With an ever increasing intensity, state legislatures have responded to legitimate voter resentment over various ethics and campaign scandals by passing ever-stricter laws restricting or regulating contributions and/or gifts by business entities doing business with government entities. This valid desire to “connect the dots” between political money and state procurements has resulted in increasing complex legislation in which state legislators appear to be engaged in a constant effort to outdo each other in the eyes of their constituents with respect to the transactions they prohibit and the consequences to corporations for failing to comply. This blog seeks to make some sense of these developments and hopefully foster debate as to corporate compliance and the direction of future legislation.
We have chosen to initiate our blog with an analysis of three states which we believe capture the trends of concern to all groups seeking to do business with their state. First, no self-respecting blog dedicated to highlighting legislation regulating the sometimes unseemly intersection between political practices and state government contracting would be complete if it did not contain an analysis of the Granddaddy State of Illinois. In our entry devoted to Illinois, we examine the various iterations of Illinois “pay-to-play” laws that have been passed during political scandal.
Another trend we have sought to highlight with our first posting - legal challenges to recently enacted pay to play legislation - is reflected in our posting concerning the current state of litigation and anticipated legal developments in the State of Colorado. Colorado has passed one of the most comprehensive and punitive pay to play statutes in the nation and the current status of legislation seeking to enjoin its enforcement has been closely monitored by many as a bellwether to the constitutional limits on future legislation.
Finally, this site is dedicated to monitoring the status of proposed legislation which either has not yet been proposed or was proposed in past legislative sessions but appear not to be dead in future sessions. Legislation recently proposed by State Senator Hooks of Georgia represents an insight into the tenor of state legislation that is likely to resurface when state lawmakers reconvene in upcoming months. Our posting on Senator’s Hooks proposal analyzes the current language proposed, local reaction to the legislation, and the likelihood that some variant of the proposal will pass through the Georgia General Assembly and become law.
Our goal is to inform and foster debate surrounding this emerging field of regulation. We intend to post frequently on these topics with respect to state trends, developments and concerns for compliance. True success, however, will be measured by the degree to which you, the interested reader, help shape the discussion with your comments and questions. We look forward to both.
Stefan Passantino, Esq.
Amol Naik, Esq.