December 6, 2016 •

See Us in Person!

Here is our December calendar. If you are attending any of these events, please say hello! December 6-9   NCSL Capitol Forum, Washington, DC December 6   SGAC Holiday Reception, Washington DC December 7   Ohio Holiday Reception, Washington, DC December 7   […]

december-calendarHere is our December calendar. If you are attending any of these events, please say hello!

December 6-9   NCSL Capitol Forum, Washington, DC

December 6   SGAC Holiday Reception, Washington DC

December 7   Ohio Holiday Reception, Washington, DC

December 7   WGR Holiday Party, Washington, DC

December 8   DDC Advocacy Holiday Party, Washington, DC

December 11-14   COGEL Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana

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December 5, 2016 •

Akron Councilman Indicted on Conflict of Interest Charges

The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his […]

bobhochcopy-srv_1455040352The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his sons, who are Akron firefighters.

The three counts pertain to actions taken in 2012, as well as an ongoing alleged conflict between 2014 and 2015.

Hoch previously denied a conflict of interest existed, as did City Council President Marilyn Keith. If convicted, Hoch could face up to 18 months in jail and lose his council seat.

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September 28, 2016 •

Columbus, OH City Council Approves Emergency Legislation on Ethics

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016. Ginther’s executive order was immediately […]

columbus_mayor_andy_ginther_31_dec_2015Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016.

Ginther’s executive order was immediately effective for executive branch public officials and employees. The new City Council policy has nearly identical provisions on prohibited conduct and financial disclosure, but is applicable to all public officials and city employees.

Effective immediately, public officials and employees may not solicit or accept gifts or employment from anyone doing business with the city. They also must wait at least one year after leaving public service before representing any person or entity before any city department or division with respect to a matter they personally participated in while serving with the city.

Designated officials and employees must also file financial disclosure statements each year. The statements must include a description of each gift, or aggregate of gifts, exceeding $75 from certain sources during the previous calendar year.

Photo of Mayor Andrew Ginther by David Paul on Wikimedia Commons.

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September 16, 2016 •

Cleveland, OH to Consider Raising Minimum Wage in 2017 Special Election

Cleveland City Council approved a proposal this week to put a minimum wage increase before the voters in a 2017 special election. If passed by the voters, the proposal would increase the city minimum wage to $12 per hour in […]

Cleveland SkylineCleveland City Council approved a proposal this week to put a minimum wage increase before the voters in a 2017 special election.

If passed by the voters, the proposal would increase the city minimum wage to $12 per hour in January 2018 and increase the wage $1 annually thereafter for three additional years.

The issue will appear on the ballot on May 2, 2017.

Photo of the Cleveland skyline by Eric Drost in Wikimedia Commons.

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August 23, 2016 •

Ohio Bill Could Eliminate Unnecessary Elections

Recently introduced legislation could eliminate unnecessary elections if only one person is on the ballot. The special primary set for September 13, for example, will cost taxpayers $500,000 despite there being only one person on the ballot to become the […]

OhioRecently introduced legislation could eliminate unnecessary elections if only one person is on the ballot.

The special primary set for September 13, for example, will cost taxpayers $500,000 despite there being only one person on the ballot to become the Democratic nominee going into the November special general election.

Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose, who introduced Senate Bill 347, believes forcing county boards of elections to hold uncontested primary elections is a waste of both time and resources. His proposal would remove the requirement to hold a primary when only one candidate is certified and would allow the secretary of state to declare the lone candidate the party’s nominee.

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August 10, 2016 •

Special Primary Election to be Held for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District

A special primary election will be held on September 13, 2016, to fill a general election ballot vacancy for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. Democratic nominee Corey Foister withdrew from the race to pursue an out-of-state opportunity he said he couldn’t […]

Ohio flagA special primary election will be held on September 13, 2016, to fill a general election ballot vacancy for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District.

Democratic nominee Corey Foister withdrew from the race to pursue an out-of-state opportunity he said he couldn’t pass up.

Steven Fought, a former congressional staffer from Toledo, was the only Democrat to file for the special election ballot. In November, he will challenge recently elected Republican U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson for the seat in former House Speaker John Boehner’s district. Davidson won a June 7 special election to complete Boehner’s term and is seeking a full term in November.

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July 7, 2016 •

Ohio Legislator Seeks to Eliminate Certain Special Elections

Ohio Sen. Kris Jordan recently introduced a bill to eliminate special elections in February and August. His proposal is the result of historically low voter turnout in Ohio special elections. Fewer than 10 percent of residents usually participate in any […]

Ohio StatehouseOhio Sen. Kris Jordan recently introduced a bill to eliminate special elections in February and August.

His proposal is the result of historically low voter turnout in Ohio special elections. Fewer than 10 percent of residents usually participate in any special election, and an election can cost the state $4 to $6 million.

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June 20, 2016 •

New Ethics Rules Take Effect in Cuyahoga County

The Cuyahoga County Council recently updated the county’s code of ethics to clarify the ethical rights, responsibilities, and prohibitions applicable to elected officials, employees, board members, contractors, and lobbyists. New provisions include, but are not limited to, a new lobbyist […]

Cuyahoga County SealThe Cuyahoga County Council recently updated the county’s code of ethics to clarify the ethical rights, responsibilities, and prohibitions applicable to elected officials, employees, board members, contractors, and lobbyists.

New provisions include, but are not limited to, a new lobbyist registration threshold, a new lobbyist reporting requirement, updated gift rules with a presumption of influence standard, and a lower monetary contract threshold for contractor registration and ethics training.

A summary of the changes to the ethics laws and a copy of the ordinance are available for review on the county inspector general’s website. The ordinance became effective May 27.

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June 7, 2016 •

Ohio Voters to Fill Boehner’s Seat

Voters in six Ohio counties will decide today who will fill the congressional seat left vacant by former House Speaker John Boehner. Republican Warren Davidson is facing off against Democrat Corey Foister and Green Party candidate Jim Condit Jr. The […]

Boehner at Ohio Chamber of CommerceVoters in six Ohio counties will decide today who will fill the congressional seat left vacant by former House Speaker John Boehner.

Republican Warren Davidson is facing off against Democrat Corey Foister and Green Party candidate Jim Condit Jr. The winner will complete Boehner’s term.

Low voter turnout is expected with no other races on the ballot.

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April 18, 2016 •

State and Federal Communications Sponsors 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess for The Ohio Society of Washington, D.C.

State and Federal Communications, the sponsor of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess of The Ohio Society of Washington, D.C., introduced Ms. Jasmine Wyatt as this year’s Ohio winner at the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) Cherry Blossom Premiere Event […]

Elizabeth Z. Bartz with 2016 Ohio Cherry Blossom PrincessState and Federal Communications, the sponsor of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess of The Ohio Society of Washington, D.C., introduced Ms. Jasmine Wyatt as this year’s Ohio winner at the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) Cherry Blossom Premiere Event in Washington, D.C. on April 11.

State and Federal Communications President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz honored Ms. Wyatt at a dinner event at The Army and Navy Club, along with the other winners of their respective states and territories.

Since 1948, state and territorial societies, as well as the international embassy community, have selected more than 3,000 accomplished young women for their academic achievement, exceptional poise and appearance, leadership, interest in social, civic, community and world affairs, with a strong desire to serve others through community service, maturity and responsibility to represent their respective states as “Cherry Blossom Princess.”

The week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival allows the ladies to participate in a number of activities, community service, and cultural exchange events. The week culminates by selecting one Cherry Blossom Queen, who is then invited by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association (JCBA) to visit Japan.

Ms. Bartz explains, “The Cherry Blossom Princess program is a wonderful event that State and Federal Communications is so proud to sponsor. These young women have outstanding backgrounds and have already achieved much in their early careers. Our support empowers them to fuel their dreams of future leadership positions. We look forward to Ms. Wyatt representing The Ohio Society of Washington, D.C., at many events this season.”

Ms. Wyatt is a 2011 graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, and a 2015 graduate of Harvard University where she majored in government and minored in South Asian studies. She currently works as a Staff Assistant for Senator Richard Durbin (IL). She began her career in D.C. in 2010 as a Congressional Page. Since then, Jasmine has interned in the Akron mayor’s office, interned with the Department of State, and was the Franklin Williams Fellow-Women & Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

On a more personal note, Ms. Wyatt has taught English to children in local hospitals in Lima, Peru and studied abroad at the School for International Training in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms. Bartz adds, “Jasmine is an excellent representative for the State of Ohio in the Cherry Blossom Festival. It is a special bonus that she graduated from high school in Akron, Ohio, the same city that State and Federal Communications calls our home.”

For information on the event, visit: http://www.statesocieties.org/cherry-blossom-1/

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April 12, 2016 •

Ohio Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Amend Campaign Finance Law

Ohio Rep. John Becker recently introduced campaign finance legislation to simplify and modernize current state law. House Bill 502 would put an end to paper filing for local candidates and committees and phase in electronic filing over the next 3 […]

Ohio flagOhio Rep. John Becker recently introduced campaign finance legislation to simplify and modernize current state law. House Bill 502 would put an end to paper filing for local candidates and committees and phase in electronic filing over the next 3 years.

County-wide candidates could begin filing electronically in 2017, school board candidates in 2018, and city and village candidates in 2019. Local filings would be submitted in the same manner as state filings on the secretary of state’s website.

Other provisions of Becker’s proposal include rounding contribution limits to the nearest $100, eliminating campaign finance filing requirements for committees and political contributing entities raising or spending less than $2,000 in a reporting period, delaying post-general campaign finance reports until the first week of January, and eliminating the itemization requirement when reporting income or expenses for a single entity totaling less than $100.

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April 5, 2016 •

Proud to Be a Sponsor of Ohio Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

State and Federal Communications is excited to be a Bronze Sponsor of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Legislative Reception in Columbus, Ohio on April 5, 2016! The keynote speaker for the event is former Speaker of the […]

Boehner at Ohio Chamber of CommerceState and Federal Communications is excited to be a Bronze Sponsor of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Legislative Reception in Columbus, Ohio on April 5, 2016! The keynote speaker for the event is former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner.

State and Federal Communications President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz and a team from the company are in attendance.

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March 30, 2016 •

Columbus City Council Passes New Ethics Legislation

The Columbus City Council passed three new pieces of ethics legislation on Monday, March 28, strengthening financial disclosure provisions and amending city campaign finance and lobbying laws. Ord. 0084-2016 requires lobbyists to file updated registration statements in January, May, and […]

Columbus OH skylineThe Columbus City Council passed three new pieces of ethics legislation on Monday, March 28, strengthening financial disclosure provisions and amending city campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Ord. 0084-2016 requires lobbyists to file updated registration statements in January, May, and September of each year. Knowingly failing to register as a lobbyist will be a third degree misdemeanor, while knowingly filing a false statement will be a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Although state campaign finance laws apply to municipal elections, Ord. 0087-2016 requires additional election period communication disclosure statements to be filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections and with the city clerk if contributions or expenditures for the reporting period equal or exceed $10,000.

Among other changes, Ord. 0086-2016 expands financial disclosure requirements for public office holders and candidates, requiring a description of each gift or aggregate of gifts over $75 from certain sources.

All three ordinances go into effect September 28, 2016.

 

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March 21, 2016 •

Proposed State Ballot Initiative Includes Revolving Door Provision for Ohio Legislators

Attorney General Mike DeWine recently approved language for a proposed ethics amendment to the Ohio Constitution. The proposal includes a revolving door provision, including a two-year ban on former legislators doing business with the Legislature. The issue must be reviewed […]

OhioAttorney General Mike DeWine recently approved language for a proposed ethics amendment to the Ohio Constitution. The proposal includes a revolving door provision, including a two-year ban on former legislators doing business with the Legislature.

The issue must be reviewed by the Ohio Ballot Board to determine how it should appear on the ballot. Supporters of the amendment must gather at least 305,591 signatures of registered Ohio voters in order to reach the fall ballot.

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