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Introduced Version House Bill 2869 History

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hb2869 intr
H. B. 2869


(By Delegates Fleischauer, Staggers, Susman,
Caputo, Ferro, Michael, Brown, Hunt,
Miley, Barker and Moore)
[Introduced February 27, 2009; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]


A BILL to amend and reenact §3-8-5b and §3-8-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to lengthening the time frame for the filing of final post-primary and post-general campaign financial statements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-8-5b and §3-8-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. REGULATION AND CONTROL OF ELECTIONS.
§3-8-5b. Where financial statements shall be filed; filing date prescribed.

(a) The financial statements provided for in this article shall be filed, by or on behalf of candidates, with:
(1) The Secretary of State for legislative offices and for statewide and other offices to be nominated or elected by the voters of a political division greater than a county;
(2) The clerk of the county commission by candidates for offices to be nominated or elected by the voters of a single county or a political division within a single county; or
(3) The proper municipal officer by candidates for office to be nominated or elected to municipal office.
(b) The statements may be filed by mail, in person, or by facsimile or other electronic means of transmission. Provided, That However, the financial statements filed by or on behalf of candidates for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture and Supreme Court of Appeals shall be filed electronically by the means of an Internet program to be established by the Secretary of State.
(c) Committees required to report electronically may apply to the State Election Commission for an exemption from mandatory electronic filing in the case of hardship. An exemption may be granted at the discretion of the State Election Commission.
(d) For purposes of this article, the filing date of a financial statement shall, in the case of mailing, be the date of the postmark of the United States Postal Service, and in the case of hand delivery or delivery by facsimile or other electronic means of transmission, the date delivered to the office of the Secretary of State or to the office of the clerk of the county commission, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, during regular business hours of such office.
(e) The sworn financial statements required to be filed by this section with the Secretary of State shall be posted on the Internet by the Secretary of State within ten business days from the date the financial statement was filed.
(f) The applicable final post-primary and final post-general election financial statements under this article shall be filed, by or on behalf of candidates:
(1) Between June 15
and 30 immediately following the primary election.
(2) Between December 15 and 20 following the general election.

§3-8-7. Failure to file statement; delinquent or incomplete filing; criminal and civil penalties.

(a) Any person, candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee who fails to file a sworn, itemized statement required by this article within the time limitations specified in this article or who willfully files a grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 or imprisoned confined in jail for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court. Forty Sixty days after any primary or other election, the Secretary of State, or county clerk, or municipal recorder, as the case may be, shall give notice of any failure to file a sworn statement or the filing of any grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement by any person, candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee and forward copies of any grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement to the prosecuting attorney of the county where the person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer resides, is located or has its principal place of business.
(b) (1) Any person, candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee who fails to file a sworn, itemized statement as required in this article or who files a grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of State of $25 a day for each day after the due date the statement is delinquent, grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate. Forty Sixty days after any primary or other election, the county clerk shall give notice to the Secretary of State of any failure to file a sworn statement or the filing of any grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement by any person, candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee and forward copies of such delinquent, incomplete or inaccurate statements to the Secretary of State.
(2) A civil penalty assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be payable to the State of West Virginia and is collectable in any manner as authorized by law for the collection of debts.
(3) The Secretary of State may negotiate and enter into settlement agreements for the payment of civil penalties assessed as a result of the filing of a delinquent, grossly incomplete or inaccurate statement.
(4) The Secretary of State and county clerk may review and audit any sworn statement required to be filed pursuant to the provisions of this article. The State Election Commission shall propose legislative rules for promulgation, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to establish procedures for the assessment of civil penalties as provided in this section.
(c) No candidate nominated at a primary election who has failed to file a sworn statement, as required by the provisions of this article, shall have his or her name placed on the official ballot for the ensuing election, unless there has been filed by or on behalf of such candidate, or by his or her financial agent, if any, the financial statement relating to nominations required by this article. It is unlawful to issue a commission or certificate of election, or to administer the oath of office, to any person elected to any public office who has failed to file a sworn statement as required by the provisions of this article and no person may enter upon the duties of his or her office until he or she has filed such statement, nor may he or she receive any salary or emolument for any period prior to the filing of such statement.



NOTE: This bill
shall lengthen the time frame for the filing of final campaign financial statements to between June 15 and 30 immediately following the primary election, and between December 15 and 20 immediately proceeding the general election.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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