The New Year is an opportunity to review and redefine compliance with political laws for campaigns, PACs, lobbyists, businesses and individuals. The following checklist provides a brief overview of the next dates in the political compliance calendar for 2022.
- ELEC Reporting application
The State of New Jersey and local applicants should continue with their standard ELEC reports. If 2022 is an election year for a given candidate, the candidate should report using the pre-election and post-election reporting schedule published by the League. Otherwise, candidates are still required to report on activity on a quarterly basis, even if no election is scheduled this year for that candidate.
Applicant contributors should be aware that the Contribution and Reporting limits for Applicants are not reset based on the start of a new calendar year. Instead, the contribution limits for candidates follow the electoral calendar. For example, if John Doe has already paid the maximum amount to candidate Smith for the 2022 primary election in contributions made in 2021 or earlier, the Doe contributor is still at the maximum for that candidate until after the June 2022 primary election.
- PAC reports and ELEC political parties
PACs and political parties registered by the ELEC must declare their activity from 4e Quarter 2021 in the quarterly report for January 2022. This report, normally due on the 15the day following the end of the quarter, is due on January 18, 2022, as the first business day following January 14.
Unlike candidates whose contribution limits follow election periods, CCPs and political parties follow a calendar year declaration period. Therefore, even if a person had reached the maximum of a PAC in 2021, that person now starts with a new list of contributions in 2022.
- Lobbying reports
New Jersey registered lobbyists actually have two upcoming lobbying reports due to the ELEC.
First, the regular quarterly activity reports of lobbyists for the 4e Quarter 2021 is due January 10, 2022.
Second, the annual reports which cover in detail all lobbying clients and lobbying receipts for the whole of 2021 are due on February 15, 2021. This annual report must in fact be filed by both the lobbyist and the client represented. , although in some cases the client may designate their lobbying firm to file on behalf of the client. Many companies do not recognize that the decision to hire a New Jersey lobbyist results in annual reporting requirements that must be addressed directly by the client, so it is important for lobbyists and their clients to communicate about this reporting requirement. .
- Professional fundraising reports
Under New Jersey law, a professional campaign fundraiser who receives compensation of at least $ 5,000 per year for a fundraising activity must register with ELEC and file reports. quarterly activity. The start of the year is a good opportunity to look at compensation records from 2021 and anticipate compensation for 2022 to determine if registration as a professional campaign fundraiser is required. For fundraisers already registered, the activity of 4e The 2021 quarter must be declared before January 18, 2022.
- Financial disclosures
Elected officials and other government employees are generally required to file an annual financial statement. The specific form and filing deadline will depend on the level of government. For example, local government officials file their financial statements with the Department of Community Affairs and this report is usually due on April 30 of each year. In contrast, legislative representatives file their report with the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethics Standards and the deadline is usually May 15 of each year.
- Form BE Annual Disclosure of Payments for the Game
At the end of 2021, business entities that have contracts with the New Jersey government, state or local level, can begin preparations for their annual pay-to-play disclosure. This annual report will include information regarding government contracts and the business entity‘s political contributions (made by the business entity and its covered persons, including owners, officers and directors) during 2021. This filing is due March 30 of each year.
Compliance advice: With the start of the New Year, there’s no better time to keep your political compliance on track. Making a clean program and compliance plan a priority early in the year is key to avoiding headaches for the rest of 2022.
Avi D. Kelin, Esq. is a lawyer in the corporate political activities law practice group of Genova Burns LLC and chair of the firm’s autonomous vehicle law practice.
This column is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers are advised not to rely on this column, but to seek professional advice on individual matters.
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