employees were doing work on their personal time. Torres has served as mayor of Paterson on and off since first elected in 2002.

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