HomeEssential Ethics / FEBRUARY 1, 2019

Essential Ethics

FEBRUARY 1, 2019

Latest Developments:

  • The Governor of New York has signed A 776 and S 1101, which make clear that limited liability companies are subject to the prohibition on corporate contributions and require LLCs to file annual disclosure reports with the State Board of Elections if they make independent expenditures.

In addition, the Governor announced a comprehensive Lobby Reform Proposal.  Among other things, it would decrease the threshold required to register to $500, require lobbyists to report campaign contributions, extend revolving door provisions from 2 to 5 years, and increase penalties on lobbyists who fail to comply with the lobby law.  The measure has been introduced in both houses of the legislature as Assembly Bill 2010 and Senate Bill 1510.  These latter bills are marked as bills to implement the state’s budget.

  • The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics met on Thursday, January 29.  In accordance with its agenda, the Commission discussed, at length, the Governor’s proposed legislation to revise provisions of state law.  (See above.)
  • The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices has adjusted the registration threshold to require that any person who receives annual compensation of more than $2,600 to lobby must register (up from $2,550 for last year).  Similarly, a lobbyist employer who pays more than $2,600 to a lobbyist must file a lobbyist principal authorization.
  • Columbus Ohio adopted Ordinance 3386-2018 that, among other things, imposes a $10,000 limit on contributions to candidates (but adjusted by the state’s inflation factor adjustment), requires that candidate and ballot measure committees file disclosure reports, and requires that independent expenditures for “election period communications” be disclosed, including the source of funds for those expenditures.

In Case You Missed It:

  • FARA Way:  The Hill reports that lawmakers continue to push for reform to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).  According to the article, “updating the decades-old law and toughening enforcement is a top concern” of Sen. Grassley and others in the Senate.