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Committee Substitute House Bill 2486 History

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hb2486 SUB
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 2486

(By Delegates Ennis, Doyle, Lane, Caputo, Amores and Miley)


(Originating in the Committee on the the Judiciary)


[February 18, 2005]


A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §3-12-1, §3-12-2, §3-12-3, §3-12-4, §3-12-5, §3-12-6, §3-12-7, §3-12-8, §3-12-9, §3-12-10, §3-12-11, §3-12-12, §3-12-13, §3-12-14, §3-12-15, §3-12-16, §3-12-17, §3-12-18, §3-12-19, §3-12-20, and §3-12-21, relating generally to providing a pilot project for the public funding of election campaigns for two senate districts and three single member delegate districts; setting forth as short title and certain legislative findings and declarations; defining terms; specifying that the provisions of the act are applicable to candidates for seats in the Legislature , specifically two senate districts and three single member delegate districts; establishing a public campaign financing fund and sources of revenue for the fund; requiring an applicant for public campaign funding to complete a declaration of intent and setting forth the manner in which application for funding may be made; setting forth eligibility criteria for qualifying party and independent candidates; allowing participating candidates to raise from private sources and spend seed money contributions; requiring candidates seeking public campaign funds to collect a required number of qualifying contributions; requiring participating candidates to comply with all provisions of the act; requiring the State Election Commission to certify eligible candidates and setting forth the procedure for certification; providing that qualified candidates shall receive funding for election campaigns from the public campaign financing fund; specifying the amount of funds available for each office and when such funds become available; setting forth restrictions on participating candidates' contributions and spending; prohibiting participating candidates from accepting private contributions other than as specifically set forth in the act; prohibiting the use of personal funds for certain purposes; requiring certain disclosures; setting forth provisions in the event of insufficient public funds; requiring candidates to keep records and report to the State Election Commission; providing for matching public campaign funds when an opponent spends in excess of the participating candidate's spending limits; setting forth certain duties of the State Election Commission; providing for the deposit of certain revenue into the fund; requiring repayment of excessive expenditures by candidates; providing both civil and criminal penalties for violations of the act; establishing the West Virginia Citizens' Publicly Financed Elections Commission and setting forth it's duties; and setting forth an effective date and termination of the pilot project.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §3-12-1, §3-12-2, §3-12-3, §3-12-4, §3-12-5, §3-12-6, §3-12-7, §3-12-8, §3-12-9, §3-12-10, §3-12-11, §3-12-12, §3-12-13, §3-12-14, §3-12-15, §3-12-16, §3-12-17, §3-12-18,
§3-12-19, §3-12-20, and §3-12-21, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING PILOT PROJECT.
§3-12-1. Short title
.
This article shall be known as the "West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project Act".
§3-12-2. Legislative findings and declarations.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that current election finance laws:
(1) May place elected officials in the position of spending their time raising funds instead of representing the public;
(2) May cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in the form of subsidies and special privileges granted to large campaign contributors;
(3) Could allow elected officials to accept large campaign contributions from private interests when they may have statutory or regulatory power over those interests;
(4) May give incumbents an unfair advantage over challengers;
(5) Might hinder reasonable communication with potential voters by qualified candidates not supported by large private campaign contributions;
(6) In some cases, may effectively suppress the voices and influence of the majority of West Virginia citizens in favor of a small number of wealthy special interests;
(7) May tend to undermine public confidence in the integrity of public officials;
(8) May tend to drive up the cost of campaigning for office and discourage otherwise qualified candidates who lack personal wealth or access to special interest funding; and
(9) Currently, the States of Maine and Arizona, have instituted public campaign funding programs that provide qualified candidates with full funding. Programs in both states have been successful and have seen increasing candidate participation by both Republicans and Democrats.
Therefore, the creation of a public campaign financing system may improve the election process in this state by diminishing the influence of special interest contributions and may encourage more citizens to participate in the political process.
§3-12-3. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) "Certified Candidate" means an individual seeking election to the West Virginia State Senate or the House of Delegates who chooses to seek such office pursuant to the provisions of the "West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project" and is certified as a West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project candidate pursuant to section eleven of this article.
(2) "Clearly identified" means that-
(A) the name or nickname of the candidate involved appears;
(B) a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or
(C) the identity of the candidate is apparent by an unambiguous reference to the person or the person's status as a candidate.
(3) "Commission" means the State Election Commission created pursuant to the provisions of article one-a of this chapter.
(4) "Contribution" means a gift subscription, assessment, payment for services, dues, advance, donation, pledge, contract, agreement, forbearance or promise of money or other tangible thing of value, whether or not conditional or legally enforceable, or a transfer of money or other tangible thing of value to a person, made for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate.
(A) An offer or tender of a contribution is not a contribution if expressly and unconditionally rejected or returned.
(B) A contribution does not include volunteer personal services provided without compensation or services or property provided to an elected official by the state or a political subdivision to defray the costs of meeting or communicating with constituents while the official is performing the duties of his or her office.
(5) "Excess expenditure" means an amount of money spent or obligated to be spent to influence the nomination or election of a nonparticipating candidate or the defeat of a participating candidate in excess of the public campaign financing funds available to a participating candidate running for the same office pursuant to this article.
(6) "Fund" means the Public Campaign Financing Fund created by section five of this article.
(7) "General election campaign period" means the period beginning the day after the primary election and ending on the day of the general election in that election year.
(8) "Independent candidate" means a candidate on the ballot who does not represent a political party.
(9) "Independent expenditure" means an expenditure made by a person or entity other than a candidate or his or her committee for a communication which expressly advocates the nomination, election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate but which is made independently of a candidate's campaign and which has not been made with the cooperation or consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, the candidate or any of his or her agents or authorized committees. An expenditure which does not meet the criteria for independence established in this subsection is considered a contribution.
(10) "Nonparticipating candidate" means:
(A) a candidate seeking election to the State Senate or House of Delegates from a district selected to participate in the pilot project pursuant to section seven of this article;
(B) is not certified as a West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project candidate pursuant to section eleven of this article; and
(C) has an opponent who is a participating candidate.
(11) "Party candidate" means a candidate who represents a political party that has been granted ballot status.
(12) "Participating candidate" means a candidate seeking election to the Senate or House of Delegates from a district selected to participate in the pilot project who chooses to seek such office pursuant to the provisions of this article and is certified as a West Virginia Public Campaign Financing candidate pursuant to section ten of this article.
(13) "Primary election campaign period" means the period beginning on the first day of the primary election filing period and ending on the day of the subsequent primary election.
(14) "Private contribution" means a contribution from any nonpublic source except:
(A) Payments by a membership organization for the cost of communicating to its members;
(B) Payments by a membership organization for the purpose of facilitating the making of qualifying contributions;
(C) Volunteer activity, including the payment of incidental expenses by volunteers; and
(D) Voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities conducted by nonpartisan individuals and organizations or which are not intended to influence the election or defeat of a particular candidate.
(15) "Qualifying contribution" means a contribution of five dollars in the form of a check or money order, made payable to a candidate or the candidate's committee, received during the qualifying period, and which is
(A) made by a registered voter and resident of the district in which the candidate is seeking office;
(B) acknowledged by a written receipt; and
(C) gathered by the candidate or on behalf of the candidate by an unpaid volunteer with the candidate's knowledge and consent.
(16) "Qualifying period" means the period during which candidates are permitted to collect qualifying contributions in order to qualify to receive public campaign financing.
(A) For party candidates for the State Senate or House of Delegates, the qualifying period begins on the first day of February of the election year and ends on the fifteenth day of April of the election year.
(B) For independent candidates and party candidates for the State Senate or House of Delegates seeking to be placed on the general election ballot pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-three and twenty-four, article five of this chapter, the qualifying period begins on the first day of May of the election year and ends on the first day of September of the election year.
(17) "Seed money contribution" means a contribution of no more than one hundred dollars made by an individual adult during the seed money period.
(18) "Seed money period" means the period during which a candidate seeking campaign financing from the fund is permitted to raise and spend seed money contributions in order to explore his or her chances of election and to qualify for public campaign financing under this article. The seed money period begins on the day after the most recent general election and ends on the last day of the qualifying period in the next election year in which a candidate is running for the office.

(19) "WVCPFEC" means the West Virginia Citizens' Publicly Financed Elections Commission.
§3-12-4. Alternative campaign financing option.
This article establishes a pilot project for the public
financing of selected campaigns for candidates seeking election to the State Senate from two legislative districts and candidates seeking election to the House of Delegates from three legislative districts in the year two thousand six. The pilot project shall be open to certified candidates for those offices nominated directly by petition. Candidates participating in this pilot project shall comply with all other applicable election and campaign laws and regulations.
§3-12-5. Public campaign financing fund, nature and purposes of the fund.
There is hereby established a special account in the state treasury to be known as the "Public Campaign Financing Fund" for the purpose of providing public financing for the election campaigns of certified participating candidates pursuant to this article and paying the administrative and enforcement costs of the Commission related to this article. All moneys collected under the provisions of this article shall be deposited in the fund, which shall be administered by the Commission. Expenditures from the fund shall be for the purposes set forth in this article and, except for voluntary contributions made directly to the fund, are not authorized from collections, but are to be made only in accordance with appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twelve of this code and upon the fulfillment of the provisions of article two, chapter five-a of this code. Upon termination of the provisions of this article, all money in the fund shall expire to the general revenue fund of the state. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the aggregate amount of money transferred to the fund pursuant to appropriation of the Legislature that may be expended for the purposes of this article may not exceed five hundred thousand dollars.
§3-12-6. Sources of revenue for the fund.
Revenue from the following sources shall be deposited in the fund:
(1) All qualifying contributions collected by participating candidates or their committees;
(2) Unspent or unobligated seed money contributions;
(3) Moneys returned from participating candidates who fail to comply with the provisions of this article;
(4) Unspent or unobligated moneys allotted to qualified candidates and remaining unspent or unobligated on the date of the primary or general election for which the money was distributed;
(5) Civil penalties levied by the Commission against candidates for violations of this article;
(6) Voluntary donations made directly to the fund;
(7) Interest income; and
(8) Money appropriated to the fund.
§3-12-7. Selection of participating districts
(a) The legislative districts participating in the West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project shall include two senatorial districts and three single member delegate districts. The participating districts shall be selected by the Commission on or before the first day of February, two thousand six, and immediately thereafter published in the state register.
(b) Participating legislative districts shall be selected first, from any senate or single member delegate districts in which the incumbent representing the district notifies the Commission of his or her intent to volunteer their seat for participation in the pilot project. If the selection of additional districts is necessary, the Commission shall select for participation any senate or single member delegate district represented by an incumbent state senator or delegate who elects not to file for reelection to their current office: Provided, That in the event the number of districts with open seats exceeds the number of districts provided by this section for participation in the pilot project, the participating districts shall be designated by lot in such a manner as the Commission considers appropriate.
§3-12-8. Declaration of intent; application for funds by successful, independent and minor party candidates after primary election.
(a) Upon selection of the legislative districts to participate in the pilot project pursuant to section seven of this article, each candidate desiring to participate in the West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project shall:
(1) sign and file a declaration of intent to seek certification as a participating candidate and to comply with the requirements of this article and it shall be filed with the Commission before the end of the qualifying period and before collection of any qualifying contributions. The declaration shall be on a form prescribed by the Commission.
(2) submit a declaration of intent prior to accepting qualifying contributions under section ten of this article. Contributions made prior to the filing of the declaration of intent are not qualifying contributions; and
(3) (A) suspend, for the time the person is attempting to qualify as a participating or certified candidate, all access the candidate or any member of the candidate committee has to the funds of the candidate committee of that candidate, including those that the candidate has as part of a joint candidates committee, which have been raised prior to selection, except as provided in subsection (b); and
(B) certify on a form to be developed by the Commission that he or she will not seek to use such funds in any way that would assist the candidate once certified as a West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project candidate.
(b) A participating candidate may use funds raised and reported to the Commission pursuant to section five-e, article eight of this chapter prior to becoming such a candidate as the seed money required of a participating candidate, but only to the extent that such money can be attributable to contributions of one hundred dollars or less from individuals.
§3-12-9. Seed money.
(a) A candidate or his or her committee desiring to qualify for campaign financing from the fund may not accept seed money in contributions exceeding, in the aggregate:
(1) Two thousand five hundred dollars for a candidate for State Senate; and
(2) One thousand dollars for a candidate for House of Delegates.

(b) Every seed money contribution must be acknowledged by a written receipt. Receipts for seed money contributions of twenty-five dollars or more shall include the contributor's signature, printed name, street address and zip code, telephone number, occupation, and name of employer. Receipts for seed money contributions of less than twenty-five dollars may contain only the contributor's signature, printed name, and address. Contributions which are not acknowledged by a proper receipt do not qualify as seed money contributions.
(c) A contribution from one person may not be made in the name of another person.
(d) A participating candidate or his or her committee shall forward all unspent or uncommitted seed money remaining at the end of the seed money period to the Commission for deposit in the fund.
§3-12-10. Qualifying contributions.
(a) No candidate attempting to qualify for campaign financing from the fund or his or her committee may accept more than one qualifying contribution from a single individual.
(b) Every qualifying contribution must be acknowledged by a written receipt which includes:
(1) the printed name of the candidate on whose behalf the contribution is made and the signature of the person who collected the contribution for the candidate or his or her committee;
(2) the contributor's signature and printed name, home address, and telephone number;
(3) a statement near the contributor's signature that:
(A) the contributor understands the purpose of the contribution is to assist the candidate in obtaining public campaign financing;
(B) the contribution was made without coercion;
(C) the contributor has not been reimbursed or received anything of value for making the contribution; and
(D) the individual soliciting the contribution on behalf of the candidate has not been reimbursed or received anything of value for such services.
One copy of the receipt is to be given to the contributor, one copy is to be retained by the candidate and one copy is to be sent by the candidate to the Commission. A contribution which is not acknowledged by a written receipt in the form required by this subsection is not a qualifying contribution.
(c) During the qualifying period, a candidate attempting to qualify as a participating candidate or his or her committee must obtain at least the following number of qualifying contributions for the office he or she is seeking:
(1) For state senate in the eighth or seventeenth districts - three hundred and fifty;
(2) For state senate in all other districts - two hundred; and
(3) For house of delegates in a single member district - seventy-five.
(d) A candidate attempting to qualify as a participating candidate and each member of the candidate's immediate family who is a registered voter and resident of the district in which the candidate is seeking office may make one qualifying contribution. The candidate may not use any other personal funds to satisfy the qualifying contributions requirements.
(e) A candidate may not give reimbursement or anything of value in exchange for a qualifying contribution.
(f) All qualifying contributions collected by a participating candidate or his or her committee must be deposited in the fund by the end of the qualifying period.

§3-12-11. Certification of candidates.
(a) Before a candidate for the offices of State Senate and House of Delegates may be certified as a participating candidate and receive a public financing benefit, the candidate shall apply to the Commission for a public financing benefit and file a sworn statement that he or she has complied and will comply with all requirements of this article throughout the applicable campaign.
(b) Upon receipt of a notice that a candidate who desires to qualify as a participating candidate has received the required number of qualifying contributions, the Commission shall determine whether the candidate has complied with all of the following requirements:
(1) signed and filed a declaration of intent as required by section eight of this article;
(2) obtained, either personally or through his or her committee, the required number of qualifying contributions as required by section ten of this article;
(3) not accepted other contributions, except for seed money
contributions, and otherwise complied with the contribution restrictions of this article;
(4) in the case of independent or minor party candidates, a certificate of nomination
pursuant to sections twenty-three and twenty-four, article five of this chapter ; and
(5) met all other requirements of this article.
(c) The Commission shall process applications for public financing benefits in the order they are received and shall verify a candidate's compliance with the requirements of subsection (b) by such verification and sampling techniques as the Commission considers appropriate.
(d) The Commission shall determine a candidate's eligibility to receive a public financing benefit no later than three business days after the candidate makes his or her final submission of qualifying contributions or, if a challenge is filed under subsection (g), no later than six business days after the candidate makes his or her final submission of qualifying contributions. Upon certification, a candidate shall transfer to the fund any unspent seed money contributions. A certified candidate shall comply with the provisions of this article after the candidate has been certified through the period of the general election.

(e) If the Commission determines that a candidate is eligible to receive a public financing benefit pursuant to subsection (c), the Commission shall immediately issue a check for or transfer to the candidate's campaign depository account an amount equal to the initial public financing benefit for which the candidate qualifies and shall notify all other candidates for the same office as the qualified candidate of its determination.
(f) If the candidate desires to receive public financing benefits by electronic transfer, the candidate shall include in his or her application sufficient information and authorization for the State Treasurer to transfer payments to his or her campaign depository account.
(g) Any person may challenge the validity of any contribution listed by a candidate by filing a written challenge with the Commission setting forth any reason why the contribution should not be accepted as a qualifying contribution. Within five business days after the end of the qualifying period, the candidate who listed any contribution that is the subject of a challenge may file with the Commission an additional contribution within the total limitation prescribed under section ten of this article for consideration as a qualifying contribution. If a contribution is challenged under this subsection, the Commission shall decide the validity of the challenge no later than the end of the next business day after the day that the challenge is filed, unless the Commission determines that the candidate whose contribution is challenged has sufficient qualifying contributions to be certified as an eligible candidate under this section without considering the challenge.
(h) A candidate's right to receive pubic campaign financing may be revoked by the Commission if the candidate violates any of the provisions of this article. A candidate who has received financing under this article and has been found to have violated the provisions of this article shall repay all sums received from the fund to the Commission.
(i) The determination of any issue before the Commission is the final administrative determination. Any person adversely affected by a decision of the Commission under the provisions of this article may appeal that decision to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County.
§3-12-12. Schedule and amount of public campaign financing fund payments.
(a) The Commission shall make public campaign financing funds for the primary election campaign period available to a participating candidate representing a political party within forty-eight hours after the date on which the candidate is certified as a participating candidate.
(1) In a contested primary election, a certified participating candidate representing a political party may receive campaign financing from the fund as follows:
(A) State senate (eighth and seventeenth districts) - thirty-five thousand dollars;
(B) State senate (all other districts) - twenty thousand dollars;
(C) House of Delegates (single-member district) - seven thousand five hundred dollars.
(2) In an uncontested primary election, a certified party candidate may receive campaign financing from the fund equal to no more than twenty-five percent of the amount allowed for that office for a contested primary election for that office.
(b) The Commission shall make public campaign financing funds for the general election campaign period available to a certified participating candidate within forty-eight hours after the primary election results are certified. The Commission may require any candidate to provide proof of his or her eligibility to appear on the general election ballot.
(1) In a contested general election, a certified participating candidate, including an independent or minor party candidate who appears on the ballot pursuant to sections twenty-three and twenty-four, article five of this chapter, may receive from the fund the same amount of campaign financing available for a contested primary election under subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section.
(2) In an uncontested general election, a certified participating candidate, including an independent or minor party candidate who appears on the ballot pursuant to sections twenty-three and twenty-four, article five of this chapter, may receive from the fund campaign financing equal to ten percent of the amount provided in a contested general election for the same office.
(c) The Commission may not distribute revenues to certified candidates in excess of the total amount of money deposited in the fund pursuant to section six of this article.

§3-12-13. Restrictions on contributions and expenditures.
(a) A participating candidate or his or her committee may not accept contributions from any private source, including the personal funds of the candidate and the candidate's immediate family, during the primary or general election campaign periods except as permitted by this article.
(b) After filing the declaration of intent and through the qualifying period, a participating candidate may spend or obligate no more than he or she has collected in seed money contributions. After the qualifying period and through the general election campaign period, a participating candidate may spend or obligate only the funds he or she receives from the fund or raises pursuant to section twelve of this article.
(c) A participating candidate may expend seed money and campaign financing from the fund only for campaign-related activities as provided in section nine, article eight, chapter three of this code. Moneys distributed to a participating candidate from the fund may be expended only during the campaign period for which funds were dispersed. Payments may not be used:
(1) In violation of the law;
(2) To repay any personal, family or business loans, expenditures, or debts; or
(3) To help any other candidate.
(d) A participating candidate or his or her committee must return to the fund any unspent and uncommitted public campaign financing funds within forty-eight hours after
(1) the date of the general election;
(2) the date on which the candidate ceases to be certified; or
(3) the date on which the individual ceases to be a candidate.
(e) A contribution from one person may not be made in the name of another person.
(f) A participating candidate or his or her committee receiving qualifying contributions or seed money contributions from a person not listed on the receipt required by sections nine and ten of this article is liable to the Commission for the entire amount of that contribution and any applicable penalties.
(e) A participating candidate accepting any benefits under the provisions of this article shall continue to comply with all of its provisions throughout the primary and general elections.
(f) A participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall provide the Commission with all requested campaign records, including all records of seed money and qualifying contributions received and campaign expenditures and obligations, and shall fully cooperate with any audit of campaign finances requested or authorized by the Commission.
§3-12-14. Insufficient public funds.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, if, at any time during an election period, the Commission determines that the revenues in the fund are insufficient to complete the distribution of funds required under sections twelve or sixteen of this article, the Commission may permit a certified participating candidate or his or her committee to accept and expend contributions, aggregating no more one thousand dollars per contributor, from private sources up to the amount that would have been distributed to the candidate under section twelve or sixteen of this article had there been adequate money in the fund. The Commission shall provide a fair and equitable manner of distributing those moneys that are in the fund at the time among the certified participating candidates.
§3-12-15. Reporting requirements.

(a) Within forty-eight hours after the close of the seed money period, a participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of all seed money contributions received and funds expended or obligated during the seed money period, together with copies of all receipts for seed money contributions.
(b) Within forty-eight hours after the close of the qualifying period, a participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of all contributions received and funds expended or obligated during the qualifying period.
(c) Within five days after the primary election a participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of all contributions received and funds expended or obligated prior to the primary election.
(d) Within five days after the general election a participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of all contributions received and funds expended or obligated between the primary election and the general election.
(e) A nonparticipating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission on approved forms whenever his or her campaign expenditures or obligations, exceed by one thousand dollars the maximum funding available under section twelve of this article to any certified participating candidate running for the same office. The report shall be filed with the Commission within forty-eight hours of the expenditure which triggered the reporting requirement under this subsection. Thereafter, the nonparticipating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission within forty-eight hours any additional campaign expenditures or obligations aggregating more than one thousand dollars. During the last twenty days before the primary or general election, the nonparticipating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the Commission within twenty-four hours thereof every excess campaign expenditure or obligation of five hundred dollars or more.
(f) Any person, organization or entity making independent expenditures advocating the defeat of a participating candidate or the nomination or election of any candidate who is opposed by a participating candidate in excess of one thousand dollars in the aggregate shall report such expenditures to the Commission on approved forms within forty-eight hours of the expenditure. The Commission shall establish by legislative rule a reporting form which shall state the name of the person or entity making the independent expenditures, the names of and office for which the candidates are seeking election, whether expenditure advocated the nomination, election or defeat of a particular candidate, and the name of any candidate who stands to benefit from the independent expenditures.
§3-12-16. Matching funds.
(a) If the Commission determines that a non-participating candidate's campaign expenditures or obligations have exceeded by one thousand dollars the maximum funding available under this article to any certified participating candidate running for the same office, the Commission shall release additional campaign financing funds to the participating candidate in an amount equal to the excess expenditures.
(b) If the Commission determines that independent expenditures on behalf of a non-participating candidate, either alone or in combination with the non-participating candidate's campaign expenditures or obligations, have exceeded by one thousand dollars the maximum funding available under this article to any certified participating candidate running for the same office, the Commission shall immediately release additional campaign financing funds to the participating candidate in an amount equal to the excess independent expenditures.
(c) If the Commission determines that independent expenditures on behalf of a participating candidate, in combination with the participating candidate's campaign expenditures or obligations, exceed by one thousand dollars the maximum funding available under this article to any certified participating candidate running for the same office, the Commission shall immediately release additional campaign financing funds to any other participating candidate who is an opponent for the same office in an amount equal to the excess expenditures.
(d) Matching funds paid out to a participating candidate under this section are limited to two times the maximum amount of public campaign financing initially available to a participating candidate for the same office pursuant to section twelve of this article.

§3-12-17. Duties of the Commission.
(a) In addition to its other duties, the Commission shall:

(1) Prescribe forms for reports, statements, notices and other documents required by this article;
(2) Prepare and publish information about this article and provide it to potential candidates and the citizens of this state;
(3) Prepare and publish instructions setting forth methods of bookkeeping and preservation of records to facilitate compliance with this article and explaining the duties of candidates and others participating in elections under the provisions of this article;
(4) Make a report to the Legislature accounting for moneys in the fund, describing the Commission's activities, and listing any recommendations for changes of law, administration, or funding amounts;
(5) Enforce the provisions of this article to ensure that moneys from the fund are placed in candidate campaign accounts or otherwise spent as specified in this article;
(6) Monitor reports filed pursuant to this article and the financial records of candidates to ensure that qualified candidates receive equalization moneys promptly and to ensure that moneys required by this article to be paid to the fund are deposited in the fund.
(7) Cause an audit of the fund to be conducted by independent certified public accountants ninety days after a general election. The Commission shall cooperate with the audit, provide all necessary documentation and financial records to the auditor and maintain a record of all information supplied by the audit.
(8) Insure public access to the campaign finance reports required pursuant to this article and, wherever possible, shall use electronic means for the reporting, storing and display of such information; and
(9) Prepare a voter's guide for the general public for each of the elections in which certified candidates are seeking office in two thousand six. The guide shall list the names of each candidate seeking office at that election and both certified candidates and nonparticipating candidates shall be invited by the Commission to
submit a statement, not to exceed 500 words in length for inclusion in the guide. It shall identify the candidates that are certified candidates and the candidates that are nonparticipating candidates. Copies of the guide shall be posted on the web site of the Commission as soon as may be practicable.
(b) To fulfill its responsibilities under this article, the Commission may subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and testimony, administer oaths and affirmations, take evidence and require by subpoena the production of any books, papers, records, or other items material to the performance of the Commission's duties or the exercise of its powers. The Commission may also propose and adopt procedural rules to carry out the purposes and provisions of this article and to govern procedures of the Commission.
§3-12-18. Criminal penalties.
(a) A participating candidate who, either personally or through his or her committee, knowingly accepts contributions or benefits in excess of those allowed under this article, spends or obligates funds in excess of the public campaign financing funding to which they are entitled, or uses such benefits or funding for a purpose other than those permitted under this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for up to thirty days, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b) A participating candidate who, either personally or through his or her committee or financial agent, provides false information to or conceals or withholds information from the Commission is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for up to one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
§3-12-19. Civil penalties.
(a) If a participating candidate or his or her committee or financial agent unintentionally accepts contributions from a private source in violation of the provisions of this article or spends or obligates to spend more than the amount of public financing money he or she is eligible to receive from the fund pursuant to section twelve of this article, the Commission may order the candidate to pay to the Commission an amount equal to the amount of the private contribution or excess expenditure or obligation.
(b) If a participating candidate or his or her committee or financial agent intentionally accepts contributions from a private source in violation of this article or spends or obligates more than the amount of public campaign financing he or she is eligible to receive from the fund, the Commission shall order the candidate to pay to the Commission an amount equal to ten times the amount of the private contribution accepted or of the excess spent or obligated. The candidate shall pay the civil penalty authorized under this subsection within seven days of receipt of written notice from the Commission of the imposition of the penalty.
(c) If a participating candidate fails to pay any moneys required to be paid to the Commission or returned to the fund under this article, the Commission may order the candidate to pay an amount equal to three times the amount that should have been paid to the Commission or returned to the fund.
(d) In addition to any other penalties imposed by law, the Commission may impose a civil penalty for a violation by or on behalf of any candidate of any reporting requirement imposed by this article in the amount of one hundred dollars per day. The penalty shall be doubled if the amount not reported for a specific election exceeds ten percent of the amount of public financing available to a candidate in a primary or general election pursuant to sections eleven and fourteen of this article.
(e) All penalties collected by the Commission pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the fund. The candidate and the candidate's campaign account are jointly and severally responsible for the payment of any penalty imposed pursuant to this section.
§3-12-20. West Virginia Citizens' Publicly Financed Elections Commission.
(a) There is established a Commission, to be known as the West Virginia Citizens' Publicly Financed Elections Commission, to consist of seven members. The Governor shall appoint one person who is a member of the public, and the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Delegates shall each appoint one person, each of whom are members of the public. No more than two of the public members shall be members of the same political party. The Senate President shall appoint one member of the Senate, who shall be a member of the same political party as the Senate President. The Senate Minority Leader shall appoint one member of the Senate, who shall be a member of the same political party as the Senate Minority Leader. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall appoint one member of the House of Delegates, who shall be a member of the same political party as the Speaker. The Minority Leader of the House of Delegates shall appoint one member of the House of Delegates who shall be a member of the same political party as the House of Delegates Minority Leader. A vacancy in the membership of the WVCPFEC shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(b) The members of the WVCPFEC shall be appointed no later than the thirtieth day of January, two thousand six and shall hold their initial organizational meeting no later than the first day of March, two thousand six. The members shall elect one of the members to serve as chair and the chair may appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the WVCPFEC. The members of the WVCPFEC shall serve without compensation, but shall be eligible for reimbursement for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the WVCPFEC.
(c) The WVCPFEC shall meet at the call of the chair. The WVCPFEC shall elicit testimony from the public at such times and places as the chair shall designate and shall hold at least one public hearing following the two thousand six general election. A meeting of the WVCPFEC shall be called at the request of four of the WVCPFEC's members and four members of the WVCPFEC shall constitute a quorum at any meeting thereof.
(d) It shall be the duty of the WVCPFEC to:
(1) examine the experience, both positive and negative, of the West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project with respect to the two thousand six election;
(2) review and recommend criteria for selecting districts to
participate in the pilot project in two thousand eight and provide information to candidates in those districts seeking nomination for election;
(3) examine the feasibility of establishing the West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project as the public financing system for candidates for all state senate and delegate districts in this State; and
(4) consider such other matters relating to the issue of publicly financed elections and campaign finance as the members of the WVCPFEC may deem appropriate.
(e) The WVCPFEC shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the Commission, as it may require and as may be available for its purposes, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance.
(f) The WVCPFEC shall issue a final report to the Legislature on its findings and recommendations relative to the pilot project with respect to the two thousand six general election, including, but not limited to, any suggestions for changes in the project for the two thousand eight primary and general elections, no later than the ninetieth day following the day of the two thousand six general election and the final report may contain such legislation as prepared by the WVCPFEC and recommended thereby for enactment.
§3-12-21. Effective Date and Termination of Pilot Project.
The provisions of this article are effective the first day of July, two thousand five. The provisions of this article shall terminate on the first day of April, two thousand seven, unless sooner terminated, continued or reestablished.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a system for public funding of election campaigns for candidates who agree to and do abide by restrictions on campaign contributions from private sources and campaign spending.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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