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Introduced Version House Bill 2732 History

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H. B. 2732

 

         (By Delegates Doyle, Brown, Hatfield, Marshall,

               Ellem, Moore, Fleischauer and D. Poling)


         [Introduced January 21, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary.]

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §3-13-1, §3-13-2, §3-13-3, §3-13-4, §3-13-5, §3-13-6, §3-13-7, §3-13-8, §3-13-9, §3-13-10, §3-13-11, §3-13-12, §3-13-13, §3-13-14, §3-13-15, §3-13-16, §3-13-17, §3-13-18 and §3-13-19, all relating to creating the West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Act; providing alterative campaign financing option for candidates for the State Senate and House of Delegates through public funds; setting forth short title and certain legislative findings and declarations; defining terms; specifying that the provisions of the act are applicable to candidates for the offices of State Senate and House of Delegates beginning in 2010; establishing a Public Campaign Financing Fund and sources of revenue for the fund; requiring an additional penalty assessment be imposed against violators of administrative orders, rules of state governmental agencies, boards and commissions; requiring an applicant for public campaign funding to complete a declaration of intent and setting forth the manner in which an 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 candidates to provide detailed receipts to contributors and to the State Election Commission for seed money and 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 for distribution of funds from the Public Campaign Financing Fund to qualified candidates for funding election campaigns; specifying the amount of funds available for each candidate and when the 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; permitting qualified candidates to raise funds from private sources when there is insufficient money in the Public Campaign Financing Fund to make a complete distribution to all qualified candidates; requiring certain disclosures; 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 initial funding available and for independent expenditures on behalf of a nonparticipating or certified opponent; 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; and setting forth an effective date.

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 §3-13-1, §3-13-2, §3-13-3, §3-13-4, §3-13-5, §3-13-6, §3-13-7, §3-13-8, §3-13-9, §3-13-10, §3-13-11, §3-13-12, §3-13-13, §3-13-14, §3-13-15, §3-13-16, §3-13-17, §3-13-18 and §3-13-19, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING ACT.

§3-13-1. Short title.

    This article shall be known as the "West Virginia Public Campaign Financing Act".

§3-13-2. Legislative findings and declarations.

    The Legislature hereby finds and declares that current election finance laws:

    (a) May allow individuals and committees who contribute large amounts of money to have an undue influence on the political process;

    (b) May diminish the free speech rights of those candidates and voters who are not wealthy because the political process is influenced by individuals and committees who can afford to spend large amounts of money on political communications;

    (c) May erode public confidence in the democratic process and democratic institutions, leaving much of the electorate questioning whether their elected officials are accountable mostly to the major contributors who finance their campaigns;

    (d) May allow elected officials to accept large campaign contributions from private interests when they may have statutory or regulatory power over those interests.

    In contrast, the creation of a public campaign financing system provides qualified candidates for the offices of State Senate and House of Delegates with resources with which to communicate with voters, reverses the escalating cost of elections and frees those candidates from the chore of raising money, thus allowing them more time to conduct their official duties and communicate with their constituents and the creation of a public campaign financing system should improve the integrity of elections in this state by diminishing the influence of special interest contributions, encouraging more citizens to participate in the political process; remove funding as a source of campaign attention and candidate attack; promote freedom of speech and direct the focus of political campaigns to issues of substance.

§3-13-3. Definitions.

    As used in this article, the following terms and phrases have the following meanings:

    (1) “Certified candidate” means an individual seeking nomination or election to the West Virginia State Senate or the House of Delegates who has been certified in accordance with section eleven of this article as having met all the requirements for receiving public campaign financing from the fund.

    (2) “Clearly identified” means that the name, nickname, photograph, drawing or other depiction of the candidate appears or

the identity of the candidate is apparent by an unambiguous reference including, for instance, “your Senator” or “the incumbent”, or through an unambiguous reference to his or her status as a candidate including, for instance, “the Democratic candidate for State Senate” or “the Republican candidate for the House of Delegates.”

    (3) "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.

    (4) “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 certified candidate for the same office in excess of the public campaign funds available to the certified candidate under section twelve of this article.

    (5) “Financial agent” means any person acting for and by himself or herself, or any two or more natural persons acting together or cooperating in a financial way to aid or take part in the nomination or election of any political candidate for public office, or to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party at any election.

    (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 expenditure” means an expenditure or obligation made by a person other than a candidate or candidate’s committee in support of or opposition to the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates and without consultation or coordination with or at the request or suggestion of the candidate whose nomination or election the expenditure supports or opposes or the candidate’s agent. Supporting or opposing the nomination or election of a clearly identified candidate includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. An expenditure which does not meet the criteria for an independent expenditure established in this subsection is considered a contribution.

    (9) ”Membership organization” means a group that grants bona fide rights and privileges, including the right to vote, to elect officers or directors, and the ability to hold office, to its members, and which uses a majority of its membership dues for purposes other than political purposes. “Membership organization” does not include organizations that grant membership upon receiving a contribution.

    (10) “Nonparticipating candidate” means a candidate who is:

    (A) Seeking election to the State Senate or House of Delegates;

    (B) Is neither certified nor attempting to be certified to receive public campaign financing from the fund; and

    (C) Has an opponent who is a participating or certified candidate.

    (11) “Participating candidate” means a candidate seeking election to the State Senate or House of Delegates and who is attempting to be certified in accordance with section eleven of this article to receive public campaign financing from the fund.

    (12) ”Person” means an individual, partnership, committee, association, and any other organization or group of individuals.

    (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 source other than the fund 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 a particular candidate.

    (15) “Qualifying contribution” means a contribution of $5 in the form of a check or money order, made payable to a participating 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 participating candidate is seeking office;

    (B) Acknowledged by a written receipt; and

    (C) Gathered by the participating 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 participating candidates are permitted to collect qualifying contributions in order to qualify to receive public campaign financing.

    (A) For candidates seeking nomination on the primary election ballot, the qualifying period begins on November 1, preceding the election year and ends on March 1, of the election year.

    (B) For candidates, other than those nominated during the primary election, seeking to be placed on the general election ballot, the qualifying period begins on June 1 of the election year and ends on October 1 of the election year.

    (17) “Seed money contribution” means a contribution of no more than $100 made by an individual adult, including a participating candidate and members of his or her immediate family, during the seed money period.

    (18) “Seed money period” means the period during which a participating candidate is permitted to raise and spend seed money contributions 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 office.

§3-13-4. Alternative campaign financing option.

    This article establishes an alternative public financing option available to candidates for election to the offices of State Senate and House of Delegates. The provisions of this article are applicable to candidates for State Senate and candidates for the House of Delegates from single member districts beginning with the primary and general elections to be held in the year 2012. The provisions of this article are applicable to candidates for the House of Delegates from all other districts beginning with the primary and general elections to be held in the year 2014. Candidates electing the alternative campaign financing option must comply with all other applicable election and campaign laws and regulations.

§3-13-5. 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 dual purposes of providing public financing for the election campaigns of certified candidates under the provisions of this article and of paying the administrative and enforcement costs of the State Election 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 State Election Commission. Expenditures may be made from the fund only for the purposes set forth in this article.

§3-13-6. Sources of revenue for the fund.

    Revenue from the following sources shall be deposited in the fund:

    (a) All qualifying contributions collected by participating candidates or their committees.

    (b) Unspent or unobligated seed money contributions.

    (c) Money returned by participating candidates who fail to comply with the provisions of this article.

    (d) 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.

    (e) Civil penalties levied by the State Election Commission against candidates for violations of this article.

    (f) Voluntary donations made directly to the fund.

    (g) Interest income.

    (h) Revenue from a tax checkoff program, to be developed by the Tax Commissioner, allowing a resident of the state to designate on his or her income tax return up to $3 of taxes for deposit into the fund. If a husband and wife file a joint return, each spouse may designate up to $3 for deposit into the fund. All amounts so designated shall be appropriated from the General Fund and credited to the Public Campaign Financing Fund.
    (i) Surcharges imposed on administrative, civil or criminal fines and criminal penalties pursuant to section seven of this article.

    (j) Money appropriated to the fund.

§3-13-7. Additional penalty assessment imposed against violators of administrative orders, rules of state governmental agencies, boards and commissions.

    On and after July 1, 2011, in addition to all other criminal or administrative fines or penalties which may be imposed by law, there is hereby imposed an additional penalty assessment levied and collected in an amount equal to ten percent of every administrative or criminal fine or penalty which has been assessed against any person, partnership, corporation or limited liability company for the violation of any rule, regulation or order promulgated by any state board, agency or commission, or for any violation of any state law that is enforced by any state board, agency or commission whenever the total amount of the collective criminal or administrative fines or penalties assessed equal or exceed $1,000. The additional penalties and assessments imposed in accordance with this section shall be collected by the state board, agency or commission and forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit into the Public Campaign Financing Fund.

§3-13-8. Declaration of intent.

    A candidate desiring to receive campaign financing from the fund must first file a declaration of intent to seek certification as a participating candidate for State Senate or House of Delegates before the end of the qualifying period and prior to collecting any qualifying contributions. The declaration shall be on a form prescribed by the State Election Commission and shall contain a statement that the candidate is qualified to be placed on the ballot, and, if elected, to hold the office sought and has complied with and will continue to comply with all requirements of this article, including contribution and expenditure restrictions. Contributions made prior to the filing of the declaration of intent are not qualifying contributions.

§3-13-9. Seed money.

    (a) A participating candidate or his or her committee may not accept seed money in contributions exceeding, in the aggregate:

    (1) Five thousand dollars for a candidate for State Senate; and

    (2) Two 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 $25 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 $25 shall contain, at a minimum, 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) Upon certification or at the end of the seed money period, whichever comes first, a participating or certified candidate or his or her committee shall forward all unspent or unobligated seed money to the State Election Commission for deposit in the fund.

§3-13-10. Qualifying contributions.

    (a) No participating candidate 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 participating 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 participating 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 participating candidate has not been reimbursed or received anything of value for the services.

    (4) 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 State Election 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 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 (eighth and seventeenth districts) – 400;

    (2) For State Senate (all other districts) – 250;

    (3) For House of Delegates (seven-member district) – 250;

    (4) For House of Delegates (six-member district) – 225;

    (5) For House of Delegates (five-member district) – 200;

    (6) For House of Delegates (four-member district) – 175;

    (7) For House of Delegates (three-member district) – 150;

    (8) For House of Delegates (two-member district) – 125; and

    (9) For House of Delegates (one-member district) –100.

    (d) 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. A participating candidate may not use any other personal funds to satisfy the qualifying contributions requirements.

    (e) A participating 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 no later than forty-eight hours after the close of the qualifying period.

§3-13-11. Certification of candidates.

    (a) In order to be certified, a participating candidate shall apply to the State Election Commission for public campaign financing from the fund 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 participating candidate has received the required number of qualifying contributions, the State Election Commission shall determine whether the candidate:

    (1) Has signed and filed a declaration of intent as required by section eight of this article;

    (2) Has obtained, either personally or through his or her committee, the required number of qualifying contributions as required by section ten of this article;

    (3) Has not accepted other contributions, except for seed money contributions, and otherwise complied with the contribution restrictions of this article;

    (4) Is eligible to appear on the primary or general election ballot; and

    (5) Has met all other requirements of this article.

    (c) A candidate who, personally or through his or her committee, has accepted contributions or expended funds from private donations with regard to the elections to be held in 2012 and 2014 may nevertheless be certified under this article if the candidate or his or her committee returns to the contributor, submits to the State Election Commission for deposit into the fund or donates to charity funds accepted but not expended or obligated before the effective date of this article.

    (d) The State Election Commission shall process applications in the order they are received and shall verify a participating candidate’s compliance with the requirements of subsection (b) by the verification and sampling techniques approved by the State Election Commission.

    (e) The State Election Commission shall determine a participating candidate’s eligibility to receive public campaign financing 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 (h) of this section, 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 through the general election campaign period.

    (f) If the State Election Commission determines that a participating candidate is eligible to receive public campaign financing under the provisions of subsection (b), the State Election Commission shall within forty-eight hours 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 under section twelve of this article and shall notify all other candidates for the same office of its determination.

    (g) 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.

    (h) Any person may challenge the validity of any contribution listed by a participating candidate by filing a written challenge with the State Election Commission setting forth any reason why the contribution should not be accepted as a qualifying contribution. Within five business days of a challenge, the candidate who listed any contribution that is the subject of a challenge may file with the State Election Commission an additional contribution collected pursuant to section ten of this article for consideration as a qualifying contribution. If a contribution is challenged under this subsection, the State Election 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 State Election Commission determines that the candidate whose contribution is challenged has sufficient qualifying contributions to be certified as a candidate under this section without considering the challenge.

    (i) A candidate’s right to receive public campaign financing may be revoked by the State Election Commission if the candidate violates any of the provisions of this article. A certified candidate who has been found to have violated the provisions of this article shall repay all moneys received from the fund to the State Election Commission.

    (j) The determination of any issue before the State Election Commission is the final administrative determination. Any person adversely affected by a decision of the State Election Commission under the provisions of this article may appeal that decision to the circuit court of Kanawha County.

    (k) A candidate may withdraw from being a certified candidate and become a nonparticipating candidate at anytime with the approval of the State Election Commission. Any candidate seeking to withdraw shall file a written request with the State Election Commission, which shall consider requests on a case by case basis. No certified candidate may be permitted to withdraw until he or she has repaid all moneys received from the fund: Provided, That the State Election Commission may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the repayment requirement. The State Election Commission may assess a penalty against any candidate who withdraws without approval.

§3-13-12. Schedule and amount of Public Campaign Financing Fund payments.

    (a) The State Election Commission shall make public campaign financing funds for the primary election campaign period available to a certified candidate within forty-eight hours after the date on which the candidate is certified.

    (1) In a contested primary election, a certified candidate may receive initial campaign financing from the fund as follows:

    (A) State Senate (eighth and seventeenth districts) – $35,000;

    (B) For State Senate (all other districts) – $20,000;

    (C) For House of Delegates (seven-member district) – $22,500;

    (D) For House of Delegates (six-member district) – $20,000;

    (E) For House of Delegates (five-member district) – $17,500;

    (F) For House of Delegates (four-member district) – $15,000;

    (G) For House of Delegates (three-member district) – $12,500;

    (H) For House of Delegates (two-member district) – $10,000; and

    (I) House of Delegates (one-member district) - $7,500.

    (2) In an uncontested primary election, a certified candidate may receive campaign financing from the fund equal to twenty-five percent of the amount available in a contested primary election for the same office.

    (b) The State Election Commission shall make public campaign financing funds for the general election campaign period available to a certified candidate within forty-eight hours after the primary election results are certified by the Secretary of State.

    (1) In a contested general election, a certified candidate may receive from the fund the same amount of campaign financing available for a contested primary election under subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section.

    (2) In an uncontested general election, a certified candidate may receive from the fund campaign financing equal to ten percent of the amount available in a contested general election for the same office.

    (c) The State Election 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.

§3-13-13. Restrictions on contributions and expenditures.

    (a) A certified 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 certified candidate may spend or obligate only the funds he or she receives from the fund under the provisions of section twelve or section fifteen of this article.

    (c) A participating or certified 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 certified candidate from the fund may be expended only during the campaign period for which funds were dispersed. Money from the fund 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) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, if at anytime during an election period, the State Election Commission determines that the revenues in the fund are insufficient to complete the distribution of funds required under this article, the State Election Commission may permit a certified candidate or his or her committee to accept and expend contributions, aggregating no more than $1,000 per contributor, from private sources up to the amount that would have been distributed to the candidate under section twelve or fifteen of this article had there been adequate money in the fund. The State Election Commission shall propose rules for legislative approval as provided by the provisions of section sixteen of this article to provide a fair procedure for the equitable distribution of those moneys that are in the fund and available for distribution among the certified candidates at the time the revenues in the fund are insufficient for complete distribution of funds as anticipated under the provisions of this article.

    (e) A certified 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 primary or 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.

    (f) A contribution from one person may not be made in the name of another person.

    (g) A participating or certified 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 State Election Commission for the entire amount of that contribution and any applicable penalties.

    (h) A certified 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.

    (i) A participating or certified candidate or his or her financial agent shall provide the State Election 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 State Election Commission.

§3-13-14. Reporting requirements.

    (a) No later than forty-eight hours after the close of the qualifying period, a participating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the State Election Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of:

    (1) 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.

    (2) All qualifying contributions received during the qualifying period, together with copies of all receipts for qualifying contributions.

    (b) Within five days after the primary election and within five days of the general election a certified candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the State Election Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of all funds received and funds expended or obligated prior to the election.

    (c) In addition to the financial statements required to be filed by a candidate for public office pursuant to section five, article eight of this chapter, a nonparticipating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the State Election Commission on approved forms an itemized summary of his or her campaign expenditure or obligations, according to the following provisions and guidelines:

    (1) On the first Saturday in March or within six days thereafter listing the nonparticipating candidates expenditures and obligations prior to March 1, if, the nonparticipating candidate’s campaign expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate for the same office under section twelve of this article.

    (2) Beginning on April 1, listing any additional excess expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, that exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified participating candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article which have taken place subsequent to those reported on the financial statement required to be filed by a candidate for public office pursuant to subdivision (1), subsection (b), section five, article eight of this chapter. Thereafter, any additional excess expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, that exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article made prior to the tenth day before the primary election shall be reported to the State Election Commission within forty-eight hours.

    (3) On the first Saturday in July or within six days thereafter listing the nonparticipating candidates expenditures and obligations prior to July 1, subsequent to the primary election, if, the nonparticipating candidate's expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article.

    (4) Beginning on the first Saturday in October, listing any additional excess expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, that exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article which have taken place subsequent to those reported on the financial statement required to be filed by a candidate for public office pursuant to subdivision (4), subsection (b), section five, article eight of this chapter. Thereafter, any additional excess expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, that exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article made prior to the tenth day before the general election shall be reported to the State Election Commission within forty-eight hours.

    (5) During the last ten days before the primary or general election, the nonparticipating candidate or his or her financial agent shall report to the State Election Commission within twenty-four hours thereof every additional excess campaign expenditure or obligation, in the aggregate, that exceeds by twenty percent the initial funding available to any certified candidate running for the same office under section twelve of this article.

    (d) Any person, organization or entity making independent expenditures advocating the election or defeat of a certified candidate or the nomination or election of any candidate who is opposed by a certified candidate in excess of $1,000 in the aggregate shall report these expenditures to the S Comment tate Election Commission on approved forms within forty-eight hours of the expenditure. The reporting form 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.

    (e) During the last ten days before the primary or general election any person, organization or entity making independent expenditures advocating the election or defeat of any candidate, including the election or defeat of a certified candidate or the nomination or election of any candidate who is opposed by a certified candidate, shall continue to file reports as required pursuant to subsection (b), section two, article eight of this chapter.
§3-13-15. Matching funds.
    (a) If the State Election Commission determines from reports filed by a nonparticipating candidate pursuant to section five, article eight of this chapter or pursuant to subsection (c), section fourteen of this article that a nonparticipating candidate's campaign excess expenditures or obligations, in the aggregate, have exceeded by twenty percent the initial funding available under section twelve of this article to any certified candidate running for the same office, the State Election Commission shall immediately release additional campaign financing funds to any opposing certified candidate for the same office equal to the amount of the excess expenditures.

    (b) If the State Election Commission determines from reports filed pursuant to subsection (d), section fourteen of this article or pursuant to subsection (b), section two, article eight of this chapter that independent expenditures on behalf of a nonparticipating candidate, either alone or in combination with the nonparticipating candidate's campaign expenditures or obligations, have exceeded by twenty percent the initial funding available under section twelve of this article to any certified candidate running for the same office, the State Election Commission shall immediately release additional campaign financing funds to any certified candidate who is an opponent for the same office equal to the amount of the excess expenditures.

    (c) If the State Election Commission determines from reports filed pursuant to subsection (d), section fourteen of this article or pursuant to subsection (b), section two, article eight of this chapter that independent expenditures on behalf of a certified candidate, in combination with the certified candidate's campaign expenditures or obligations, exceed by twenty percent the initial funding available under section twelve of this article to any certified candidate running for the same office, the State Election Commission shall immediately release additional campaign financing funds to any other certified candidate who is an opponent for the same office equal to the amount of the excess expenditures.

    (d) Matching funds paid out to a certified candidate under this section are limited to two times the initial amount of public campaign financing available to a certified candidate for the same office pursuant to section twelve of this article.

§3-13-16. Duties of the State Election Commission.

    (a) In addition to its other duties, the State Election 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 an annual report to the Legislature accounting for moneys in the fund, describing the State Election Commission's activities, and listing any recommendations for changes of law, administration or funding amounts;

    (5) Propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary for the proper administration of the provisions of this article;

    (6) Enforce the provisions of this article to ensure that moneys from the fund are placed in candidate campaign accounts and spent as specified in this article;

    (7) Monitor reports filed pursuant to this article and the financial records of candidates to ensure that qualified candidates receive matching funds promptly and to ensure that moneys required by this article to be paid to the fund are deposited in the fund.

    (8) Cause an audit of the fund to be conducted by independent certified public accountants ninety days after a general election. The State Election 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.

    (9) Ensure public access to the campaign finance reports required pursuant to this article, and whenever possible, use electronic means for the reporting, storing and display of the information; and

    (10) Prepare a voters' guide for the general public listing the names of each candidate of each candidate seeking elected office. Both certified and nonparticipating candidates shall be invited by the State Election Commission to submit a statement, not to exceed five hundred words in length for inclusion in the guide. The guide shall identify the candidates that are certified candidates and the candidates that are nonparticipating candidates. Copies of the guide shall be posted on the website of the Secretary of State as soon as may be practical.

    (b) To fulfill its responsibilities under this article, the State Election 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 State Election Commission's duties or the exercise of its powers. The State Election Commission may also propose and adopt procedural rules to carry out the purposes and provisions of this article and to govern procedures of the State Election Commission.

§3-13-17. Criminal penalties.

    (a) A participating or certified 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 the 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 $50 nor more than $500, or confined in jail for up to thirty days, or both fined and confined.

    (b) A participating or certified candidate who, either personally or through his or her committee or financial agent, provides false information to or conceals or withholds information from the State Election Commission is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or confined in jail for up to one year, or both fined and confined.

§3-13-18. Civil penalties.

    (a) If a participating or certified 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 or fifteen of this article, the State Election Commission may order the candidate to pay to the State Election Commission an amount equal to the amount of the private contribution or excess expenditure or obligation.

    (b) If a participating or certified 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 State Election Commission shall order the candidate to pay to the State Election Commission an amount equal to ten times the amount of the private contribution or excess expenditure or obligation. The candidate shall pay the civil penalty authorized under this subsection within seven days of receipt of written notice from the State Election Commission of the imposition of the penalty.

    (c) If a participating or certified candidate fails to pay any moneys required to be paid to the State Election Commission or returned to the fund under this article, the State Election Commission may order the candidate to pay an amount equal to three times the amount that should have been paid to the State Election Commission or returned to the fund.

    (d) In addition to any other penalties imposed by law, the State Election 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 $100 per day. The penalty shall be doubled if the amount not reported for a specific election exceeds ten percent of the initial amount of public financing available to a certified candidate in a primary or general election pursuant to section twelve of this article.

    (e) All penalties collected by the State Election 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.

§3-13-19. Effective date.

    The provisions of this article are effective July 1, 2011.

 

 

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

 

    This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.

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