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States Amend Lobbying and Gift Rules

November 2009

Four states proposed changes to their lobbying or ethics rules in the past several months, although only three states actually implemented the changes. These developments are discussed in brief below:

Maine
Reforming Lobbying and Ethics Rules

Finally, on September 12, 2009, numerous pieces of reform legislation became effective in Maine. One change mandates reports for certain grass-roots activity, and a second change recognizes an exception to the legislative branch gift rules for certain gifts given on the basis of personal friendship. Third, lobbyists must now wear certain mandated name tags when lobbying.

Massachusetts
No Changes Until 2010

First, the one that did not follow through on its proposed changes is Massachusetts. With major lobbying changes set to go into effect on September 29, 2009, the governor and state legislature passed a subsequent statute that delayed implementation until January 1, 2010. More details about the changes will be provided in the January 2010 issue of Election Law News.

New Hampshire
New Lobbying Rules

In September, the New Hampshire Legislature amended its lobbying rules. The new law, among other things, provides a specific exception for certain grass-roots communications and makes lobbying reporting quarterly.

North Carolina
Extending a Strict Ethics Rule

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, through Executive Order No. 24 (Oct. 1, 2009), extended to all executive branch employees the reach of a very strict gift ban. The gift ban affects gifts from an agency's contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, and has very few exceptions.

Wiley Rein annually produces a 50-state lobbying and gifts survey that provides clients with granular details about the lobbying and gift rules in all of the states and in the District of Columbia. Clients also are kept abreast of all material changes prior to the pertinent effective dates.