Politics & Legislation 

“Say on Pay” Gets Its Day

Executive compensation is still the talk of the boardroom as legislation goes to the Senate.

"Say-on Pay” legislation, which passed the House in April by a 2-1 margin, faces a less certain fate in the Senate. The “Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act” would require companies to allow a nonbinding vote on compensation disclosed in proxy statements, starting in 2009.

Legislating Corporate Social Change

PlankWalk the walk, before they make you walk the plank.

If you are reading this, your company may already be voluntarily implementing substantial corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship programs. If not, take note: legislators are attempting to pass a bill that would, in effect, require corporations to affirmatively engage in CSR efforts.

Corporate Political Spending

Political SpendingCompany contributions are becoming increasingly transparent.

Disclosure of corporate political spending, expected to get increased discussion in the 2007 proxy season (see CRO Trends, Winter 2006 Issue), is gaining some traction. Three major companies, Verizon Communications, Monsanto and General Dynamics, have committed to disclose some or all of their political spending made with corporate funds, according to the Center for Political Accountability and several groups helping press the issue.

Backlash Against Sarbanes-Oxley

Is the cost of compliance too high? Lobbyists and business associations are pressuring the SEC and Congress to help ease the cost of complying with SOX.

Think Global, Legislate Local

Emboldened states and cities are taking action on a range of issues.

In an unlikely alliance between a foreign country and a U.S. state, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair aligned with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in late July to develop an international system for purchasing and selling carbon dioxide emissions.

Justice Department Defends Prosecution Guidelines

While acknowledging that “the time may come when revisions are needed,” a senior Justice Department official told the Senate Judiciary Committee that tactics used to obtain cooperation in federal cases of corporate wrongdoing were no different than in other criminal cases.