Agenda Item 4B
February 6, 2018
Introduction
MEM ORAN DUM
February 2, 2018
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attor ney~
SUBJECT:
Introduction:
Bill 2-18, Ethics - Conflicts of Interest - Financial Disclosure -
Lobbying - Amendments
Bill 2-18, Ethics - Conflicts of Interest - Financial Disclosure - Lobbying - Amendments,
sponsored by Lead Sponsor Council President at the request of the Ethics Commission, is
scheduled to be introduced on February 6, 2018. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for
March 6 at 1:30 p.m.
Bill 2-18 would:
(1)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter affecting a party who the
employee was hired to lobby for in the prior year;
(2)
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or Councilmember from certain
lobbying for one year after leaving office;
(3)
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home address of a public employee from
a financial disclosure statement made available for inspection or copying;
(4)
require a public employee to disclose income from certain lobbying on a financial
disclosure statement;
(5)
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit an authorization to lobby
from the individual or organization hiring the lobbyist; and
(6)
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the Arts
and Humanities Council and a community media organization.
Background
Md. Code
Ann.,
Gen. Prov. Art. §5-807 requires the County to enact a public ethics law
for its officials and employees consistent with the State Ethics Law. Section 5-807(b) requires the
County Ethics Commission to certify compliance with these provisions to the State Ethics
Commission. Gen. Prov. Art. §§5-808 and 5-809 require the County Ethics law to be "similar" to
the conflict of interest and financial disclosure provision of the State Ethics Law for employees
and "equivalent to or exceed" those provisions of the State Ethics Law for County elected officials.
Bill 39-14, Ethics-A mendm ents, enacted by the Council on July 21, 2015, signed into law
by the Executive on July 31, 2015, and effective October 30, 2015, made some significant
amendments to the County Ethics Law to conform to the State Ethics Law. On September 10,
2015, the State Ethics Commission reviewed the County Ethics Law, as amended by Bill 39-14,
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and concluded that it conformed to the State Ethics Law with several minor exceptions. In
response, the Council enacted Bill 49-15, Ethics - Update on February 2, 2016 amending the
County Ethics Law to satisfy the State Commission's concerns. After the enactment of Bill 49-
15, the State Ethics Commission approved the County's Ethics Law as satisfying the State law
requirements.
On October 3, 2017, the State Ethics Commission requested the County to again amend its
Ethics Law to conform to amendments to the State Ethics Law enacted during the 2017 General
Assembly Session in the Public Integrity Act of 2017, Chapter 31 of the 2017 Laws of Maryland.
See the State Ethics Commission letter at ©8-11. The County Ethics Commission submitted Bill
2-18 to the Council to amend the County Ethics Law to conform to the new amendments to the
State Ethics Law. See the transmission memorandum from Robert Cobb, Staff Director and
General Counsel for the County Ethics Commission at
©
12-16.
This packet contains:
Bill 2-18
Legislative Request Report
State Ethics Commission letter dated October 3, 2017
Cobb Memorandum dated November 17, 2017
Circle#
1
7
8
12
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2-18
Bill No.
Concerning: Ethics - Conflicts of Interest
- Financial Disclosure - Lobbying -
Amendments
Revised: January 29, 2018 Draft No .
.L
February 6, 2018
Introduced:
August 6, 2019
Expires:
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMER Y COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Council President at the request of the Ethics Commission
AN ACT
to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter affecting a party who the
employee was hired to lobby for in the prior year;
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or Councilmember from certain
lobbying for one year after leaving office;
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home address of a public employee from
a financial disclosure statement made available for inspection or copying;
require a public employee to disclose income from certain lobbying on a financial
disclosure statement;
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit an authorization to lobby
from the individual or organization hiring the lobbyist;
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the Arts
and Humanities Council and a community media organization; and
generally amend the law governing conflicts of interest, financial disclosure, and
lobbying.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 5A, Arts and Humanities
Section 5A-4
Chapter 8A, Cable Communications
Section 8A-32
Chapter 19A, Ethics
Sections 19A-1
l,
19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21, 19A-22, and 19A-23
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
2-18
1
Sec.1. Sections SA-4, 8A-32, 19A-11, 19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21,
19A-22, and 19A-23 are amended as follows:
5A-4. Council Membership and Organization.
*
(
d)
2
3
4
*
*
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
The Arts and Humanities Council must require each officer and director,
and the executive director to [file a confidential financial ·disclosure
statement under Chapter 19A] annually disclose, confidentially and in
writing, [covering] all activities and interests related to arts and
humanities organizations, programs, or funding to the governing board of
directors for the Arts and Humanities Council. Each officer and director,
and the executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council is a public
employee under Sections 19A-11 and 19A-14 for any matter in which the
person participates for the Council. The Council must adopt and apply
policies and procedures to ensure that
its
actions are fair, unbiased, and
non-partisan.
*
*
*
8A-32. Community media organizations.
*
(e)
*
*
Any officer, director, or executive director of a community media
organization must [file a confidential financial disclosure statement]
annually disclose, confidentially and in writing, [under Chapter 19A with
respect to] any communications-related activity or interest to the
governing board of directors for the community media organization.
22
23
24
25
*
*
*
19A-11. Participation of public employees.
26
27
(a)
Prohibitions. Unless permitted by a waiver, a public employee must not
participate in:
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BILL
No. 2-18
28
*
*
*
~
Qill1y
29
30
31
ill
any case, contract, or other specific matter affecting
for
whom, in the prior year, the public employee was required to
register to engage in lobbying activity under this Chapter.
*
32
33
34
35
36
*
*
19A-13. Employment of former public employees.
*
*
*
@
A person serving as County Executive or Councilmember must not
engage in lobbying for which lobbying registration would be required
under this Chapter for one year after leaving office.
37
38
39
19A-18. Financial disclosure statement; procedures.
*
*
*
40
41
(f)
The Commission must make available each statement filed under this
Article for examination and copying during normal office hours. The
Commission must redact~ public employee's home addresses from~
statement that is made available for examination or copying.
The
42
43
44
45
Commission may charge reasonable fees and adopt procedures to
examine and copy statements.
*
46
47
48
49
*
*
19A-19. Content of financial disclosure statement.
(a)
Each financial disclosure statement filed under Section 19A-17(a) must
disclose the following:
50
*
(9)
*
*
51
52
Income for lobbying activity.
The statement must list the name and
address of any entity that has hired the filer's spouse to lobby under
this Chapter.
53
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BILL No. 2-18
54
55
56
57
58
The statement may also include any additional interest or
information that the filer wishes to disclose.
*
*
*
19A-21. Who must register as a lobbyist; exceptions.
*
(
d)
*
*
59
[Except for the authorization required by Section 19A-22, an] An
individual or organization is exempt from the reporting requirements of
this Article if the individual or organization:
60
61
62
63
(1)
(2)
compensates one or more lobbyists;
reasonably believes that each lobbyist will timely register and
report all expenditures required to be reported; and
64
65
66
67
68
(3)
engages in no other lobbying.
If
a lobbyist fails to report timely any information required under this Article,
the lobbyist's employer is immediately subject to the reporting requirements of
this Article.
19A-22. [Authorization to lobby] Certification of authority.
69
70
71
72
[Every employer of a lobbyist must sign an authorization to act, which the
lobbyist must file with the Commission at registration.
If
the employer is a
corporation, an authorized officer or agent other than the lobbyist must sign the
written authorization. The authorization must include:
(a)
the full legal name and business address of both the employer and the
lobbyist;
(b)
the period of time during which the lobbyist is authorized to act, unless
soonerterminated;and
(c)
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
each legislative proposal or subject upon which the lobbyist is authorized
to act.]
0
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BILL
No. 2-18
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
{ill
Certification.
Each lobbyist required to register under this Article must
certify under oath or affirmation that the lobbyist is authorized to lobby
for the individual or organization who hired the lobbyist.
.(hl
Contents
Qf
certification.
the written certification must include:
ill
ill
the full legal name and business address of the individual or
organization;
for an individual, the full name and contact information for the
individual;
ill
for an organization, the name, contact information, and official title
of the representative of the organization who authorized the hiring
of the lobbyist;
90
91
92
93
94
ill
ill
.(fil
the full legal name and business address of the regulated lobbyist;
the period during which the regulated lobbyist is authorized to act;
and
the proposal or subject on which the regulated lobbyist represents
the individual or organization.
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
19A-23. How and when to register as a lobbyist.
(a)
Every person required to register with the Commission under Section
19A-21 must disclose the following information on a form provided by
the Commission:
(1)
(2)
the lobbyist's name and permanent address;
the name and permanent address of any person who will lobby on
behalf of the lobbyist;
(3)
the name, address, and nature of business of any person who
compensates the lobbyist [, with the written authorization required
under Section 19A-22]; and
G
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BILL
No. 2-18
106
107
108
109
110
Approved:
(4)
the identification, by formal designation if known, of each matter
on which the lobbyist expects to lobby or employs someone to
lobby.
*
*
*
111
Hans D. Riemer, President, County Council
Date
112
Approved:
113
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
114
This is a correct copy of Council action.
115
Megan Davey Limarzi, Esq., Clerk of the Council
Date
0
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 2-18
Ethics
-
Conflicts of Interest
-
Financial Disclosure
-
Lobbying- Amendments
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 2-18 would:
(1)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter
affecting a party who the employee was hired to lobby
for in the prior year;
(2)
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or
Councilmember from certain lobbying for one year after
leaving office;
(3)
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home
address of a public employee from a financial disclosure
statement made available for inspection or copying;
(4)
require a public employee to disclose income from
certain lobbying on a financial disclosure statement;
(5)
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit
an authorization to lobby from the individual or
organization hiring the lobbyist; and
(6)
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers
and employees of the Arts and Humanities Council and a
community media organization.
The Public Integrity Act of 2017, enacted by the General Assembly
last year requires the County to amend the County Ethics Law.
The goal is to comply with the State Ethics Law.
Ethics Commission, County Attorney's Office
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
A violation of Chapter 19A is a Class A violation.
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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
STATE
OF MARYLAND
LARRY HOGAN
GOVERNOR
COMMISSION MEMBERS:
JANET E. McHUGH,
Chair
JM1ES
R.
BENJAMIN,
JR.
KIM
L. COBLE
.
JACOB YOSEF
MILllv1AN
CRAJG D. ROSWELL
STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
45 CALVERT STREET,
3RD
FLOOR
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
21401
410-260-7770
MICHAEL
W.
LORD
Executive Director
JENNIFER K. ALLGAIR
General Counsel
WJLLJAM
J.
COLQUHOUN
StaffCounsel
KATHERINE P. THOMPSON
Assistant General Counsel
Toll Free 1-877-669-6085
FAX: 410-260-7746
October 3, 2017
Robert Cobb, Counsel
Montgomery County Ethics Commission
I 00 Maryland Ave., Room 204
Rockville,,
MD
20850
Re:
Local Government Ethics Update
Dear Mr. Cobb:
As you
are
aware, there were significant changes mandated to county and municipal ethics
laws and county boards of education ethics regulations
by
legislation
(SB3 l 5 -
Chapter 277 of the
Acts of 2010) enacted during the 2010 General Assembly session. The law became effective
October
1,
2010. Counties and municipalities required to adopt a local ethics law must include
conflict of interest and financial disclosure provisions for local elected officials that are at least
equivalent to the State's provisions; financial disclosure provisions for candidates for local elected
office that are at least equivalent to State provisions; conflict of interest and financial disclosure
provisions for local employees and appointed officials that are similar to State provisions; and
local lobbying provisions that are substantially similar to State provisions. The State Ethics
Commission previously approved the Montgomery County's local Ethics Law
as
being in
compliance
with
Subtitle
8
of the Maryland Public Ethics Law (Md. Code Ann.,
Gen.
Prov.,
Title
5 (Supp. 2016)).
.
We are vvriting to notify Montgomery County that the requirements under the State Ethics
Law are changing. House Bill 879, enacted during the 2017 Legislative session, made multiple
modifications to the State Ethics Law, some of which will change the requirements for local
government ethics laws. TI1ose changes include additional disclosures for State elected officials
that local governments must incorporate
into
their Ethics Ordinances for their elected officials.
However, a number of changes relax certain of the financial disclosure requirements, particularly
for debt and stock holding disclosures, and make home addresses confidential from public
disclosure. We have included an attachment describing the changes that need to be included in
the
new drafts of Ethics
La,v,
highlighting the additional provisions that must be included in a law to
be compliant with State law, and the changes that relax some requirements and may be adopted if
desired
by
the County. In addition, we have also included our new model laws with the changes
(jJ
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highlighted on our website. Most of the changes take effect October 1, 2017 and our regulations
implementing these changes are in the approval process.
Commission staff is available to provide guidance and assistance to Montgomery County
as you work through updating your law to incorporate the new changes. Please do not hesitate to
contact us should you h3:ve any questions regarding the new local government ethics law
requirements. As a reminder, any and all future changes to the ethics ordinance must be submitted
to the Commission for review and approval in compliance with Subtitle 8 of the Maryland Public
Ethics Law and COMAR 19A.04.
Finally, Section §5-807(b) of the Public Ethics Law requires each local jurisdiction to file
the Local Government Ethics Law Annual Certification by October 1 of each year. Given the
timing of these legislative changes, we do not anticipate 2017 certifications will include any of the
changes discussed above. Our office has already received Montgomery County's certification for
2017. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding this matter.
Sincerely,
(CtJ~ (
-
.
~
()
T\
1
'--1_;--
Katherine P. Thompson
Assistant General Counsel
Enclosures
(J)
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Changes that
must
be adopted for local government compliance with the requi
rements of
Subtitle 8 .of the Public Ethics Law or COMAR 19A.04.:
a
Mem ber of the General Asse mbly from lobbying (legislative matters) for one
calendar
year after leaving office.
Need s to be adde d to the confl ict ofintere st section
covering
local electe d officials.
2. 5-606(a)(3). Effective Janua ry 1, 2019, Commission may not provide publi
c access to
the portion of a financiai disclosure statement that includes an individual's home
address
as identified by the individual (i.e. the Commission must redact the information
before
making it publicly µvailable). Applies to all statement'>, whether posted on the
Internet or
viewa ble only in the Office.
Home addresses shou ld be redac ted from publi c
disclosure.
Loca l employees and elect ed officials don't have to
wony
abou t the publi c being
able lo
see their home address on their filing s subm itted after Janua ry 1, 2019.
Changes that
must
be adopted for local government compliance with the requi
rements of
Subtitle 8 of the Public Ethics Law or COM AR 19A.04. for those local gover
nments ,vith
lobbying
provisions:
L 5-50 l(a-l) . Adds new subsection prohibiting former lobbyists who becom
e a public
official or State employee (i.e. take job with the State) from participating in a
case,
contract or other specific matte r for I calendar year after terminating their regist
rations
if
they previously assisted or represented another party in the matter (a "reverse"
post-
employment restriction for lobbyists). Does not apply to uncompensated or minim
ally.
compensated (less than 25% of grade 16) board/commission members or electe
d officials.
ONL Y FOR JURI SDIC TION S WITH LOBB YING PROVISIONS. Need s to be
adde d the
confl ict ofintere stpro vision s to cover employees comp ensat ed over a certain
amount.
2. 5-607(i). Adds another categ ory to Schedule H - for a statement filed on
or after January
I, 2019, if the filer's spouse is a regulated lobbyist, must disclose the entity that
has
engaged the spouse to lobby.
ONL Y FOR JURI SDIC TION S WITH LOBB YING
PROVISIONS. Requires spous es oflobbyists to disclose the entities that engag
e the
lobbyi.stspouse on their annu al disclosure filings.
Changes that
may
be adopted if the local government chooses:
1. 5-101 (t). Removes "'exchange-traded funds" from the definition of "interest".
An
ETF is
a diversified collection of assets (like a mutual fund) that trades on an exchange
(like a
stock).
Now, as is the case with mutu alfun ds,fin ancia l disclosure filers will
no longer
have to disclose interests they hold in ETFs.
2. 5-506. Adds three specific circumstances that constitute violation of the presti
ge of office
provision (influencing the awar d of a State or local contract to a specific perso
n; initiating
a solicitation for a person to retain the compensated services of a particular lobby
ist or
firm; using public resources or title to solicit a political contribution regulated
in
accordance
with
the Election
Law
Article).
.In
the lastsi tuatio n, employees and
public
officials may not use title or public resources, State officials may not use publi
c
I.
5-504(d)(2). Precludes Governor, Lieutenant Governor, AG, Comptroller, Treas
urer or
@
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resources.
The State Ethics Commission has already interpreted these kinds ofactions to
be in violation ofthe prestige ofoffice provision. Local governments are able to include
these specific circumstances
in
their law
if
they would
like or any
other for clarifying
purposes.
3. 5-607(g). Changes the Schedule F disclosure (indebtedness to entities doing business
with the State) to indebtedness to entities doing business with or regulated by the
individ ual's governmental unit.
Instead ofdisclosing all indebtedness to entities doing
business
with
the local government, only debts
with
entities doing business
with the
specifi c governmental unit must be disclosed by filers.
4. 5-606(a)(2). Effective January 1, 2019, Ethics Comm ission must provide Internet access,
through an online registration program, to financial disclosure statements submitted by
State officials, candidates for office as State officials, and Secretaries of a principal
department of the Executive Branch .
Local governments can
now
decide io put the local
disclosure forms online for public viewing.
5. 5-704. Codifie s disclosure requirements for lobbyists who serve on State boards and
commissions. Also codifies a require ment for such a lobbyist who is disqualified from
participating in a specific matter to file a statement ofrecu sai
'¼1th
the bolll;'d or
commission.
ONLY FOR JURIS DICTI ONS WITH LOBBY ING PROVISIONS. Requir es
lobbyists who serve on local boards to submit disclosure forms that mirror the forms for
local elected officials.
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MONTGOM ERY COUNTY ETIDCS COMMISSION
Memorandum
November 17, 2017
TO:
FROM:
Roger Berliner, President, Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County Ethics Commission
Robert Cobb, Staff Director, Chief C o u n s e l ~ ~
Isiah Leggett> County Executive
Minor Legislative Changes Concerning Ethics
CC:
SUBJECT:
The Montgomery County Ethics Commission recommends the adoption of minor
changes to County law. These changes are being recommended as result of requirements
of Maryland law as interpreted by the State Ethics Commission (see attachment);
in
addition, the Ethics Commission is seeking to address three minor issues in County law.
To address requirements of State ethics law, the Commission recommends the adoption
of a conflict of interest prohibition on participating in matters affecting a party for whom
a
public employee was, in the pastyear, required to register as a lobbyist. This provision
is intended to prevent lobbyists entering County service from taking action that affects
the firm the individual was lobbying for, for at least for one year.
Another provision is intended to meet State requirements to prevent elected officials from
lobbying the County for one year after leaving County service.
The State Ethics Commission is requiring
that
local jurisdiction's ethics laws protect from
disclosure financial disclosure statement infonnation about public filers' home addresses.
The
proposal addresses this requirement.
And, the proposal addresses a State requirement to disclose infonnation ab011t entities that have
engaged
a spouse of a
public filer
to
lobby the County
in
a
public filer's financial disclosure
statement.
1
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In addition to the provisions being required by the State Ethics Commission, the
Montgomery County Ethics Commission recommends some additional provisions.
The Commission recommends an amendment to Section 19A-21 to 19A-23 of the Public
Ethics Law concerning lobbying registration and recommends changes to provisions of
County law concerning financial disclosure for the Arts and Humanities Council and
Community Media organizations.
Current County law requires persons lobbying on behalf of a person or entity to obtain a
\\-Titten authorization to
do
so from the person or entity (or its authorized agent)
on
whose
behalfthe lobbyist will be appearing. This requirement tracked a State ethics law
requirement; but the State ethics law dropped this requirement
as
unnecessary. The
process of obtaining these signatures creates what the Ethics Commission considers to be
an
unnecessary step, complicating and delaying registration compliance. The suggested
amendment would conform the County's registration provision
to
the State
law
provision.
The proposed amendment suggests changes to 5A-4 and to 8A-32 of the County Code
which would delete references to disclosures being made pursuant to Chapter 19A. The
disclosures contemplated by these provisions
qo
not correlate to 19A as there
is
no
provision in 19A for confidential financial disclosure or disclosures that are limited to
information about related activity and interests. The persons covered
by
the existing
provisions of law are not public employees as defined
by
the County's ethics law, and if
confidential and limited financial disclosure is what is deemed appropriate, it should be
made to the organizations themselves and not made part of the financial disclosure
program
for
County employees, which is established
in
accordance
with
County and
State ethics
law.
If there are questions about these recommendations, please contact Robert Cobb at
J{t2hs:11.cobb
,'i>nH:Jll£:<)mervcmmtvmd.Qov or at 240 777 6674.
1
2
@)
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Sec.
1.
Sections
l9A-11, 19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21, 19A-:-22,
and
19A-23
are
amended as follows:
Sec.
19A-11.
Participation
of
public employees.
{a)
Prohibitions.
Unless permitted
by
a
waiver,
a public employee must not participate
in:
*****'
(3) any case, contract, or other specific matter affecting a
party
for whom, in the prior
year, the public employee was required to register to engage
in
lobbying activity under
this Chapter.
·
Sec. 19A-13. Employment
of
former public employees.
*****
(d)
A
person serving as County Executive or member
of
the County Council may
not engage
in
lobbying for which lobbying registration would be required under this
Chapter for one year after leaving such office.
Sec. 19A-18. Financial disclosure statement; procedures.
*****
(f} The Commission must make available each statement filed under
this
Article for
examination and copying during normal office hours. The Commission must redact
public employees' home addresses from statements that are made available for
examination and copying.
Sec. 19A-19. Content of financial disclosure statement.
(a) Each financial disclosure statement filed under Section 19A-17(a) must disclose
the
following:
*****
(9)
income
from
Lobbying ActNity.
The statement must
list
the name and address of any
entity that
has
engaged
the
fifer's
spouse to engage
in lobbying
under this Chapter.
(9-.1.Q)
The statement
may
also include any
additional interest
or
information that the
filer
wishes
to disclose.
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Sec. 19A-21. Who must register as a lobbyist; exceptions.
*****·
(d) [Except for the authorization required by Section 19A-22, a] An individual or
organization is exempt from the reporting requirements of this Article if the individual or
organization:
(1) compensates one or more lobbyists;
(2) reasonably believes that each lobbyist will timely register and report all
expenditures required to be reported; and
(3)
engages in no other lobbying.
If a lobbyist fails to report timely any information required under this Article, the
lobbyist's employer is immediately subject to the reporting requirements of this Article.
Sec. 19A-22. Authorization to lobby.
[Every employer of a lobbyist must sign an authorization to act, which the lobbyist must
file with the Commission at registration.
If
the employer
is a
corporation, an authorized
officer
br
agent other than the lobbyist must sign the written authorization. The
authorization must include:
(a) the full legal name and business address of both the employer
and
the lobbyist;
(b) the period of time during which the lobbyist is authorized to act, unless sooner
terminated; and
(c)
each legislative proposal or subject upon which the lobbyist is authorized
to
act.]
(a)
Certification. - A regulated lobbyist engaged by an individual or organization for
the purpose of lobbying shall certify under oath or affirmation that the regulated lobbyist
is authorized to engage in lobbying for the individual or organization.
{b} Certification - Contents.·-· The certification shall include:
(1) the full
legal
name
and
business address
of the
individual
or
organization:
(2) if for an individual, the name and contactinformation of the individual who
authorized the lobbying for the individual, or, if for an organization, the name, contact
information, and official title of the representative of the organization who authorized the
lobbying for the organization:
(3) the full legal name and business address of the regulated lobbyist;
(4) the period during which the regulated lobbyist is authorized to act: and
(5) the proposal or subiect on which the regulated lobbyist represents the
individual or organization.
Sec. 19A-23. How and when to register as a lobbyist.
{a) ·Every person required to register with the Commission under Section 19A--21
must disclose the following information on a form provided
by
the Commission:
(1) the lobbyist's name and permanent address;
@
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(2) the name and perm anen t address of any person who will lobby on
beha lf of the
lobbyist;
·
(3) the name, address, and nature of business of any pers on who comp
ensates
the lobbyist[, with the written authorization required under Section19A-22
]; and
(4) the identification,
by
formal desig natio n
if
known, of each matt er
on which the
lobby ist expects to lobby or employs some one to lobby.
*****
Sec. 2. Section 5A-4 is amen ded as follows:
Sec. 5A-4. Council Membership and Organization.
*****
(d) The Arts and Humanities Council must require each officer and
director, and the
executive direc tor to disclose to the Arts and Humanities Council [file
a confidential
financial disclosure statement unde r Chap ter 19A covering] all activities
and interests
related to arts and humanities organizations, programs, or funding. Each
office r and
director, and the executive direc tor of the Arts and Humanities Council
is a publi c
empl oyee unde r Sections 19A..,11 and 1HA-14
for
any matte r in which
the person
participates for the Council. The Council must adop t and apply policies
and procedures
to ensu re that its actions are fair, unbiased, and non-partisan.
*****
Sec. 3. Section 8A-3 2 is amended as follows:
Sec. SA-32. Community medi a organizations.
(e) Any officer, director, or executive direc tor of a community medi a
organization
must disclose to the comm unity medi a organization {file a confidential
financial
disclosure statement unde r Chapter 19A with respect to] any comm unica
tions -
related activity or interest.
*****
@
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Agenda Item 4B
February 6, 2018
Introduction
MEM ORAN DUM
February 2, 2018
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attor ney~
SUBJECT:
Introduction:
Bill 2-18, Ethics - Conflicts of Interest - Financial Disclosure -
Lobbying - Amendments
Bill 2-18, Ethics - Conflicts of Interest - Financial Disclosure - Lobbying - Amendments,
sponsored by Lead Sponsor Council President at the request of the Ethics Commission, is
scheduled to be introduced on February 6, 2018. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for
March 6 at 1:30 p.m.
Bill 2-18 would:
(1)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter affecting a party who the
employee was hired to lobby for in the prior year;
(2)
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or Councilmember from certain
lobbying for one year after leaving office;
(3)
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home address of a public employee from
a financial disclosure statement made available for inspection or copying;
(4)
require a public employee to disclose income from certain lobbying on a financial
disclosure statement;
(5)
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit an authorization to lobby
from the individual or organization hiring the lobbyist; and
(6)
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the Arts
and Humanities Council and a community media organization.
Background
Md. Code
Ann.,
Gen. Prov. Art. §5-807 requires the County to enact a public ethics law
for its officials and employees consistent with the State Ethics Law. Section 5-807(b) requires the
County Ethics Commission to certify compliance with these provisions to the State Ethics
Commission. Gen. Prov. Art. §§5-808 and 5-809 require the County Ethics law to be "similar" to
the conflict of interest and financial disclosure provision of the State Ethics Law for employees
and "equivalent to or exceed" those provisions of the State Ethics Law for County elected officials.
Bill 39-14, Ethics-A mendm ents, enacted by the Council on July 21, 2015, signed into law
by the Executive on July 31, 2015, and effective October 30, 2015, made some significant
amendments to the County Ethics Law to conform to the State Ethics Law. On September 10,
2015, the State Ethics Commission reviewed the County Ethics Law, as amended by Bill 39-14,
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and concluded that it conformed to the State Ethics Law with several minor exceptions. In
response, the Council enacted Bill 49-15, Ethics - Update on February 2, 2016 amending the
County Ethics Law to satisfy the State Commission's concerns. After the enactment of Bill 49-
15, the State Ethics Commission approved the County's Ethics Law as satisfying the State law
requirements.
On October 3, 2017, the State Ethics Commission requested the County to again amend its
Ethics Law to conform to amendments to the State Ethics Law enacted during the 2017 General
Assembly Session in the Public Integrity Act of 2017, Chapter 31 of the 2017 Laws of Maryland.
See the State Ethics Commission letter at ©8-11. The County Ethics Commission submitted Bill
2-18 to the Council to amend the County Ethics Law to conform to the new amendments to the
State Ethics Law. See the transmission memorandum from Robert Cobb, Staff Director and
General Counsel for the County Ethics Commission at
©
12-16.
This packet contains:
Bill 2-18
Legislative Request Report
State Ethics Commission letter dated October 3, 2017
Cobb Memorandum dated November 17, 2017
Circle#
1
7
8
12
F:\LAW\BILLS\1802 Ethics - Amendrnents\Intro Memo.Docx
2
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2-18
Bill No.
Concerning: Ethics - Conflicts of Interest
- Financial Disclosure - Lobbying -
Amendments
Revised: January 29, 2018 Draft No .
.L
February 6, 2018
Introduced:
August 6, 2019
Expires:
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMER Y COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Council President at the request of the Ethics Commission
AN ACT
to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter affecting a party who the
employee was hired to lobby for in the prior year;
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or Councilmember from certain
lobbying for one year after leaving office;
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home address of a public employee from
a financial disclosure statement made available for inspection or copying;
require a public employee to disclose income from certain lobbying on a financial
disclosure statement;
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit an authorization to lobby
from the individual or organization hiring the lobbyist;
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the Arts
and Humanities Council and a community media organization; and
generally amend the law governing conflicts of interest, financial disclosure, and
lobbying.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 5A, Arts and Humanities
Section 5A-4
Chapter 8A, Cable Communications
Section 8A-32
Chapter 19A, Ethics
Sections 19A-1
l,
19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21, 19A-22, and 19A-23
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
2-18
1
Sec.1. Sections SA-4, 8A-32, 19A-11, 19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21,
19A-22, and 19A-23 are amended as follows:
5A-4. Council Membership and Organization.
*
(
d)
2
3
4
*
*
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
The Arts and Humanities Council must require each officer and director,
and the executive director to [file a confidential financial ·disclosure
statement under Chapter 19A] annually disclose, confidentially and in
writing, [covering] all activities and interests related to arts and
humanities organizations, programs, or funding to the governing board of
directors for the Arts and Humanities Council. Each officer and director,
and the executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council is a public
employee under Sections 19A-11 and 19A-14 for any matter in which the
person participates for the Council. The Council must adopt and apply
policies and procedures to ensure that
its
actions are fair, unbiased, and
non-partisan.
*
*
*
8A-32. Community media organizations.
*
(e)
*
*
Any officer, director, or executive director of a community media
organization must [file a confidential financial disclosure statement]
annually disclose, confidentially and in writing, [under Chapter 19A with
respect to] any communications-related activity or interest to the
governing board of directors for the community media organization.
22
23
24
25
*
*
*
19A-11. Participation of public employees.
26
27
(a)
Prohibitions. Unless permitted by a waiver, a public employee must not
participate in:
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BILL
No. 2-18
28
*
*
*
~
Qill1y
29
30
31
ill
any case, contract, or other specific matter affecting
for
whom, in the prior year, the public employee was required to
register to engage in lobbying activity under this Chapter.
*
32
33
34
35
36
*
*
19A-13. Employment of former public employees.
*
*
*
@
A person serving as County Executive or Councilmember must not
engage in lobbying for which lobbying registration would be required
under this Chapter for one year after leaving office.
37
38
39
19A-18. Financial disclosure statement; procedures.
*
*
*
40
41
(f)
The Commission must make available each statement filed under this
Article for examination and copying during normal office hours. The
Commission must redact~ public employee's home addresses from~
statement that is made available for examination or copying.
The
42
43
44
45
Commission may charge reasonable fees and adopt procedures to
examine and copy statements.
*
46
47
48
49
*
*
19A-19. Content of financial disclosure statement.
(a)
Each financial disclosure statement filed under Section 19A-17(a) must
disclose the following:
50
*
(9)
*
*
51
52
Income for lobbying activity.
The statement must list the name and
address of any entity that has hired the filer's spouse to lobby under
this Chapter.
53
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BILL No. 2-18
54
55
56
57
58
The statement may also include any additional interest or
information that the filer wishes to disclose.
*
*
*
19A-21. Who must register as a lobbyist; exceptions.
*
(
d)
*
*
59
[Except for the authorization required by Section 19A-22, an] An
individual or organization is exempt from the reporting requirements of
this Article if the individual or organization:
60
61
62
63
(1)
(2)
compensates one or more lobbyists;
reasonably believes that each lobbyist will timely register and
report all expenditures required to be reported; and
64
65
66
67
68
(3)
engages in no other lobbying.
If
a lobbyist fails to report timely any information required under this Article,
the lobbyist's employer is immediately subject to the reporting requirements of
this Article.
19A-22. [Authorization to lobby] Certification of authority.
69
70
71
72
[Every employer of a lobbyist must sign an authorization to act, which the
lobbyist must file with the Commission at registration.
If
the employer is a
corporation, an authorized officer or agent other than the lobbyist must sign the
written authorization. The authorization must include:
(a)
the full legal name and business address of both the employer and the
lobbyist;
(b)
the period of time during which the lobbyist is authorized to act, unless
soonerterminated;and
(c)
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
each legislative proposal or subject upon which the lobbyist is authorized
to act.]
0
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BILL
No. 2-18
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
{ill
Certification.
Each lobbyist required to register under this Article must
certify under oath or affirmation that the lobbyist is authorized to lobby
for the individual or organization who hired the lobbyist.
.(hl
Contents
Qf
certification.
the written certification must include:
ill
ill
the full legal name and business address of the individual or
organization;
for an individual, the full name and contact information for the
individual;
ill
for an organization, the name, contact information, and official title
of the representative of the organization who authorized the hiring
of the lobbyist;
90
91
92
93
94
ill
ill
.(fil
the full legal name and business address of the regulated lobbyist;
the period during which the regulated lobbyist is authorized to act;
and
the proposal or subject on which the regulated lobbyist represents
the individual or organization.
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
19A-23. How and when to register as a lobbyist.
(a)
Every person required to register with the Commission under Section
19A-21 must disclose the following information on a form provided by
the Commission:
(1)
(2)
the lobbyist's name and permanent address;
the name and permanent address of any person who will lobby on
behalf of the lobbyist;
(3)
the name, address, and nature of business of any person who
compensates the lobbyist [, with the written authorization required
under Section 19A-22]; and
G
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BILL
No. 2-18
106
107
108
109
110
Approved:
(4)
the identification, by formal designation if known, of each matter
on which the lobbyist expects to lobby or employs someone to
lobby.
*
*
*
111
Hans D. Riemer, President, County Council
Date
112
Approved:
113
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
114
This is a correct copy of Council action.
115
Megan Davey Limarzi, Esq., Clerk of the Council
Date
0
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 2-18
Ethics
-
Conflicts of Interest
-
Financial Disclosure
-
Lobbying- Amendments
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 2-18 would:
(1)
limit the participation of a public employee in any matter
affecting a party who the employee was hired to lobby
for in the prior year;
(2)
prohibit a person serving as County Executive or
Councilmember from certain lobbying for one year after
leaving office;
(3)
require the Ethics Commission to redact the home
address of a public employee from a financial disclosure
statement made available for inspection or copying;
(4)
require a public employee to disclose income from
certain lobbying on a financial disclosure statement;
(5)
repeal the requirement for a regulated lobbyist to submit
an authorization to lobby from the individual or
organization hiring the lobbyist; and
(6)
modify the financial disclosure requirements for officers
and employees of the Arts and Humanities Council and a
community media organization.
The Public Integrity Act of 2017, enacted by the General Assembly
last year requires the County to amend the County Ethics Law.
The goal is to comply with the State Ethics Law.
Ethics Commission, County Attorney's Office
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
A violation of Chapter 19A is a Class A violation.
F:\LAW\BILLS\1802 Ethics -Amendments\LRR.Docx
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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
STATE
OF MARYLAND
LARRY HOGAN
GOVERNOR
COMMISSION MEMBERS:
JANET E. McHUGH,
Chair
JM1ES
R.
BENJAMIN,
JR.
KIM
L. COBLE
.
JACOB YOSEF
MILllv1AN
CRAJG D. ROSWELL
STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
45 CALVERT STREET,
3RD
FLOOR
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
21401
410-260-7770
MICHAEL
W.
LORD
Executive Director
JENNIFER K. ALLGAIR
General Counsel
WJLLJAM
J.
COLQUHOUN
StaffCounsel
KATHERINE P. THOMPSON
Assistant General Counsel
Toll Free 1-877-669-6085
FAX: 410-260-7746
October 3, 2017
Robert Cobb, Counsel
Montgomery County Ethics Commission
I 00 Maryland Ave., Room 204
Rockville,,
MD
20850
Re:
Local Government Ethics Update
Dear Mr. Cobb:
As you
are
aware, there were significant changes mandated to county and municipal ethics
laws and county boards of education ethics regulations
by
legislation
(SB3 l 5 -
Chapter 277 of the
Acts of 2010) enacted during the 2010 General Assembly session. The law became effective
October
1,
2010. Counties and municipalities required to adopt a local ethics law must include
conflict of interest and financial disclosure provisions for local elected officials that are at least
equivalent to the State's provisions; financial disclosure provisions for candidates for local elected
office that are at least equivalent to State provisions; conflict of interest and financial disclosure
provisions for local employees and appointed officials that are similar to State provisions; and
local lobbying provisions that are substantially similar to State provisions. The State Ethics
Commission previously approved the Montgomery County's local Ethics Law
as
being in
compliance
with
Subtitle
8
of the Maryland Public Ethics Law (Md. Code Ann.,
Gen.
Prov.,
Title
5 (Supp. 2016)).
.
We are vvriting to notify Montgomery County that the requirements under the State Ethics
Law are changing. House Bill 879, enacted during the 2017 Legislative session, made multiple
modifications to the State Ethics Law, some of which will change the requirements for local
government ethics laws. TI1ose changes include additional disclosures for State elected officials
that local governments must incorporate
into
their Ethics Ordinances for their elected officials.
However, a number of changes relax certain of the financial disclosure requirements, particularly
for debt and stock holding disclosures, and make home addresses confidential from public
disclosure. We have included an attachment describing the changes that need to be included in
the
new drafts of Ethics
La,v,
highlighting the additional provisions that must be included in a law to
be compliant with State law, and the changes that relax some requirements and may be adopted if
desired
by
the County. In addition, we have also included our new model laws with the changes
(jJ
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highlighted on our website. Most of the changes take effect October 1, 2017 and our regulations
implementing these changes are in the approval process.
Commission staff is available to provide guidance and assistance to Montgomery County
as you work through updating your law to incorporate the new changes. Please do not hesitate to
contact us should you h3:ve any questions regarding the new local government ethics law
requirements. As a reminder, any and all future changes to the ethics ordinance must be submitted
to the Commission for review and approval in compliance with Subtitle 8 of the Maryland Public
Ethics Law and COMAR 19A.04.
Finally, Section §5-807(b) of the Public Ethics Law requires each local jurisdiction to file
the Local Government Ethics Law Annual Certification by October 1 of each year. Given the
timing of these legislative changes, we do not anticipate 2017 certifications will include any of the
changes discussed above. Our office has already received Montgomery County's certification for
2017. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding this matter.
Sincerely,
(CtJ~ (
-
.
~
()
T\
1
'--1_;--
Katherine P. Thompson
Assistant General Counsel
Enclosures
(J)
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Changes that
must
be adopted for local government compliance with the requi
rements of
Subtitle 8 .of the Public Ethics Law or COMAR 19A.04.:
a
Mem ber of the General Asse mbly from lobbying (legislative matters) for one
calendar
year after leaving office.
Need s to be adde d to the confl ict ofintere st section
covering
local electe d officials.
2. 5-606(a)(3). Effective Janua ry 1, 2019, Commission may not provide publi
c access to
the portion of a financiai disclosure statement that includes an individual's home
address
as identified by the individual (i.e. the Commission must redact the information
before
making it publicly µvailable). Applies to all statement'>, whether posted on the
Internet or
viewa ble only in the Office.
Home addresses shou ld be redac ted from publi c
disclosure.
Loca l employees and elect ed officials don't have to
wony
abou t the publi c being
able lo
see their home address on their filing s subm itted after Janua ry 1, 2019.
Changes that
must
be adopted for local government compliance with the requi
rements of
Subtitle 8 of the Public Ethics Law or COM AR 19A.04. for those local gover
nments ,vith
lobbying
provisions:
L 5-50 l(a-l) . Adds new subsection prohibiting former lobbyists who becom
e a public
official or State employee (i.e. take job with the State) from participating in a
case,
contract or other specific matte r for I calendar year after terminating their regist
rations
if
they previously assisted or represented another party in the matter (a "reverse"
post-
employment restriction for lobbyists). Does not apply to uncompensated or minim
ally.
compensated (less than 25% of grade 16) board/commission members or electe
d officials.
ONL Y FOR JURI SDIC TION S WITH LOBB YING PROVISIONS. Need s to be
adde d the
confl ict ofintere stpro vision s to cover employees comp ensat ed over a certain
amount.
2. 5-607(i). Adds another categ ory to Schedule H - for a statement filed on
or after January
I, 2019, if the filer's spouse is a regulated lobbyist, must disclose the entity that
has
engaged the spouse to lobby.
ONL Y FOR JURI SDIC TION S WITH LOBB YING
PROVISIONS. Requires spous es oflobbyists to disclose the entities that engag
e the
lobbyi.stspouse on their annu al disclosure filings.
Changes that
may
be adopted if the local government chooses:
1. 5-101 (t). Removes "'exchange-traded funds" from the definition of "interest".
An
ETF is
a diversified collection of assets (like a mutual fund) that trades on an exchange
(like a
stock).
Now, as is the case with mutu alfun ds,fin ancia l disclosure filers will
no longer
have to disclose interests they hold in ETFs.
2. 5-506. Adds three specific circumstances that constitute violation of the presti
ge of office
provision (influencing the awar d of a State or local contract to a specific perso
n; initiating
a solicitation for a person to retain the compensated services of a particular lobby
ist or
firm; using public resources or title to solicit a political contribution regulated
in
accordance
with
the Election
Law
Article).
.In
the lastsi tuatio n, employees and
public
officials may not use title or public resources, State officials may not use publi
c
I.
5-504(d)(2). Precludes Governor, Lieutenant Governor, AG, Comptroller, Treas
urer or
@
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resources.
The State Ethics Commission has already interpreted these kinds ofactions to
be in violation ofthe prestige ofoffice provision. Local governments are able to include
these specific circumstances
in
their law
if
they would
like or any
other for clarifying
purposes.
3. 5-607(g). Changes the Schedule F disclosure (indebtedness to entities doing business
with the State) to indebtedness to entities doing business with or regulated by the
individ ual's governmental unit.
Instead ofdisclosing all indebtedness to entities doing
business
with
the local government, only debts
with
entities doing business
with the
specifi c governmental unit must be disclosed by filers.
4. 5-606(a)(2). Effective January 1, 2019, Ethics Comm ission must provide Internet access,
through an online registration program, to financial disclosure statements submitted by
State officials, candidates for office as State officials, and Secretaries of a principal
department of the Executive Branch .
Local governments can
now
decide io put the local
disclosure forms online for public viewing.
5. 5-704. Codifie s disclosure requirements for lobbyists who serve on State boards and
commissions. Also codifies a require ment for such a lobbyist who is disqualified from
participating in a specific matter to file a statement ofrecu sai
'¼1th
the bolll;'d or
commission.
ONLY FOR JURIS DICTI ONS WITH LOBBY ING PROVISIONS. Requir es
lobbyists who serve on local boards to submit disclosure forms that mirror the forms for
local elected officials.
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MONTGOM ERY COUNTY ETIDCS COMMISSION
Memorandum
November 17, 2017
TO:
FROM:
Roger Berliner, President, Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County Ethics Commission
Robert Cobb, Staff Director, Chief C o u n s e l ~ ~
Isiah Leggett> County Executive
Minor Legislative Changes Concerning Ethics
CC:
SUBJECT:
The Montgomery County Ethics Commission recommends the adoption of minor
changes to County law. These changes are being recommended as result of requirements
of Maryland law as interpreted by the State Ethics Commission (see attachment);
in
addition, the Ethics Commission is seeking to address three minor issues in County law.
To address requirements of State ethics law, the Commission recommends the adoption
of a conflict of interest prohibition on participating in matters affecting a party for whom
a
public employee was, in the pastyear, required to register as a lobbyist. This provision
is intended to prevent lobbyists entering County service from taking action that affects
the firm the individual was lobbying for, for at least for one year.
Another provision is intended to meet State requirements to prevent elected officials from
lobbying the County for one year after leaving County service.
The State Ethics Commission is requiring
that
local jurisdiction's ethics laws protect from
disclosure financial disclosure statement infonnation about public filers' home addresses.
The
proposal addresses this requirement.
And, the proposal addresses a State requirement to disclose infonnation ab011t entities that have
engaged
a spouse of a
public filer
to
lobby the County
in
a
public filer's financial disclosure
statement.
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In addition to the provisions being required by the State Ethics Commission, the
Montgomery County Ethics Commission recommends some additional provisions.
The Commission recommends an amendment to Section 19A-21 to 19A-23 of the Public
Ethics Law concerning lobbying registration and recommends changes to provisions of
County law concerning financial disclosure for the Arts and Humanities Council and
Community Media organizations.
Current County law requires persons lobbying on behalf of a person or entity to obtain a
\\-Titten authorization to
do
so from the person or entity (or its authorized agent)
on
whose
behalfthe lobbyist will be appearing. This requirement tracked a State ethics law
requirement; but the State ethics law dropped this requirement
as
unnecessary. The
process of obtaining these signatures creates what the Ethics Commission considers to be
an
unnecessary step, complicating and delaying registration compliance. The suggested
amendment would conform the County's registration provision
to
the State
law
provision.
The proposed amendment suggests changes to 5A-4 and to 8A-32 of the County Code
which would delete references to disclosures being made pursuant to Chapter 19A. The
disclosures contemplated by these provisions
qo
not correlate to 19A as there
is
no
provision in 19A for confidential financial disclosure or disclosures that are limited to
information about related activity and interests. The persons covered
by
the existing
provisions of law are not public employees as defined
by
the County's ethics law, and if
confidential and limited financial disclosure is what is deemed appropriate, it should be
made to the organizations themselves and not made part of the financial disclosure
program
for
County employees, which is established
in
accordance
with
County and
State ethics
law.
If there are questions about these recommendations, please contact Robert Cobb at
J{t2hs:11.cobb
,'i>nH:Jll£:<)mervcmmtvmd.Qov or at 240 777 6674.
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Sec.
1.
Sections
l9A-11, 19A-13, 19A-18, 19A-19, 19A-21, 19A-:-22,
and
19A-23
are
amended as follows:
Sec.
19A-11.
Participation
of
public employees.
{a)
Prohibitions.
Unless permitted
by
a
waiver,
a public employee must not participate
in:
*****'
(3) any case, contract, or other specific matter affecting a
party
for whom, in the prior
year, the public employee was required to register to engage
in
lobbying activity under
this Chapter.
·
Sec. 19A-13. Employment
of
former public employees.
*****
(d)
A
person serving as County Executive or member
of
the County Council may
not engage
in
lobbying for which lobbying registration would be required under this
Chapter for one year after leaving such office.
Sec. 19A-18. Financial disclosure statement; procedures.
*****
(f} The Commission must make available each statement filed under
this
Article for
examination and copying during normal office hours. The Commission must redact
public employees' home addresses from statements that are made available for
examination and copying.
Sec. 19A-19. Content of financial disclosure statement.
(a) Each financial disclosure statement filed under Section 19A-17(a) must disclose
the
following:
*****
(9)
income
from
Lobbying ActNity.
The statement must
list
the name and address of any
entity that
has
engaged
the
fifer's
spouse to engage
in lobbying
under this Chapter.
(9-.1.Q)
The statement
may
also include any
additional interest
or
information that the
filer
wishes
to disclose.
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Sec. 19A-21. Who must register as a lobbyist; exceptions.
*****·
(d) [Except for the authorization required by Section 19A-22, a] An individual or
organization is exempt from the reporting requirements of this Article if the individual or
organization:
(1) compensates one or more lobbyists;
(2) reasonably believes that each lobbyist will timely register and report all
expenditures required to be reported; and
(3)
engages in no other lobbying.
If a lobbyist fails to report timely any information required under this Article, the
lobbyist's employer is immediately subject to the reporting requirements of this Article.
Sec. 19A-22. Authorization to lobby.
[Every employer of a lobbyist must sign an authorization to act, which the lobbyist must
file with the Commission at registration.
If
the employer
is a
corporation, an authorized
officer
br
agent other than the lobbyist must sign the written authorization. The
authorization must include:
(a) the full legal name and business address of both the employer
and
the lobbyist;
(b) the period of time during which the lobbyist is authorized to act, unless sooner
terminated; and
(c)
each legislative proposal or subject upon which the lobbyist is authorized
to
act.]
(a)
Certification. - A regulated lobbyist engaged by an individual or organization for
the purpose of lobbying shall certify under oath or affirmation that the regulated lobbyist
is authorized to engage in lobbying for the individual or organization.
{b} Certification - Contents.·-· The certification shall include:
(1) the full
legal
name
and
business address
of the
individual
or
organization:
(2) if for an individual, the name and contactinformation of the individual who
authorized the lobbying for the individual, or, if for an organization, the name, contact
information, and official title of the representative of the organization who authorized the
lobbying for the organization:
(3) the full legal name and business address of the regulated lobbyist;
(4) the period during which the regulated lobbyist is authorized to act: and
(5) the proposal or subiect on which the regulated lobbyist represents the
individual or organization.
Sec. 19A-23. How and when to register as a lobbyist.
{a) ·Every person required to register with the Commission under Section 19A--21
must disclose the following information on a form provided
by
the Commission:
(1) the lobbyist's name and permanent address;
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(2) the name and perm anen t address of any person who will lobby on
beha lf of the
lobbyist;
·
(3) the name, address, and nature of business of any pers on who comp
ensates
the lobbyist[, with the written authorization required under Section19A-22
]; and
(4) the identification,
by
formal desig natio n
if
known, of each matt er
on which the
lobby ist expects to lobby or employs some one to lobby.
*****
Sec. 2. Section 5A-4 is amen ded as follows:
Sec. 5A-4. Council Membership and Organization.
*****
(d) The Arts and Humanities Council must require each officer and
director, and the
executive direc tor to disclose to the Arts and Humanities Council [file
a confidential
financial disclosure statement unde r Chap ter 19A covering] all activities
and interests
related to arts and humanities organizations, programs, or funding. Each
office r and
director, and the executive direc tor of the Arts and Humanities Council
is a publi c
empl oyee unde r Sections 19A..,11 and 1HA-14
for
any matte r in which
the person
participates for the Council. The Council must adop t and apply policies
and procedures
to ensu re that its actions are fair, unbiased, and non-partisan.
*****
Sec. 3. Section 8A-3 2 is amended as follows:
Sec. SA-32. Community medi a organizations.
(e) Any officer, director, or executive direc tor of a community medi a
organization
must disclose to the comm unity medi a organization {file a confidential
financial
disclosure statement unde r Chapter 19A with respect to] any comm unica
tions -
related activity or interest.
*****
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