Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 139 – Student fees/political use prohibit
HOUSE BILL NO. 139
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STUDENT FEES - 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
01/29 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/01 Rpt prt - to St Aff
02/22 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/23 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/25 3rd rdg - FAILED - 34-35-1
AYES -- Alltus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bruneel, Callister, Campbell,
Clark, Denney, Ellsworth, Field(20), Geddes, Gould, Hadley, Hammond,
Hansen(23), Hornbeck, Kendell, Kunz, Lake, Limbaugh, Loertscher,
Mader, McKague, Mortensen, Moyle, Sali, Schaefer, Stoicheff,
Taylor(Taylor), Tippets, Wheeler, Williams, Wood, Mr Speaker
NAYS -- Bell, Bieter, Black, Boe, Chase, Crow, Cuddy, Deal,
Field(13), Gagner, Hansen(29), Henbest, Jaquet, Jones, Judd, Kellogg,
Kempton, Marley, Meyer, Montgomery, Pischner, Pomeroy, Reynolds,
Ridinger, Ringo, Robison, Sellman, Smith, Smylie, Stevenson, Stone,
Tilman, Trail, Watson, Zimmermann
Absent and excused -- Linford
Floor Sponsor - Alltus, Sali
Filed with Chief Clerk
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fifth Legislature First Regular Session - 1999
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 139
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES; AMENDING SECTION
3 67-6602, IDAHO CODE, TO ADD DEFINITIONS AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS;
4 AMENDING CHAPTER 66, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SEC-
5 TION 67-6606A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, TO PROHIBIT
6 ANY PERSON, GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY OR STATE UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE THAT
7 ASSESSES MANDATORY STUDENT FEES FROM EXPENDING PUBLIC FUNDS TO INFLUENCE
8 THE GENERAL PUBLIC ON A MATTER APPEARING ON AN ELECTION BALLOT, TO AUTHO-
9 RIZE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC ON A MATTER
10 APPEARING ON AN ELECTION BALLOT AFTER A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE EXPENDITURE
11 IS MADE, TO REQUIRE THAT ANY ASSOCIATION OR ENTITY RECEIVING PUBLIC FUNDS
12 FOR DUES OR MEMBERSHIP REFUND AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF DUES OR
13 MEMBERSHIP EXPENDED FOR A COMMUNICATION INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE GENERAL
14 PUBLIC, TO PROVIDE FOR PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR THE IMPROPER EXPENDITURE OF
15 PUBLIC FUNDS, TO PROVIDE FOR PROSECUTION OF VIOLATIONS AND FOR AN INJUNC-
16 TION, TO PROVIDE EXEMPTIONS AND TO PROVIDE FOR REPORTING OF EXPENDITURES;
17 AMENDING SECTION 67-6627, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE THE SEVERABILITY PROVI-
18 SIONS OF THIS LAW; AND PROVIDING A STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
20 SECTION 1. That Section 67-6602, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
21 amended to read as follows:
22 67-6602. DEFINITIONS. As used in this act, the following terms have the
23 following meanings:
24 (a) "Candidate" means an individual who has taken affirmative action to
25 seek nomination or election to public office. An individual shall be deemed to
26 have taken affirmative action to seek such nomination or election to public
27 office when he first:
28 (1) Receives contributions or makes expenditures or reserves space or
29 facilities with intent to promote his candidacy for office; or
30 (2) Announces publicly or files for office.
31 (b) "Compensation" includes any advance, conveyance, forgiveness of
32 indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge or transfer
33 of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise or other
34 obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to do any of the foregoing,
35 for services rendered or to be rendered, but does not include reimbursement of
36 expenses if such reimbursement does not exceed the amount actually expended
37 for such expenses and is substantiated by an itemization of such expenses.
38 (c) "Contribution" includes any advance, conveyance, forgiveness of
39 indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge, subscription
40 or transfer of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, prom-
41 ise or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contri-
42 bution, in support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee
43 or measure. Such term also includes personal funds or other property of a can-
1 didate or members of his household expended or transferred to cover expendi-
2 tures incurred in support of such candidate but does not include personal
3 funds used to pay the candidate filing fee. Such term also includes the ren-
4 dering of personal and professional services for less than full consideration,
5 but does not include ordinary home hospitality or the rendering of
6 "part-time" personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer cam-
7 paign workers or advisors or incidental expenses not in excess of twenty-five
8 dollars ($25.00) personally paid for by any volunteer campaign worker.
9 "Part-time" services for the purposes of this definition, means services in
10 addition to regular full-time employment, or, in the case of an unemployed
11 person or persons engaged in part-time employment, services rendered without
12 compensation or reimbursement of expenses from any source other than the can-
13 didate or political committee for whom such services are rendered. For the
14 purposes of this act, contributions, other than money or its equivalent s
15 shall be deemed to have a money value equivalent to the fair market
16 value of the contribution.
17 (d) "Education" means actions or statements which, when taken as a
18 whole, are not argumentative and do not explicitly or implicitly contend for a
19 specific result in a matter, but which fairly provide only factual informa-
20 tion, contain a balanced presentation of the competing positions at issue and,
21 when taken as a whole, are neutral.
22 (e) "Election" means any general, special or primary election.
23 (f) "Election ballot" means any ballot submitted for vote by the
24 public at any primary, general, special or other election, whether submitted
25 statewide or at a county, district or other level.
26 ( e g ) "Election campaign" means any campaign in
27 support of or in opposition to a candidate for election to public office and
28 any campaign in support of, or in opposition to, a measure.
29 ( f h ) "Expenditure" includes any payment, con-
30 tribution, subscription, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of
31 money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise, or agreement,
32 whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure. The term
33 "expenditure" also includes a promise to pay, a payment or a transfer of any-
34 thing of value in exchange for goods, services, property, facilities or any-
35 thing of value for the purpose of assisting, benefiting or honoring any public
36 official or candidate, or assisting in furthering or opposing any election
38 ( g i ) "Independent expenditure" means any expen-
39 diture by a person for a communication expressly advocating the election, pas-
40 sage or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or measure that is not made
41 with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or
42 at the consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request of a suggestion
43 of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate or
44 political committee supporting or opposing a measure. As used in this subsec-
45 tion, "expressly advocating" means any communication containing a message
46 advocating election, passage or defeat including, but not limited to, the name
47 of the candidate or measure, or expression such as "vote for," "elect,"
48 "support," "cast your ballot for," "vote against," "defeat" or "reject."
49 (j) "Influence" means any statement or action that is persuasive in
50 nature and:
51 (1) Seeks a specific result in a matter; or
52 (2) Is intended to or will likely influence those voting on the matter
54 Influence does not include the release of a brief, factual statement of a pub-
55 lic entity's position on a matter appearing on an election ballot, when such
1 release is made either to the news media or to any individual upon a request
2 by that individual.
3 ( h k ) "Lobby" and "lobbying" each means attempt-
4 ing through contacts with, or causing others to make contact with, members of
5 the legislature or legislative committees, to influence the approval, modifi-
6 cation or rejection of any legislation by the legislature of the state of
7 Idaho or any committee thereof.
8 ( i l ) "Lobbyist" includes any person who lob-
10 ( j m ) "Lobbyist's employer" means the person or
11 persons by whom a lobbyist is employed, directly or indirectly, and all per-
12 sons by whom he is compensated for acting as a lobbyist.
13 ( k n ) "Measure" means any proposal, to be voted
14 statewide, submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at an elec-
15 tion, including any initiative, referendum or revision of or amendment to the
16 state constitution. An initiative or referendum proposal shall be deemed a
17 measure when the attorney general reviews it and gives it a ballot title.
18 ( l o ) "Nonbusiness entity" means any group (of
19 two (2) or more individuals), corporation, association, firm, partnership,
20 committee, club or other organization which:
21 (1) Does not have as its principal purpose the conduct of business activ-
22 ities for profit; and
23 (2) Received during the preceding calendar year contributions, gifts or
24 membership fees, which in the aggregate exceeded ten per cent
25 percent (10%) of its total receipts for such year.
26 ( m p ) "Person" means an individual, corporation,
27 association, firm, partnership, committee, political party, club or other
28 organization or group of persons.
29 ( n q ) "Political committee" means:
30 (1) Any person specifically designated to support or oppose any candidate
31 or measure; or
32 (2) Any person who receives contributions and makes expenditures in an
33 amount exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) in any calendar year for the
34 purpose of supporting or opposing one (1) or more candidates or measures.
35 Any entity registered with the federal election commission shall not be
36 considered a political committee for purposes of this chapter.
37 ( o r ) "Political treasurer" means an individual
38 appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in section
39 67-6603, Idaho Code.
40 (s) "Public funds" means any money or benefit derived from consump-
41 tive use of personal property, which, irrespective of its source, is in the
42 hands of or belongs to any entity of government or any department or subdivi-
43 sion thereof. It includes mandated student fees paid by students at a state
44 college or state university.
45 ( p t ) "Public office" means any state office or
46 position, including state senator, state representative, and judge of the dis-
47 trict court that is filled by election.
48 SECTION 2. That Chapter 66, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
49 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION , to be
50 known and designated as Section 67-6606A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
51 67-6606A. EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. (1) The legislature finds that
52 the use of public funds to influence members of the general public on matters
53 appearing on an election ballot is not a proper public purpose for such funds
1 and shall be forbidden. The legislature also finds that, particularly at col-
2 leges and universities, the use of public funds to educate the public regard-
3 ing matters appearing on an election ballot, if done in a fair, neutral and
4 balanced manner, may be a proper public purpose for such funds. The legisla-
5 ture further finds that associations, boards or other entities shall be
6 required to refund the amount of public money received for dues and member-
7 ships which is expended to influence the general public regarding matters
8 appearing on an election ballot. The purpose of this section is to establish
9 when the use of public funds for political purposes is proper and to provide
10 for penalties, punishment and enforcement whenever public funds are used in
11 any manner not designated herein.
12 (2) No person, governmental entity, or state university or state college
13 that assesses mandatory student fees may expend or authorize the expenditure
14 of public funds to influence members of the general public on a matter appear-
15 ing on an election ballot.
16 (3) A governmental entity, state university or state college may autho-
17 rize the use of public funds for education of the public on a matter appearing
18 on an election ballot only after a written record of the expenditure is made
19 which includes the amount, the name of the person or entity receiving the
20 expenditure and the name of the person authorizing or making such expenditure.
21 Such record shall be retained by the governmental entity, state university or
22 state college and shall be available to the public pursuant to chapter 3,
23 title 9, Idaho Code.
24 (4) Any association or other entity receiving public funds for dues or
25 membership and which expends funds to influence the general public about a
26 matter appearing on an election ballot shall publicly disclose a statement of
27 its revenue and expenses sufficient to disclose the expenditure of any public
28 funds for such influence. Any such association or other entity making such
29 expenditure of public funds to so influence the general public shall refund an
30 amount equal to the amount of dues or membership fees received by the associa-
31 tion or entity in the year in which such expenditure was made.
32 (5) In addition to the penalties provided in section 67-6625, Idaho Code,
33 any person violating the provisions of this section shall be personally liable
34 for repayment of all public funds which that person improperly expended or
35 authorized for expenditure, plus fifty dollars ($50.00).
36 (6) Any citizen of this state may prosecute violations of this section
37 and, in all cases where violation of this section is alleged and an injunction
38 is sought pursuant to section 67-6626, Idaho Code, an expedited hearing shall
39 be afforded. Expenditure of public funds in violation of the provisions of
40 this section shall create a rebuttable presumption of irreparable harm. Costs
41 of litigation in cases prosecuted by citizens shall be awarded pursuant to
42 section 67-6626, Idaho Code.
43 (7) Otherwise proper expenditures of public funds by elected officials in
44 the exercise of the duties of such office and expenditure of public funds as
45 specifically authorized by statute or other law are exempt from the applica-
46 tion of this section.
47 (8) Legitimate news organizations operating at the state's universities
48 and colleges are exempt from the provisions of this section when these news
49 organizations are providing bona fide news coverage.
50 (9) Any person making an expenditure of public funds to influence those
51 eligible to vote on any election ballot, shall make a report regarding all
52 such expenditures at the times and in the manner set out in section 67-6607,
53 Idaho Code.
54 SECTION 3. That Section 67-6627, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
1 amended to read as follows:
2 67-6627. SEVERABILITY. If any one (1) or more provision
3 s , section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word
4 of this act or its the application thereof
5 to any person or circumstance is held invalid found
6 to be unconstitutional , the remainder of the act, or the applica-
7 tion of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected
8 same is hereby declared to be severable and the balance of this act
9 shall remain effective notwithstanding such unconstitutionality. The legisla-
10 ture hereby declares that it would have passed this act and each provision,
11 section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word thereof irrespective of
12 the fact that any one (1) or more provisions, sections, subsections, sen-
13 tences, clauses, phrases or words be declared unconstitutional .
14 SECTION 4. It is legislative intent that, if an association at a college
15 or university expends public funds to sponsor an event intended for entertain-
16 ment, cultural enrichment, or academic lecture, and beyond the control and
17 knowledge of the association, the event is construed to present biased or
18 nonfactual information which may influence those in attendance on a matter
19 appearing on an election ballot, then in the interest of promoting the free
20 exchange of ideas at colleges and universities, the association and the col-
21 lege or university in question shall not be liable for alleged violations of
22 section 67-6606A, Idaho 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, many times the publicly financed
education is clearly one-sided and outside ethical guidelines.
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 H 139