Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 499, As Amended – Student fees/political use prohibit
HOUSE BILL NO. 499, As Amended
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H0499aa....................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
STUDENT FEES - POLITICAL USE - Amends and adds to existing law to prohibit
any person, governmental entity or state university or state college that
assesses mandatory student fees from expending public funds to influence
the general public on a matter appearing on an election ballot and to
provide legislative intent.
01/23 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/26 Rpt prt - to St Aff
02/19 Rpt out - to Gen Ord
02/23 Rpt out amen - to engros
02/24 Rpt engros - 1st rdg - to 2nd rdg as amen
02/25 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg as amen
02/27 3rd rdg as amen - PASSED - 46-16-8
AYES -- Alltus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bell, Black(23), Bruneel,
Callister, Clark, Crane, Crow, Denney, Ellsworth, Field(13),
Field(20), Gagner, Geddes, Gould, Hadley, Henbest, Hornbeck,
Jones(9), Jones(22), Jones(20), Kempton, Kendell, Kjellander, Kunz,
Lake, Linford, Loertscher, Mader, McKague, Newcomb, Pischner,
Pomeroy, Reynolds, Richman, Sali, Schaefer, Stoicheff, Stubbs,
Tilman, Tippets, Wheeler, Wood, Zimmermann
NAYS -- Bieter, Bivens, Boe, Chase, Cuddy, Hansen, Jaquet, Judd,
Marley, Miller, Ridinger, Robison, Stevenson, Stone, Trail, Watson
Absent and excused -- Black(15), Campbell, Deal, Kellogg, Meyer,
Mortensen, Taylor, Mr Speaker
Floor Sponsors - Altus, Sali
Title apvd - to Senate
03/02 Senate intro - 1st rdg as amen - to St Aff
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session - 1998
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 499, As Amended
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6602, IDAHO CODE,
3 TO ADD DEFINITIONS AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING CHAPTER
4 66, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-6605, IDAHO
5 CODE, TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, TO PROHIBIT ANY PERSON, GOVERNMEN-
6 TAL ENTITY OR STATE UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE THAT ASSESSES MANDATORY STUDENT
7 FEES FROM EXPENDING PUBLIC FUNDS TO INFLUENCE THE GENERAL PUBLIC ON A MAT-
8 TER APPEARING ON AN ELECTION BALLOT, TO AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC
9 FUNDS FOR EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC ON A MATTER APPEARING ON AN ELECTION
10 BALLOT AFTER A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE EXPENDITURE IS MADE, TO REQUIRE THAT
11 ANY ASSOCIATION OR ENTITY RECEIVING PUBLIC FUNDS FOR DUES OR MEMBERSHIP
12 REFUND AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF DUES OR MEMBERSHIP EXPENDED FOR A
13 COMMUNICATION INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE GENERAL PUBLIC, TO PROVIDE FOR
14 PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR THE IMPROPER EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, TO PRO-
15 VIDE FOR PROSECUTION OF VIOLATIONS AND FOR AN INJUNCTION, TO PROVIDE
16 EXEMPTIONS AND TO PROVIDE FOR REPORTING OF EXPENDITURES; AND TO PROVIDE A
17 STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
19 SECTION 1. That Section 67-6602, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
20 amended to read as follows:
21 67-6602. DEFINITIONS. As used in this act, the following terms have the
22 following meanings:
23 (a) "Candidate" means an individual who has taken affirmative action to
24 seek nomination or election to public office. An individual shall be deemed to
25 have taken affirmative action to seek such nomination or election to public
26 office when he first:
27 (1) Receives contributions or makes expenditures or reserves space or
28 facilities with intent to promote his candidacy for office; or
29 (2) Announces publicly or files for office.
30 (b) "Compensation" includes any advance, conveyance, forgiveness of
31 indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge or transfer
32 of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise or other
33 obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to do any of the foregoing,
34 for services rendered or to be rendered, but does not include reimbursement of
35 expenses if such reimbursement does not exceed the amount actually expended
36 for such expenses and is substantiated by an itemization of such expenses.
37 (c) "Contribution" includes any advance, conveyance, forgiveness of
38 indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge, subscription
39 or transfer of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, prom-
40 ise or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contri-
41 bution, in support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee
42 or measure. Such term also includes personal funds or other property of a can-
43 didate or members of his household expended or transferred to cover expendi-
1 tures incurred in support of such candidate but does not include personal
2 funds used to pay the candidate filing fee. Such term also includes the ren-
3 dering of personal and professional services for less than full consideration,
4 but does not include ordinary home hospitality or the rendering of "part-time"
5 personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer campaign workers
6 or advisors or incidental expenses not in excess of twenty-five dollars
7 ($25.00) personally paid for by any volunteer campaign worker. "Part-time"
8 services for the purposes of this definition, means services in addition to
9 regular full-time employment, or, in the case of an unemployed person or per-
10 sons engaged in part-time employment, services rendered without compensation
11 or reimbursement of expenses from any source other than the candidate or
12 political committee for whom such services are rendered. For the purposes of
13 this act, contributions, other than money or its equivalents shall be deemed
14 to have a money value equivalent to the fair market value of the contribution.
15 (d) "Education" means actions or statements which, when taken as a
16 whole, are not argumentative and do not explicitly or implicitly contend for a
17 specific result in a matter, but which fairly provide only factual informa-
18 tion, contain a balanced presentation of the competing positions at issue and,
19 when taken as a whole, are neutral.
20 (e) "Election" means any general, special or primary election.
21 (f) "Election ballot" means any ballot submitted for vote by the
22 public at any primary, general, special or other election, whether submitted
23 statewide or at a county, district or other level.
24 ( e g ) "Election campaign" means any campaign in
25 support of or in opposition to a candidate for election to public office and
26 any campaign in support of, or in opposition to, a measure.
27 ( f h ) "Expenditure" includes any payment, con-
28 tribution, subscription, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of
29 money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise, or agreement,
30 whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure. The term
31 "expenditure" also includes a promise to pay, a payment or a transfer of any-
32 thing of value in exchange for goods, services, property, facilities or any-
33 thing of value for the purpose of assisting, benefiting or honoring any public
34 official or candidate, or assisting in furthering or opposing any election
36 ( g i ) "Independent expenditure" means any expen-
37 diture by a person for a communication expressly advocating the election, pas-
38 sage or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or measure that is not made
39 with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or
40 at the consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request of a suggestion
41 of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate or
42 political committee supporting or opposing a measure. As used in this subsec-
43 tion, "expressly advocating" means any communication containing a message
44 advocating election, passage or defeat including, but not limited to, the name
45 of the candidate or measure, or expression such as "vote for," "elect,"
46 "support," "cast your ballot for," "vote against," "defeat" or "reject."
47 (j) "Influence" means any statements or actions which are persua-
48 sive in nature and seek a specific result in a matter and which are intended
49 to or will likely influence those voting on the matter addressed. Influence
50 does not include the release of a brief factual statement of a public entity's
51 position on a matter appearing on an election ballot, when such release is
52 made to either the news media or to any individual upon a request by that
54 ( h k ) "Lobby" and "lobbying" each means attempt-
55 ing through contacts with, or causing others to make contact with, members of
1 the legislature or legislative committees, to influence the approval, modifi-
2 cation or rejection of any legislation by the legislature of the state of
3 Idaho or any committee thereof.
4 ( i l ) "Lobbyist" includes any person who lob-
6 ( j m ) "Lobbyist's employer" means the person or
7 persons by whom a lobbyist is employed, directly or indirectly, and all per-
8 sons by whom he is compensated for acting as a lobbyist.
9 ( k n ) "Measure" means any proposal, to be voted
10 statewide, submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at an elec-
11 tion, including any initiative, referendum or revision of or amendment to the
12 state constitution. An initiative or referendum proposal shall be deemed a
13 measure when the attorney general reviews it and gives it a ballot title.
14 ( l o ) "Nonbusiness entity" means any group (of
15 two (2) or more individuals), corporation, association, firm, partnership,
16 committee, club or other organization which:
17 (1) Does not have as its principal purpose the conduct of business activ-
18 ities for profit; and
19 (2) Received during the preceding calendar year contributions, gifts or
20 membership fees, which in the aggregate exceeded ten per cent
21 percent (10%) of its total receipts for such year.
22 ( m p ) "Person" means an individual, corporation,
23 association, firm, partnership, committee, political party, club or other
24 organization or group of persons.
25 ( n q ) "Political committee" means:
26 (1) Any person specifically designated to support or oppose any candidate
27 or measure; or
28 (2) Any person who receives contributions and makes expenditures in an
29 amount exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) in any calendar year for the
30 purpose of supporting or opposing one (1) or more candidates or measures.
31 Any entity registered with the federal election commission shall not be
32 considered a political committee for purposes of this chapter.
33 ( o r ) "Political treasurer" means an individual
34 appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in section
35 67-6603, Idaho Code.
36 (s) "Public funds" means any money or benefit derived from consump-
37 tive use of personal property, which, irrespective of its source, is in the
38 hands of or belongs to any entity of government or any departments or subdivi-
39 sions thereof. It includes mandated student fees.
40 ( p t ) "Public office" means any state office or
41 position, including state senator, state representative, and judge of the dis-
42 trict court that is filled by election.
43 SECTION 2. That Chapter 66, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
44 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION , to be
45 known and designated as Section 67-6605, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
46 67-6605. EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. (1) The legislature finds that the
47 use of public funds to influence members of the general public on matters
48 appearing on an election ballot is not a proper public purpose for such funds
49 and must be forbidden. The legislature also finds that, particularly at col-
50 leges and universities, the use of public funds to educate the public regard-
51 ing matters appearing on an election ballot, if done in a fair, neutral and
52 balanced manner, may be a proper public purpose for such funds. The legisla-
53 ture further finds that associations, boards or other entities must be
1 required to refund the amount of public money received for dues and member-
2 ships which is expended to influence the general public regarding matters
3 appearing on an election ballot. The purpose of this section is to establish
4 when the use of public funds for political purposes is proper and provide for
5 penalties, punishment and enforcement whenever public funds are used in any
6 manner not designated herein.
7 (2) No person, governmental entity, or state university or state college
8 that assesses mandatory student fees may expend or authorize the expenditure
9 of public funds to influence members of the general public on a matter appear-
10 ing on an election ballot.
11 (3) A governmental entity, state university or state college may autho-
12 rize the use of public funds for education of the public on a matter appearing
13 on an election ballot only after a written record of the expenditure is made
14 which includes the amount, the name of the person or entity receiving the
15 expenditure and the name of the person authorizing or making such expenditure.
16 Such record shall be retained by the governmental entity, state university or
17 state college and shall be available to the public pursuant to chapter 3,
18 title 9, Idaho Code.
19 (4) Any association or other entity receiving public funds for dues or
20 membership and which expends funds to influence the general public about a
21 matter appearing on an election ballot shall publicly disclose a statement of
22 its revenue and expenses sufficient to disclose the expenditure of any public
23 funds for such influence. Any such association or other entity making such
24 expenditure of public funds to so influence the general public shall refund an
25 amount equal to the amount of dues or membership fees received by the associa-
26 tion or entity in the year in which such expenditure was made.
27 (5) In addition to the penalties provided in section 67-6625, Idaho Code,
28 any person violating the provisions of this section shall be personally liable
29 for repayment of all public funds which that person improperly expended or
30 authorized for expenditure, plus fifty dollars ($50.00).
31 (6) Any citizen of this state may prosecute violations of this section
32 and, in all cases where violation of this section is alleged and an injunction
33 is sought pursuant to section 67-6626, Idaho Code, an expedited hearing shall
34 be afforded. Expenditure of public funds in violation of the provisions of
35 this section shall create a rebuttable presumption of irreparable harm. Costs
36 of litigation in cases prosecuted by citizens shall be awarded pursuant to
37 section 67-6626, Idaho Code.
38 (7) Otherwise proper expenditures of public funds by elected officials in
39 the exercise of the duties of such office and expenditure of public funds as
40 specifically authorized by statute or other law are exempt from the applica-
41 tion of this section.
42 (8) Legitimate news organizations operating at the state's universities
43 and colleges are exempt from the provisions of this section when these news
44 organizations are providing bona fide news coverage.
45 (9) Any person making an expenditure of public funds to influence those
46 eligible to vote on any election ballot, shall make a report regarding all
47 such expenditures at the times and in the manner set out in section 67-6607,
48 Idaho Code.
49 SECTION 3. It is legislative intent that, if an association at a college
50 or university expends public funds to sponsor an event intended for entertain-
51 ment, cultural enrichment, or academic lecture, and beyond the control and
52 knowledge of the association, the event is construed to present biased or
53 nonfactual information which may influence those in attendance on a matter
54 appearing on an election ballot, then in the interest of promoting the free
1 exchange of ideas at colleges and universities, the association and the col-
2 lege or university in question shall not be liable for alleged violations of
3 this section of code.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to codify Attorney
General's Opinion 6-75 relating to the expenditures of public
funds during elections. The language provides statutory
definition of those actions which the Attorney General has
determined are unlawful.
Additionally, the attorney General's Office submitted a legal
guideline on January 20, 1997, further outlining the proper
role of public funds expended during elections.
Public funds have been used appropriately to educate voters
about various ballot items. However, m any times the publicly
financed education is clearly one-sided and outside ethical
This legislation provides for the proper use of public funds
during elections and provides for enforcement and penalties.
Contact: Rep. Jeff Alltus (800)626-0471 or(208)332-1000
Rep. Bill Sali
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE