November 4, 2020 •

Kentucky Voters Defeat Constitutional Amendment

Kentucky voters defeated a constitutional amendment that would have increased the terms of office for district judges and commonwealth attorneys in each circuit court district. The amendment would have also increased the requirement for district judges of being a licensed […]

Kentucky voters defeated a constitutional amendment that would have increased the terms of office for district judges and commonwealth attorneys in each circuit court district.

The amendment would have also increased the requirement for district judges of being a licensed attorney from two years to eight years.

The failure of the amendment keeps the term of office at four years for district judges and six years for a commonwealth attorney in each circuit court district.

As of Wednesday morning, with 96% of votes counted, the measure was defeated by 38%.

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November 4, 2020 •

Indiana Incumbent Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb Reelected

Gov Eric Holcomb

Gov Eric Holcomb - by Liz Kaye | IU Communications

Incumbent Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb was reelected in the biggest statewide race on the ballot this year. Holcomb defeated Democrat Dr. Woodrow A. Myers by roughly 28 percentage points, and third-party Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater by over 45 percentage points […]

Incumbent Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb was reelected in the biggest statewide race on the ballot this year.

Holcomb defeated Democrat Dr. Woodrow A. Myers by roughly 28 percentage points, and third-party Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater by over 45 percentage points as of Wednesday morning.

At the time of this post, 74% of votes are counted.

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November 4, 2020 •

Puerto Rico Awaits Final Results in Tight Gubernatorial Race

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

Voters across Puerto Rico await final results on November 4 following elections that saw long lines and produced a tight gubernatorial race. Candidate Pedro Pierluisi holds a slight lead over Carlos Delgado Altieri and several other candidates in the race […]

Voters across Puerto Rico await final results on November 4 following elections that saw long lines and produced a tight gubernatorial race.

Candidate Pedro Pierluisi holds a slight lead over Carlos Delgado Altieri and several other candidates in the race for governor.

Pierluisi, the candidate for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, is the territory’s former non-voting representative in Congress.

He also briefly served as governor following huge street protests last year that led to the resignation of former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Rosselló was forced out of office in August 2019 amid mass street protests and corruption allegations.

His successor, Wanda Vázquez Garced, battled the pandemic and earthquakes until Pierluisi won the gubernatorial primary earlier this year.

Pierluisi also trailed gubernatorial opponents Juan Dalmau of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, Alexandra Lúgaro of Citizen Victory Movement, César Vázquez of the Dignity Project, and independent candidate Eliezer Molina.

With more than 95% of the votes counted, Pierluisi leads Altieri 32.40% to 31.36%.

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November 4, 2020 •

New Mexico Voters Approve Public Official Term Limits Amendment

New Mexico Capitol

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

On November 3, voters in New Mexico approved a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to adjust the term of a state, county, or district officer. House Joint Resolution 8, or Amendment 2, allows the legislature to adjust the term […]

On November 3, voters in New Mexico approved a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to adjust the term of a state, county, or district officer.

House Joint Resolution 8, or Amendment 2, allows the legislature to adjust the term of a state, county, or district officer to align or stagger the election of officers for a particular state, county, or district office throughout the state.

Additionally, the amendment will clarify that officers elected to fill a vacancy in office must take office on the first day of January following their election.

The amendment became effective upon voter approval.

As of 7:00 a.m. November 4, with 96% of the precincts reporting, the amendment passed 64% to 35.7%.

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November 4, 2020 •

Arkansas Voters Approve Legislative Term Limits Amendment

Akransas State Capitol

Arkansas State Capitol

On November 3, voters in Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment to impose term limits for state legislators. Issue 2 creates term limits of 12 consecutive years for state legislators with the opportunity to return after a four-year break. Arkansas previously […]

On November 3, voters in Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment to impose term limits for state legislators.

Issue 2 creates term limits of 12 consecutive years for state legislators with the opportunity to return after a four-year break.

Arkansas previously had a 16-year lifetime term limit for state legislators.

The 12-year limit will apply to anyone elected in 2021 or after.

Those first elected to the legislature before 2021 will keep the state’s existing term limit of 16 years, but they will be eligible to run for election again after four years.

As of 7:00 a.m. November 4, with more than 95% of the precincts reporting, the amendment passed 55.4% to 44.6%.

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November 4, 2020 •

Utah Voters Approve Session Start Date Amendment

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

On November 3, voters in Utah approved a constitutional amendment to modify the commencement date of the annual Utah legislative session. Senate Joint Resolution 3, or Amendment F, amends the commencement of the legislature from the fourth Monday in January […]

On November 3, voters in Utah approved a constitutional amendment to modify the commencement date of the annual Utah legislative session.

Senate Joint Resolution 3, or Amendment F, amends the commencement of the legislature from the fourth Monday in January to a day in January designated by state statute.

Previously, if the state legislature wished to change the session start date, lawmakers would need to amend the state constitution by passing a constitutional amendment by a two-thirds vote of the legislature.

The amendment would then require statewide voter approval.

Under Amendment F, the legislature will be able to change the session start date in state statute, which requires a simple majority vote in the legislature and does not require voter approval.

The amendment also excludes state holidays that are not also federal holidays from counting toward the 45-day limit of annual general sessions.

Amendment F will take effect January 1, 2021.

As of 7:00 a.m. November 4, with more than 76% of the precincts reporting, the amendment passed 66.8% to 33%.

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November 4, 2020 •

Utah Voters Elect Spencer Cox in Gubernatorial Race

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

Incumbent Lt. Gov. and Republican Spencer Cox defeated candidate Chris Peterson 64% to 30% in Utah’s gubernatorial race. Cox, the top finisher among state Republican convention delegates, beat three GOP candidates in the June 30 party primary. Those are former […]

Incumbent Lt. Gov. and Republican Spencer Cox defeated candidate Chris Peterson 64% to 30% in Utah’s gubernatorial race.

Cox, the top finisher among state Republican convention delegates, beat three GOP candidates in the June 30 party primary.

Those are former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, and former Utah Chairman Thomas Wright.

Peterson, a University of Utah law professor who worked on consumer issues in the Obama administration, won the Democratic nomination outright at his party’s state convention and did not face a primary in his first run for public office.

Cox will succeed Republican Gov. Gary Herbert.

Herbert chose not to run for reelection after more than a decade in office and endorsed Cox in the hotly contested GOP gubernatorial primary.

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November 2, 2020 •

No Report from Illinois Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

A group of nonpartisan organizations concerned with good governance in Illinois issued a statement calling for the immediate release of the Report of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. The Commission was supposed to release the report on […]

A group of nonpartisan organizations concerned with good governance in Illinois issued a statement calling for the immediate release of the Report of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.

The Commission was supposed to release the report on March 31.

Citing the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee members requested an extension in April.

However, this request was denied, leaving the completion date for the report open-ended.

In August, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a package of ethics reform bills for the General Assembly to take up during the veto session scheduled to begin on November 17.

Later that month House and Senate Republicans issued a demand for meetings of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to resume immediately.

No meetings have occurred and no report has been issued as the November 17 veto session approaches.

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October 26, 2020 •

Missouri’s Second Special Session Set for November 5

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

Gov. Mike Parson announced a special session of the General Assembly. The session begins November 5 to focus on getting federal CARES Act funding distributed to the state. This session is the second special session Parson has called this year. […]

Gov. Mike Parson announced a special session of the General Assembly.

The session begins November 5 to focus on getting federal CARES Act funding distributed to the state.

This session is the second special session Parson has called this year.

The session does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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October 26, 2020 •

Ohio Lobbyists Must Pay 2021 Registration Fees Electronically

Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee published a reminder they will not accept cash, money orders, or physical checks for payment of 2021 lobbying registration fees. The online payment portal, accessible via the lobbyist’s OLAC account was established in 2019. […]

The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee published a reminder they will not accept cash, money orders, or physical checks for payment of 2021 lobbying registration fees.

The online payment portal, accessible via the lobbyist’s OLAC account was established in 2019.

Registrations fees for 2021 must be paid electronically by VISA, MasterCard, or ACH.

Lobbyists may begin renewing registrations for legislative, executive, and retirement system engagements in OLAC on December 1.

The renewal option closes January 15, 2021.

Any lobbyist who does not complete the renewal process by January 15 must file a new initial registration statement.

The registration statement requires a signature page.

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October 21, 2020 •

Michigan Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds Published

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds. This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other […]

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds.

This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit.

The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other employee increased from $2,525 to $2,575 for any 12-month period.

The financial transaction threshold between a registered lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from $1,275 to $1,300.

Travel and lodging reimbursements increased from $825 to $850.

Food and beverage expenditures for a public official increased from $63 to $64 in any month.

Meanwhile, the $400 threshold for food and beverages purchased between January 1 and the end of the reporting period remains the same as last year.

Employee reimbursements increased from $25 to $26, and the general gift threshold also increased from $63 to $64.

Late filing fees increased from $25 a day up to a maximum of $750, to $26 and a $780 maximum.

The registration threshold of $650 for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one public official during a 12-month period and exempt expenditures at $13, remain the same as last year.

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October 19, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature’s Fifth Special Session Ends

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills. This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass. Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the […]

Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills.

This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass.

Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for lawmakers to approve the emergency declaration.

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October 14, 2020 •

Proposed Exceptions to Chicago Cross-Lobbying Ordinance Unanimously Rejected

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

In a recent vote, Chicago City Council’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously rejected an ordinance. Introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April, this would amend a previously passed amendment. The ordinance passed unanimously by City Council 10 months […]

In a recent vote, Chicago City Council’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight unanimously rejected an ordinance.

Introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April, this would amend a previously passed amendment.

The ordinance passed unanimously by City Council 10 months ago prohibits cross-lobbying.

This would include City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission by elected officials from the Illinois General Assembly or any unit of local government in the state.

The proposed amendment added an exception to permit lobbying by lobbyists with no current contractual or legislative dealings with the city.

The committee voted 16-0 not to send the measure to the full council.

The BOE announced last month it would begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1, as no action had been taken.

In addressing the committee today, Executive Director Steven Berlin stated the ordinance is historic.

He goes on to explain there are no other jurisdictions in the United States prohibiting both their own officials and employees from lobbying on behalf of private clients anywhere, while also prohibiting elected officials from other jurisdictions from lobbying the city on behalf of private clients.

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October 13, 2020 •

Chicago Lobbyist Report Deadline Extended

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics extended the lobbyist third quarter activity report deadline. Due to problems with the ELF system, the deadline is extended from October 20 to October 26. Reports must be submitted electronically through the ELF system. The […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics extended the lobbyist third quarter activity report deadline.

Due to problems with the ELF system, the deadline is extended from October 20 to October 26.

Reports must be submitted electronically through the ELF system.

The ELF system has a new look but works the same way, and has instructions available under the resources tab.

A report is due even if there is no activity during the reporting period.

A report in DRAFT, PENDING REVIEW, or PENDING PAYMENT status will prevent filing of a new activity report until those filings are finalized.

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