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In Western States, Montana Sets Standard for Barring Corporate Contributions in State Elections

Last month, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Montana’s statutory bar against corporate contributions to state candidate election campaigns in Lair v. Motl. Lair’s holding is important for corporations that were hoping to...

Vermont Lawmakers Enact Sweeping Ethics Regime

On June 14, 2017, Vermont lawmakers enacted (VT SB 8) a sweeping new ethics regime. Among other items, the state established “revolving door” provisions for elected and senior executive branch officials, financial disclosure requirements for legislative candidates and...

A Primer: Three Key State Government Relations Groups

For state government relations professionals, travel is one of the top job requirements. Travel requirements are not only due to the nature of our work and the 50 state capitals spread across the country, but also because there are a large number of organizations to...

Gift Season is Upon Us, But It's a Year-Round Concern

Not understanding the law about gifts can lead to a fair amount of trouble for a lobbyist, the lobbyist's employer, and government officials. This summer, MultiState Associates conducted a comprehensive review of state gift laws for public officials and whether or not a...

Municipal Lobbying Adds Compliance Challenges
As we've previously written, lobbyists who work on the local level face a number of challenges. One of these challenges is the often quirky reporting requirements associated with municipal lobbying. A new ordinance in San Jose, California, changes the city's reporting...
Demographic Data A Rarity in Lobbyist Registrations
When I joined MultiState in 2015, I was shocked by how little information state and local governments typically require for lobbyist registration. As a professional new to the field, I thought the sign-up forms would be akin to the federal government’s top-secret...
Hawaii Revises Government Ethics Laws
Following a legislative session that saw lawmakers introduce 15 separate bills aimed at increasing accountability and clarity in government relations, Hawaii Governor David Ige (D) has signed three of the bills into law. The legislative package, with each bill enacted...
Conferences: Not Lobbying Free-for-alls
As conference season looms, government relations professionals everywhere are gearing up for extended travel to meetings across the country, including ALEC, NCSL, CSG, and NGA. Large conferences draw not only representatives of private companies and interest groups, but...
Are Nonprofit Organizations “Lobbyists”?
It can be difficult to determine if someone is engaging in lobbying activity and required to register as a lobbyist under state regulations. Under certain circumstances, a nonprofit employee can influence policy but not be required to register because they did not...
Watchdog Groups Keep an Extra Eye on State Lobbyists
Watchdog groups routinely comb through public records, state lobbyist submissions, and decisions to identify possible offenders. Earlier this year, the Politico Influence newsletter editors asked readers to keep them informed about non-registered persons sighted meeting...

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