Compliance Notes - Vol. 4, Issue 11

Nossaman eAlert

We read the news, cut through the noise and provide you the notes.

Welcome to Compliance Notes from Nossaman’s Government Relations & Regulation Group – a periodic digest of the headlines, statutory and regulatory changes and court cases involving campaign finance, lobbying compliance, election law and government ethics issues at the federal, state and local level.

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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance

California: The Long Beach Ethics Commission continues to work on its recommendations for changes to the city’s lobbying law after dozens of nonprofit, neighborhood association and business improvement district leaders demanded that their current reporting exemption remain intact. Changes drafted by the commission earlier this year would institute reporting requirements for nonprofits and other groups that talk to city officials. Concerned representatives from various groups spoke to the commission about how the change would negatively affect their operations by straining limited resources and have chilling effects on the voices of ordinary residents. In light of the feedback, the commission, which was poised to send recommendations to the City Council for approval, opted to continue exploring changes to the lobbying law. (Jason Ruiz, Long Beach Post)

Government Ethics & Transparency

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) offered to co-sponsor a bill designed by his Republican critics to prevent him from profiting off of his campaign lies. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) is the lead sponsor of the bill that would prevent members convicted of certain offenses from profiting off of book deals, speech commissions, television shows and more. In a letter delivered to Rep. D’Esposito, Rep. Santos offered to sign the resolution as well as unspecified “similar housekeeping legislation.” (Olivia Beavers, Politico)

Ohio: In the most significant public corruption case in state history, a federal jury found former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and ex-Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges guilty of participating in a racketeering conspiracy. The conspiracy involved nearly $61 million in bribes paid by FirstEnergy Corp. to a 501(c)(4) entity to help Householder seize political power and, in turn, pass and uphold a $1.3 billion nuclear plant bailout law known as House Bill 6. Householder and Borges face up to 20 years in prison. (Laura A. Bischoff and Jessie Balmert, The Columbus Dispatch) (DOJ Press Release)

Ballot Measures

Mississippi: Lawmakers are considering a measure that would revive the initiative process in Mississippi, but it would prohibit people from putting abortion initiatives or budget proposals on the statewide ballot. Starting in the 1990s, Mississippi had an initiative process for people to put proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot, however, in 2021 the state Supreme Court ruled the process was invalid. In the measure currently under consideration, the initiative process would allow proposed laws rather than constitutional amendments to go on the ballot. A House committee added the prohibition on abortion initiatives last week. (Emily Wagster Pettus, AP News)

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