September 20, 2017 •

Rhode Island Legislature Meeting in Rare Fall Session

Rhode Island lawmakers returned this week to work through legislation abandoned by the General Assembly’s abrupt recess in June amid a budget dispute. The General Assembly is considering a handful of bills including legislation requiring paid time off for workers […]

Rhode Island lawmakers returned this week to work through legislation abandoned by the General Assembly’s abrupt recess in June amid a budget dispute.

The General Assembly is considering a handful of bills including legislation requiring paid time off for workers who call in sick. There is no recess date planned.

The Legislature is scheduled for final adjournment on January 2, 2018.

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September 20, 2017 •

Michigan Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bills into Law

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017. Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent […]

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017.

Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporate violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The bills are effective immediately.

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September 20, 2017 •

Two Campaign Finance Bills Pass Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010. Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees. Senate Bill […]

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010.

Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporates violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Opponents of the bills argue it would allow candidates to raise unlimited contributions for independent expenditure committees, often referred to as super PACs.

Gov. Rick Snyder has 14 days upon receipt of the enrolled bills to sign or veto them.

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September 20, 2017 •

Lobbyist Leaves Firm to Take Seat in Oregon Legislature

Gov. Kate Brown administered the oath of office to the now-former lobbyist for powerful public employee unions SEIU Local 503 and AFSCME Council 75, among other left-leaning groups. Andrea Salinas was appointed by the commissioners of Multnomah and Clackamas Counties […]

Gov. Kate Brown administered the oath of office to the now-former lobbyist for powerful public employee unions SEIU Local 503 and AFSCME Council 75, among other left-leaning groups.

Andrea Salinas was appointed by the commissioners of Multnomah and Clackamas Counties to fill the vacancy.

Rep. Salinas is unsure what she will do work for outside the Legislature since she had to resign her lobbying position.

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September 19, 2017 •

Seattle City Council Selects City’s Third Mayor in Less Than a Week

The Seattle City Council has chosen Councilman Tim Burgess to replace Council President Bruce Harrell as temporary mayor of the city to serve the next 71 days till a newly elected mayor is set to take charge. Harrell became mayor […]

The Seattle City Council has chosen Councilman Tim Burgess to replace Council President Bruce Harrell as temporary mayor of the city to serve the next 71 days till a newly elected mayor is set to take charge.

Harrell became mayor after additional allegations of sexual abuse came out against Ed Murray.

The city charter allowed Harrell to vacate the position after five days if he did not wish to continue to serve as mayor.

The November mayoral election results will be certified November 28.

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September 19, 2017 •

Special Election Announced for Open Pennsylvania House Seat

House Speaker Mike Turzai announced a special election will be held for House District 133 on December 5, 2017. Rep. Dan McNeill, who was in his third term, passed away on September 8, creating the vacancy. Each political party will […]

House Speaker Mike Turzai announced a special election will be held for House District 133 on December 5, 2017.

Rep. Dan McNeill, who was in his third term, passed away on September 8, creating the vacancy.

Each political party will designate their respective candidate to appear on the ballot.

District 133 includes parts of Allentown and Bethlehem, as well as several townships.

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September 19, 2017 •

Utah Special Session Called

The Utah Legislature will meet in a special legislative session Wednesday September 20, 2017, to consider a proposed $11.4 million settlement to be paid to the state by a contractor responsible for faulty renovations to one of the state’s highways. […]

The Utah Legislature will meet in a special legislative session Wednesday September 20, 2017, to consider a proposed $11.4 million settlement to be paid to the state by a contractor responsible for faulty renovations to one of the state’s highways.

The settlement agreement requires the contractor to pay for long term repairs to the highway and includes a provision requiring the governor and Legislature to approve settlements over $1 million for state agencies moving forward.

Gov. Gary Herbert also called the session in order to set aside money to curb crime in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood. The special session is set to convene at 2 p.m.

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September 18, 2017 •

Maine Special Election Called for House District 56

Gov. Paul LePage called a special election for House District 56. The seat’s holder, Rep. Gina Mason, passed away unexpectedly on September 5, 2017. The special election will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Gov. Paul LePage called a special election for House District 56.

The seat’s holder, Rep. Gina Mason, passed away unexpectedly on September 5, 2017.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

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September 18, 2017 •

California Legislature Adjourns

The California Legislature adjourned in the early hours of September 16. Bills passed in the late-night session include Senate Bill 568, which would move the presidential primary election to March; Assembly Bill 249, which would require campaign advertisements to clearly […]

The California Legislature adjourned in the early hours of September 16.

Bills passed in the late-night session include Senate Bill 568, which would move the presidential primary election to March; Assembly Bill 249, which would require campaign advertisements to clearly display their largest funders; and Assembly Bill 132, which would require counties to provide additional voter education and requires every signature of a recall petition to be examined and verified.

The bills are now waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto.

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September 18, 2017 •

Los Angeles Ethics Commission Looking to Amend Lobbying Ordinances

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has recommended multiple changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. These changes include increasing the registration threshold from $2,000 to $5,000; expanding the 501(c)(3) organization exemption; amending and adding definitions regarding lobbying; expanding gift restrictions; revising […]

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has recommended multiple changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance.

These changes include increasing the registration threshold from $2,000 to $5,000; expanding the 501(c)(3) organization exemption; amending and adding definitions regarding lobbying; expanding gift restrictions; revising registration statements, deadlines, and fees; creating a bimonthly reporting calendar instead of quarterly; and increasing civil penalties for violations of lobbying laws.

The next commission meeting is on October 17, and comments regarding the proposal can be emailed to ethics.policy@lacity.org.

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September 18, 2017 •

Oregon Legislators Getting Head Start on 2018 Session

Lawmakers are meeting this week for three legislative days to start discussions on bills they would like to pass during the shorter, 32-day session next year. In addition to getting updates on this year’s wildfire season and how the state […]

Lawmakers are meeting this week for three legislative days to start discussions on bills they would like to pass during the shorter, 32-day session next year.

In addition to getting updates on this year’s wildfire season and how the state is reacting to Equifax’s consumer data breach, legislators will be discussing a proposal to institute a greenhouse gas “cap and invest” proposal, which would fine businesses that go over their limit on greenhouse gas emissions and would invest that revenue into green-energy infrastructure.

Legislators are also being tasked with approving executive appointments during this three-day period.

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September 15, 2017 •

San Antonio Finalizes Campaign Finance Proposals

After review and finalization, a package of campaign finance code revisions is going to the City Council Governance Committee for approval. Proposed revisions include language creating a blackout period for owners or top executives of primary bidders on city contracts […]

After review and finalization, a package of campaign finance code revisions is going to the City Council Governance Committee for approval.

Proposed revisions include language creating a blackout period for owners or top executives of primary bidders on city contracts making contributions to a council campaign within a certain time frame when the contract is out to bid.

Some members of the Ethics Board fear tighter campaign finance laws will decrease political activity and lead to political problems and controversy while others are happy to see steps taken towards transparency.

The committee will meet Sept. 20 to review the proposed changes completed by the City’s Ethics Review Board this week.

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September 15, 2017 •

Colorado Governor Calls for Special Legislative Session in October

Gov. John Hickenlooper has called a special legislative session on Oct. 2 to fix a budgeting issue that resulted from consolidating two marijuana taxes. A bill-drafting error inadvertently left out the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Zoo, and other Denver-based […]

Gov. John Hickenlooper has called a special legislative session on Oct. 2 to fix a budgeting issue that resulted from consolidating two marijuana taxes.

A bill-drafting error inadvertently left out the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Zoo, and other Denver-based institutions from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in marijuana tax revenue.

Republican leaders reacted angrily, claiming they had not been consulted about a game plan and questioning why this could not wait till the regular session convenes in January.

Per the state constitution, lawmakers are required to convene when called, but they are not required to take action.

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September 15, 2017 •

Minnesota Supreme Court Orders Mediation for Governor and Legislature

The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a district court ruling Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item vetoes unconstitutional. In May, Dayton line-item vetoed funding for the House and Senate. In response, the Legislature sued arguing Dayton violated the separation of powers clause of […]

The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a district court ruling Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item vetoes unconstitutional.

In May, Dayton line-item vetoed funding for the House and Senate. In response, the Legislature sued arguing Dayton violated the separation of powers clause of the state Constitution.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered Dayton and the Legislature to mediate their funding disagreements.

On or before September 30, both Dayton and the Legislature must give the court a status report regarding mediation efforts.

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