E-News from State and Federal
SXSW and My Thoughts
Here are my comments about my week at SXSW. On Friday, March
8th, I was #713 in line to see Jordan Peele’s US. The
Paramount Theatre holds 1,273 people and the line went
around blocks of Austin. I know I would have gotten in but
was going to see it with from Akron did not have the same
badge and was already told he was not getting into the
theatre. This was a horror movie and I knew I would need to
be near someone I knew so I left the line and didn’t see it.
But that is not the real story here.
On Sunday, March 10th I went to Austin City Limits Live for
the three-hour CNN Town Hall featuring Representative John
Delaney, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and South Bend Mayor
Pete Buttigieg (boot edge edge). The venue holds 2,700
people—1,000 on the first floor. I didn’t have a CNN badge,
so I was directed to the mezzanine level. About 30 minutes
before the program began everyone on the mezzanine level was
asked to move to the first floor because they didn’t have
1,000 people to fill it for the camera audience.
CNN wasn’t showing Tricky Dick or The Bush Years. Jack
Tapper and Dana Bash were interviewing three committed
candidates for US President. SXSW estimates more than 70,000
people registered for the festival and less than 1½%
I say, we’ve got trouble, my friend, right here. Oh yes, we
got trouble, trouble, trouble!
There were plenty of politicians in attendance. The US
Conference of Mayors held a special session. If folks were
running for US President—or thinking about it—they were
there. Even AOC was there, and she garnered more in
attendance than anyone else. Kevin Silard from National
Governors Association was even there checking it out.
If you are in government affairs you should consider
attending the 2020 program March 13th to 22nd in Austin,
Texas. There are tech sessions, digital media sessions,
government sessions, speakers on every topic imaginable,
music, films, comedy, gaming, and a huge exhibit area. Sign
up now to save 30% off the regular rate. I will hold study
sessions in 2020 to help you plan your schedule. I spent
many hours before I went reviewing sessions to attend,
double booking sessions because I needed to find another
session if the room was filled and making sure I knew how to
get around to the venues.
That is all I have to say about my time at SXSW…And, I also
need to learn how to ride a scooter.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Kentucky Passes Expansion of
Executive Branch Lobbying Requirements
Michael Beckett, Esq.
Matt Bevin signed the bill lawmakers unanimously passed to
expand definitions and increase disclosure requirements for
executive branch lobbyists. Senate Bill 6 modifies the
registration threshold, increases the types of covered
activities, requires disclosure of lobbyist compensation, and
expands the prohibition on contingency fees as a form of
compensation for lobbying. The bill also doubles a revolving
door provision from six months to one year and allows for
electronic filing of lobbying disclosures. The bill becomes
effective 90 days after the General Assembly adjourns sine die.
Branch Lobbying Expanded
Currently, executive branch
lobbyists must register for attempting to influence an executive
agency decision involving state funds of at least $5,000. Senate
Bill 6 adds budget provisions, administrative regulations and
rules, legislative matters, and other public policy matters that
financially impact the lobbyist or lobbyist employer, regardless
of whether any amount of state funds are involved. Registration
will also be required for associations, coalitions, or public
interest entities formed for the purpose of promoting or
otherwise influencing executive agency decisions. Additional
exceptions to registration are available for news distribution
and public statements during public comment periods on proposed
regulation and rule changes.
Lobbying registrations will
require the disclosure of compensation paid to each executive
agency lobbyist by each employer. Lobbyists and lobbyist
employers also must certify they have complied with the ban on
contingency fees, which is expanded to include payment based on
the awarding of a contract or payment of a percentage of a
government contract awarded.
An employer who pays an executive
agency lobbyist based on the awarding of a contract or payment
of a percentage of a government contract awarded will be barred
from doing business with the Commonwealth for a period of five
years from the date on which such a payment is revealed to the
Executive Branch Ethics Commission.
[The details for
this article will be updated on our website in the Registration
and Reports Required sections of the Lobbying and Procurement
Compliance Laws for Kentucky.]
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed multiple ethics bills into law.
Senate Bill 249 increases the fines for violating ethics laws
the Arkansas Ethics Commission may levy from $2,000 to $3,500.
Senate Bill 256 prohibits an elected state official from
registering as a lobbyist in any jurisdiction while serving as
an elected state official, and House Bill 1178 amends various
sections of law related to competitive sealed bids. The bills
become effective 90 days after the legislative session adjourns
FEDERAL: On March 8, the
U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping campaign
finance, lobbying, ethics, and election gerrymandering reform
bill. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For
the People Act, requires any organization involved in political
activity to disclose its largest donors, creates a multiple
matching system for small donations for political campaigns, and
amends rules governing super PACs. Additionally, the bill
restructures the Federal Election Commission, amends the federal
conflict of interest law, and expands the revolving door
provision by prohibiting members of Congress from serving on
corporate boards. If enacted, the bill also requires
presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, prohibits
partisan gerrymandering, increases oversight over election
vendors, creates an automatic voter registration across the
country, and changes registration requirements for lobbyists and
NEW MEXICO: Lawmakers passed
Senate Bill 668, the State Ethics Commission Act, on the final
day of the session. The bill creates the new independent ethics
commission approved by voters in the November 2018 election. The
new commission will oversee state public officials and employees
and give the commission investigative powers over ethics
violations. If signed by Gov. Michelle Grisham, the bill will
become effective July 1, but sections relating to the
commission’s authority and enforcement powers will not take
effect until January 1, 2020.
NEW YORK: The State Board of
Elections has issued guidance on recently passed campaign
finance laws affecting limited liability companies (LLCs).
Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making
expenditures for a political purpose to file with the board the
identity of all direct and indirect owners of the membership
interests and the proportion of ownership in the LLC.
Additionally, LLCs are now limited to an aggregate $5,000 annual
contribution limit to all candidates and committees, with the
exception of housekeeping, independent expenditure, and ballot
proposition committees. All contributions made to a campaign or
political committee by an LLC must be attributed to each member
of the LLC in proportion to the member's ownership interest in
Noem signed a bill to restrict campaign contributions from
minors. Senate Bill 114, which passed the state Senate
unanimously, requires contributions from unemancipated minors to
go towards the contribution limit of their parents. This
loophole gained attention during Sioux Falls’s last mayoral
election, when a local business owner and each of his five
children, ages six to 15, gave the maximum $1,000 to Paul
TenHaken’s campaign. The bill is effective July 1.
Legislation We Are
At any given time, more than 1,000
legislative bills, which can affect how you do business as a government
affairs professional, are being discussed in federal, state, and local
jurisdictions. These bills are summarized in State and Federal
Communications' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying and can be found in the client
portion of our website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly email updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regard to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
In addition to the in-depth resources
available to subscribers, State and Federal
Communications also has a wealth of publicly
available information. The State and Federal
Communications blog, found at www.lobbycomply.com,
contains updates on lobbying, ethics, campaign
finance, procurement, pay-to-play, and items of
general interest to the government affairs
community. We also maintain an active presence on
social media with our constantly updated Facebook (www.facebook.com/StateandFederalCommunications),
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accounts. Join the conversation and stay up-to-date
in your field.
Federal Communications’ Experts
Answer Your Questions
is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal
Communications, Inc. Send your questions to
(Of course, we have always been available to answer
questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and
we encourage you to continue to call or email us with
questions about your particular company or organization. As
always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers
or information you need.) Our replies are not legal advice,
just our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
I was told the Hawaii State Ethics Commission made
some changes to the lobbyist registration and
reporting processes. What can you tell me about
new E-Filing system is now live. The system allows
lobbyists and organizations to file registrations
and expenditure reports electronically. For
lobbyists who already filed a paper registration for
2019, those registrations are active; however, an
online account must be created to allow for
electronic filing of reports.
Read the full article here
Kevin Newman, Esq.,
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State and Federal
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO
Women's Endowment Fund
March 5, 2019
[Above - l to r:
Renae Bomba, Esq.; Adrienne Borgstahl, Esq.; Elizabeth Z.
Bartz, President and CEO; and Kayleigh Crumb, Intern.]
Schools - State of the Schools Report
February 28, 2019
[Above - l to r:
Seated - Mark Sedmock, CPA; James N. Bartz; Elizabeth Z.
Bartz, President and CEO.
Standing - Peter Keares, Intern; David Jones, IT Technician;
and Sam Waller, Intern.]
Plan to say
hello at future events where State and Federal
will be attending and/or speaking
regarding compliance issues.
April 8-9, 2019
Public Affairs Council 2019 Spring
April 15, 2019
OSBA District 11 Luncheon Meeting, Akron, OH
April 26, 2019
WGR - PACs, Politics & Grassroots Symposium,
April 26, 2019
YouToo Social Media Conference, Kent, OH
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