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In Brief: A Digest of State Government Affairs and Lobbying Projects

Client Success
  • Represented Waste Management Inc. before the Nebraska Legislature regarding legislative bills addressing business matters, including landfill waste, delivery and electronic waste issues;
  • Represented the Nebraska Bankers Association as associate general counsel and registered lobbyist;
  • Directed Nebraska state legislative affairs for the National Federation of Independent Business and served as registered lobbyist;
  • Advised local governments in the formation of a health maintenance organization to participate in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. Advised governmental entities on constitutional and statutory issues surrounding formation. Engaged with officials at the Texas Department of Insurance. Prepared formation documents and insurance filings. Negotiated with state Medicaid officials to gain entrance to the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. Advising on entrance into the federally facilitated Healthcare Exchange for Texas under the Affordable Care Act;
  • Representing a competitive energy supplier on a prospective wind farm development in Chase County, Kan.
  • Lobbying for a federal $18 million tax credit for the development of alternative fuel cell technology;
  • Providing support and guidance to a public-private partnership attempting to attract utility-scale solar and biofuel projects to a remediated oil refinery brownfield site.
  • Advocated on behalf of our client to remove a state mandate that required the issuing dividends from certain asset classes be considered liquidating dividends. This statutory requirement produced an unwanted effect, giving Missouri-based businesses an incentive to incorporate in other states. Thanks largely to our efforts, Missouri corporations have been freed from such misleading and potentially harmful disclosure requirements;
  • Providing public relations and government affairs guidance to a major publicly traded hospitality company seeking to develop a world-class environmental sustainability program.
  • Advocated on behalf of a mobile insurance carrier regarding a piece of integral state legislation which clarified the regulatory framework for the sales and marketing of insurance for portable electronics in Missouri. Given the importance of such a product to consumers, and its direct impact on our client’s bottom line, this clarifying legislation was a key priority for our client during the2013 legislative session. Our team worked closely with state House and Senate leaders, as well as the Missouri Department of Insurance;
  • Speaker Jones made education reform a top priority in the last session, offering multiple bills throughout the term. A majority of his agenda concerned ALEC and Students First, an organization (outside Missouri) opposed to teachers unions. Missouri American Federation of Teachers opposed most of these efforts. By working with the entire public education lobby, we assisted the Federation and helped to ensure defeat of each proposed bill;
  • Launch a grassroots campaign to support our client’s capital lobbying efforts in support of wind energy and the Kansas renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Our team used its vast campaign experience to launch an online and social media plan that ultimately recruited more than 30 organizations and more than 5,000 individuals to join our campaign, Kansan's for Wind. This campaign assisted Mike Murray, our lead lobbyist in Topeka, in defeating efforts to eliminate or scale back the RPS;
  • Advocated for passage of a bill which provides sales and use tax refunds for large investments in renewable energy projects. The bill amends the Nebraska Advantage Act, Nebraska’s major economic development incentive program. For renewable energy projects, an investment threshold of $20 million would qualify for tax incentives;
  • Helped our client define the term renewable energy to include landfill gases. This definition provides an opportunity for our client to receive tax incentives under the revised bill;
  • Advocated for an appropriation of $500,000 over two fiscal years for a nurse visitation program in Nebraska. High quality home visiting programs have not only been shown to help children’s healthy, safe development but also produce $5.70 in fiscal savings for every taxpayer dollar spent. During floor debate, we lobbied against an amendment that sought to remove the appropriation. The amendment was soundly defeated, and the appropriation was approved;
  • Lobbied on behalf of our client for an amendment to a bill that proposed to change the definitional section of the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act as it relates to solid waste. Our amendment clarified the bill to apply to its original intent, replacing an otherwise broadly proposed definition of products as an exemption to the term solid waste. Our amendment was included in the final bill, now signed into law.