March 26, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Behested Payment Reporting in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for […]

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for charitable or government organizations.

In doing so, an elected official should be aware of and may be required to file a behested payment report.

The current statewide shelter-in-place order, closure of government offices, and various other circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic may make it difficult to file these reports on time.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) encourages elected officials to make best efforts to timely file behested payment reports.

If circumstances caused by the pandemic inhibit an official’s ability to file reports, the official should communicate these issues to their agency and document all attempts to file and the issues faced.

If an official makes best efforts to comply with the Political Reform Act’s behested payment reporting rules but is unable to do so due to the pandemic, the FPPC will consider this a strong mitigating factor in determining whether an enforcement action against the official is appropriate.

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March 26, 2020 •

Delaware Governor Postpones Upcoming Elections

Delaware Capitol Building

On Tuesday March 24, Gov. John Carney announced a sixth modification to his state of emergency declaration due to COVID-19. The order postpones Delaware’s presidential preference primary from April 28 to June 2, and any elections for school board members […]

On Tuesday March 24, Gov. John Carney announced a sixth modification to his state of emergency declaration due to COVID-19.

The order postpones Delaware’s presidential preference primary from April 28 to June 2, and any elections for school board members scheduled for May 12 to June 16.

Additionally, local elections to be conducted before May 15 are to be rescheduled by the municipality.

Under the order, the terms of existing officeholders continue until the results for any rescheduled elections are certified.

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March 26, 2020 •

Ohio Voting for Primary Elections by Mail Only

Ohio Statehouse

Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign a coronavirus response bill passed by legislators. The bill includes a provision to extend absentee balloting till April 28 for the presidential and state primary elections. The state’s Health Department postponed in-person voting […]

Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign a coronavirus response bill passed by legislators.

The bill includes a provision to extend absentee balloting till April 28 for the presidential and state primary elections.

The state’s Health Department postponed in-person voting originally scheduled for March 17 in response to COVID-19 concerns.

House Bill 197 cancels the rescheduled date of June 2 and instructs Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office to send a postcard to every registered voter in the state to notify them of methods to obtain an application for an absentee voter’s ballot.

The bill does not require an absentee ballot request actually be mailed to every voter.

An extremely limited group of voters will be able to vote in-person on April 28.

This includes disabled voters and those without a home address, but for most people, the option is not available.

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March 25, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Update

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24. As of today, the Commission is still receiving […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24.

As of today, the Commission is still receiving mail daily and will continue to accept filings by mail.

Documents may be hand delivered by appointment only.

For an appointment, please email ethics@wisconsin.gov.

Despite restricted public access to the office, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission continues to operate normally.

Committees can register and required campaign finance reports can be filed online at https://cfis.wi.gov.

Lobbyists and principals can process licensing and registration, pay fees, and file reports online at https://lobbying.wi.gov.

For questions concerning campaign finance, please email CampaignFinance@wisconsin.gov and for questions concerning lobbying, please email ETHLobbying@wisconsin.gov or lobbying@wi.gov.

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March 25, 2020 •

Gov. Newsom Issues Executive Order for Upcoming Elections

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending vote-by-mail for three upcoming elections. The order comes as part of government efforts to protect public health and combat the spread of coronavirus. Under the executive order, county election officials are […]

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending vote-by-mail for three upcoming elections.

The order comes as part of government efforts to protect public health and combat the spread of coronavirus.

Under the executive order, county election officials are to distribute vote-by-mail to all voters eligible to participate in the special elections.

The elections include the special election for the 28th Senate District, a runoff election for the 25th Congressional District, and a special recall election held in the city of Westminster.

In addition to calling for changes to the way the upcoming special elections are conducted, the governor’s order also extends the deadlines for the ballot counting, tabulation and other responsibilities related to California’s presidential primary election for 21 days.

This will allow for the implementation of appropriate social distancing measures.

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March 25, 2020 •

Alaska Shifts to Mail-In Primary Due to COVID-19

Alaska State Capitol Buildling - Jay Galvin

On Monday, Alaska became one of the most recent states to alter presidential primary plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Alaska Democratic Party canceled in-person voting in the state scheduled for April 4. Additionally the party expanded the ability to […]

On Monday, Alaska became one of the most recent states to alter presidential primary plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alaska Democratic Party canceled in-person voting in the state scheduled for April 4.

Additionally the party expanded the ability to vote by mail by extending the deadline to mail in ballots from March 24 to April 10.

The Alaska Republican Party also announced its Republican state convention, scheduled for April 2-4 will convene electronically.

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March 25, 2020 •

Arkansas Governor Calls Special Legislative Session

Arkansas State Capitol

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special session of the Arkansas Legislature on Thursday, March 26. The session will fill budget holes caused by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Gov. Hutchinson announced the special session would grant him the authority […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special session of the Arkansas Legislature on Thursday, March 26.

The session will fill budget holes caused by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Gov. Hutchinson announced the special session would grant him the authority to use the state’s $173 million unallocated budget surplus.

He plans to fill budget needs after his administration cut the state’s general revenue by $353 million to $5.38 billion.

The governor made the budget cuts in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The special session triggers a lobbyist activity report (monthly) due April 10 for the reporting period of March 1 through March 31.

The special session is expected to span three calendar days.

The House of Representatives will meet at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center rather than the Capitol to limit close contact of legislators.

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March 25, 2020 •

Minnesota Lawmakers Scheduled to Convene March 26

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic. That […]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic.

That bill was signed by Gov. Tim Walz the same day.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said the new proposed legislation will provide further relief than the governor is able to deliver via executive order.

Lawmakers had agreed to recess until April 14, with the understanding they would return as needed.

Arrangements are being made to ensure the legislature follows the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Specifically they look to keep members, staff and the public safe, Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a joint statement late Tuesday.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 24, 2020 •

Guam Legislature Postpones Session Indefinitely

Guam Congress Sign - by MosheA

Speaker of the Legislature Tina Rose Muña Barnes announced the postponement of the legislative session indefinitely to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Additionally the postponement includes the emergency session expected to convene on March 23. The purpose is to […]

Speaker of the Legislature Tina Rose Muña Barnes announced the postponement of the legislative session indefinitely to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally the postponement includes the emergency session expected to convene on March 23.

The purpose is to discuss a bill relating to an unemployment benefits program.

Finally the Legislature is exploring the possibility of holding virtual sessions for the unemployment bill and state budget.

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March 24, 2020 •

Arizona Legislature Approves $50 Million Relief Package, Recesses for Three Weeks

Arizona State Capitol

Lawmakers approved a $50 million relief package for COVID-19 relief before recessing for three weeks as a public health precaution. The relief package allows Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration to use the funds for the following: Housing assistance Aid for businesses […]

Lawmakers approved a $50 million relief package for COVID-19 relief before recessing for three weeks as a public health precaution.

The relief package allows Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration to use the funds for the following:

    • Housing assistance
    • Aid for businesses
    • Nonprofits and healthcare providers with fewer than 50 employees
    • Assistance for food banks as well as organizations serving people experiencing homelessness

The budget will keep state government operating into the new fiscal year beginning in July.

The Legislature is suspended until April 13 unless the House speaker and Senate president announce otherwise.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 24, 2020 •

Indiana Lobby Registration Commission Update

Indiana State Capitol - By Daniel Schwen / CC BY-SA

The Lobby Registration Commission staff will be working from home until April 7 to comply with Executive Order 20-09, issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 24. Certain procedures have been changed until further notice. During this time, any reporting […]

The Lobby Registration Commission staff will be working from home until April 7 to comply with Executive Order 20-09, issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 24.

Certain procedures have been changed until further notice.

During this time, any reporting or lobbying law questions should be emailed to Ed Ferguson at eferguson@lrc.in.gov.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and all other inquiries may be submitted by email to Amy Nicholson at amynicholson@lrc.in.gov.

MOUs must include a current phone number and contact name.

Submitters will be contacted via telephone to provide the social security number.

Executive Order 20-09 also extended the expiration date for any state agency-issued license, certification, or permit expiring during the public health emergency to May 22.

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March 24, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Reconvened for Emergency Funding Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19. The emergency session […]

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency session is scheduled to last three legislative days.

There is no set date for when the 2020 legislative session will officially resume.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 24, 2020 •

Connecticut Governor Modifies State Contractor Gift Disclosure Requirements

Connecticut State Capitol

On March 22, Gov. Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7J to provide for rapid state government response to the public health and civil preparedness emergency. The executive order authorizes Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the […]

On March 22, Gov. Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7J to provide for rapid state government response to the public health and civil preparedness emergency.

The executive order authorizes Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the Commissioner of Administrative Services to take any action deemed necessary to expedite property transfers, assignments of space and leasing, or use of real property by the state required to respond to COVID-19.

Additionally, the executive order modifies Connecticut General Statutes sections 4-252, 9-612(f)(2)(E), and Executive Order 49.

The order requires disclosure of certain gifts and campaign contributions by state contractors and prospective state contractors for state contracts over $50,000.

The order also modifies the requirements for competitive solicitations for certain state purchases and contracts.

Gov. Lamont issued the executive order to facilitate transfers of medical equipment donated or for sale to the state to battle the spread of the coronavirus.

The executive order is in effect for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless modified or terminated by the governor.

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March 24, 2020 •

North Carolina Runoff Election Postponed

North Carolina State Legislative Building

The North Carolina Board of Elections issued an emergency executive order postponing the runoff election in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District. The election will be moved from May 12 to June 23 to accommodate concerns regarding the […]

The North Carolina Board of Elections issued an emergency executive order postponing the runoff election in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District.

The election will be moved from May 12 to June 23 to accommodate concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

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