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
(a) The financial statements provided
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.
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
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
(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
in jail for not more than one
year, or both, in the discretion of the court.
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
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
in any manner as
authorized by law for the collection
(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
(4) The Secretary of State and county clerk may review and
audit any sworn statement required to be filed pursuant to
this article. The State Election Commission shall
propose legislative rules for promulgation, in accordance with
chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to establish
procedures for the assessment of civil penalties as provided in
(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