2003 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 315 – Public funds, expended, campaign


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H0315........................................................by WAYS AND MEANS
PUBLIC FUNDS - Amends and adds to existing law to establish personal liability
to government officials for improper expenditure of public funds for campaign
purposes; and to provide for prosecution of violations and for an injunction.
02/28    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/03    Rpt prt - to St Aff

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 First Regular Session - 2003
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 315
                                BY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  8    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  9        SECTION  1.  That  Section 67-6602, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 10    amended to read as follows:
 11        67-6602.  DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter, the following  terms  have
 12    the following meanings:
 13        (a)  "Candidate"  means  an individual who has taken affirmative action to
 14    seek nomination or election to public office. An individual shall be deemed to
 15    have taken affirmative action to seek such nomination or  election  to  public
 16    office when he first:
 17        (1)  Receives  contributions  or  makes  expenditures or reserves space or
 18        facilities with intent to promote his candidacy for office; or
 19        (2)  Announces publicly or files for office.
 20        (b)  "Compensation"  includes  any  advance,  conveyance,  forgiveness  of
 21    indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge  or  transfer
 22    of  money  or anything of value, and any contract, agreement, promise or other
 23    obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to do any  of  the  foregoing,
 24    for services rendered or to be rendered, but does not include reimbursement of
 25    expenses  if  such  reimbursement does not exceed the amount actually expended
 26    for such expenses and is substantiated by an itemization of such expenses.
 27        (c)  "Contribution"  includes  any  advance,  conveyance,  forgiveness  of
 28    indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge, subscription
 29    or transfer of money or anything of value, and any contract, agreement,  prom-
 30    ise or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contri-
 31    bution,  in  support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee
 32    or measure. Such term also includes personal funds or other property of a can-
 33    didate or members of his household expended or transferred to  cover  expendi-
 34    tures  incurred  in  support  of  such candidate but does not include personal
 35    funds used to pay the candidate filing fee. Such term also includes  the  ren-
 36    dering of personal and professional services for less than full consideration,
 37    but does not include ordinary home hospitality or the rendering of "part-time"
 38    personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer campaign workers
 39    or  advisors  or  incidental  expenses  not  in  excess of twenty-five dollars
 40    ($25.00) personally paid for by any  volunteer  campaign  worker.  "Part-time"
 41    services  for  the  purposes of this definition, means services in addition to
 42    regular full-time employment, or, in the case of an unemployed person or  per-
 43    sons  engaged  in part-time employment, services rendered without compensation
  1    or reimbursement of expenses from any  source  other  than  the  candidate  or
  2    political  committee  for whom such services are rendered. For the purposes of
  3    this act, contributions, other than money or its equivalents shall  be  deemed
  4    to have a money value equivalent to the fair market value of the contribution.
  5        (d)  "Education" means actions or statements which, when taken as a whole,
  6    are  not  argumentative and do not explicitly or implicitly contend for a spe-
  7    cific result in a matter, but which fairly provide only  factual  information,
  8    contain  a balanced presentation of the competing positions at issue and, when
  9    taken as a whole, are neutral.
 10        (e)  "Election" means any general, special or primary election.
 11        (f)  "Election ballot" means any ballot submitted for vote by  the  public
 12    at  any  primary, general, special or other election, whether submitted state-
 13    wide or at a county, district or other level.
 14        (eg)  "Election campaign" means any campaign in support of or  in  opposi-
 15    tion  to a candidate for election to public office and any campaign in support
 16    of, or in opposition to, a measure.
 17        (fh)  "Expenditure" includes any payment, contribution, subscription, dis-
 18    tribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value,  and
 19    includes  a  contract,  promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforce-
 20    able, to make an expenditure. The term "expenditure" also includes  a  promise
 21    to  pay,  a  payment or a transfer of anything of value in exchange for goods,
 22    services, property, facilities or anything of value for the purpose of assist-
 23    ing, benefiting or honoring any public official or candidate, or assisting  in
 24    furthering or opposing any election campaign.
 25        (gi)  "Independent  expenditure"  means  any expenditure by a person for a
 26    communication expressly advocating  the  election,  passage  or  defeat  of  a
 27    clearly  identified candidate or measure that is not made with the cooperation
 28    or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the  consent  of,
 29    or  in consultation with, or at the request of a suggestion of, a candidate or
 30    any agent or authorized committee of the candidate or political committee sup-
 31    porting or opposing a measure. As used in this subsection, "expressly advocat-
 32    ing" means any communication containing a message advocating election, passage
 33    or defeat including, but not limited to, the name of the candidate or measure,
 34    or expression such as "vote for," "elect," "support," "cast your ballot  for,"
 35    "vote against," "defeat" or "reject."
 36        (j)  "Influence"  means  any statements or actions which are persuasive in
 37    nature or seek a specific result in an election or which are  intended  to  or
 38    will likely influence those voting in the election. Influence does not include
 39    release to the news media or individuals upon their request of a brief factual
 40    statement  about  a public entity's position on a matter appearing on an elec-
 41    tion ballot.
 42        (hk)  "Lobby" and "lobbying" each means attempting through contacts  with,
 43    or causing others to make contact with, members of the legislature or legisla-
 44    tive  committees,  to influence the approval, modification or rejection of any
 45    legislation by the legislature of the state of Idaho or any committee thereof.
 46    Neither  "lobby"  nor  "lobbying"   includes   an   association's   or   other
 47    organization's  act  of  communicating with the members of that association or
 48    organization.
 49        (il)  "Lobbyist" includes any person who lobbies.
 50        (jm)  "Lobbyist's employer" means the person or persons by whom a lobbyist
 51    is employed, directly or indirectly, and all persons by whom he is compensated
 52    for acting as a lobbyist.
 53        (kn)  "Measure" means any proposal, to be voted  statewide,  submitted  to
 54    the  people for their approval or rejection at an election, including any ini-
 55    tiative, referendum or revision of or amendment to the state constitution.  An
  1    initiative or referendum proposal shall be deemed a measure  when the attorney
  2    general reviews it and gives it a ballot title.
  3        (lo)  "Nonbusiness  entity"  means any group (of two (2) or more individu-
  4    als), corporation, association, firm, partnership, committee,  club  or  other
  5    organization which:
  6        (1)  Does not have as its principal purpose the conduct of business activ-
  7        ities for profit; and
  8        (2)  Received  during  the preceding calendar year contributions, gifts or
  9        membership fees, which in the aggregate exceeded ten percent (10%)  of its
 10        total receipts for such year.
 11        (mp)  "Person" means an individual, corporation, association, firm,  part-
 12    nership,  committee,  political  party, club or other organization or group of
 13    persons.
 14        (nq)  "Political committee" means:
 15        (1)  Any person specifically designated to support or oppose any candidate
 16        or measure; or
 17        (2)  Any person who receives contributions and makes  expenditures  in  an
 18        amount  exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) in any calendar year for the
 19        purpose of supporting or opposing one (1) or more candidates or  measures.
 20        Any  entity  registered  with the federal election commission shall not be
 21        considered a political committee for purposes of this chapter.
 22        (3)  A county, district or regional committee of  a  recognized  political
 23        party  shall  not  be considered a political committee for the purposes of
 24        this chapter unless such party committee has expenditures  exceeding  five
 25        thousand dollars ($5,000) in a calendar year.
 26        (or)  "Political  treasurer"  means an individual appointed by a candidate
 27    or political committee as provided in section 67-6603, Idaho Code.
 28        (s)  "Public funds" means any money, assets or  property,  including  both
 29    real  and personal property, which, irrespective of its source, belongs to any
 30    entity of government or any departments or subdivisions thereof. However, pub-
 31    lic funds shall not include money, assets or any  real  or  personal  property
 32    provided by the state or any subdivision of the state to associations for mem-
 33    bership fees or services.
 34        (pt)  "Public  office"  means any state office or position, state senator,
 35    state representative, and judge of the district court that is filled by  elec-
 36    tion.
 37        SECTION  2.  That  Chapter  66,  Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
 38    hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and  des-
 39    ignated as Section 67-6606A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
 40        67-6606A.  EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. (1) The legislature finds that the
 41    use  of public funds to influence members of the general public in an election
 42    is not a proper public purpose for such funds. The legislature also finds that
 43    the use of public funds to educate the public regarding matters  appearing  on
 44    an  election  ballot or other political matter, if done in a fair, neutral and
 45    balanced manner, may be a proper public purpose for such  funds.  Children  in
 46    school  may  not be used as couriers of information that is designed to influ-
 47    ence members of the general public.  The purpose of this section is to  estab-
 48    lish when the use of public funds for political purposes is proper and provide
 49    for  penalties,  punishment  and enforcement whenever public funds are used in
 50    any manner not designated herein.
 51        (2)  In addition to the penalties provided in section 67-6625, Idaho Code,
 52    any person violating the provisions of this section shall be personally liable
 53    for repayment of all public funds which that  person  improperly  expended  or
  1    authorized  for  expenditure,  plus one hundred dollars ($100) for each viola-
  2    tion.
  3        (3)  Any citizen of this state may prosecute violations  of  this  section
  4    and, in all cases where violation of this section is alleged and an injunction
  5    is  sought pursuant to section 67-6626, Idaho Code, an expedited hearing shall
  6    be afforded. Expenditure of public funds in violation  of  the  provisions  of
  7    this  section shall create a rebuttable presumption of irreparable harm. Costs
  8    of litigation in cases prosecuted by citizens shall  be  awarded  pursuant  to
  9    section 67-6626, Idaho Code.
 10        (4)  Otherwise proper expenditures of public funds by elected officials in
 11    the  exercise  of the duties of such office and expenditure of public funds as
 12    specifically authorized by statute or other law are exempt from  the  applica-
 13    tion of this section. Actions by an elected official to raise private funds to
 14    influence  an election or actions or statements including, but not limited to,
 15    speeches, appearances at events, media comments or other acts  of  campaigning
 16    by an elected official to influence an election shall be exempt from the limi-
 17    tations imposed by this section.
 18        (5)  Any  person  making an expenditure of public funds to influence those
 19    eligible to vote on any election ballot or other political matter shall make a
 20    report regarding all such expenditures at the time and in the manner  set  out
 21    in section 67-6607, Idaho Code.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                            RS 13023C1
This bill will establish the proper use of public funds for
political purposes.  It also provides definitions, provides for
penalties, and provides for an injunction.
                          FISCAL IMPACT

Name:     Rep. Bruce Newcomb            Sen. Robert Geddes
          Rep. Lawerence Denney         Sen. Bart Davis
          Rep. Mike Moyle               Sen. Joe Stegner
          Rep. Julie Ellsworth          Sen. Brad Little
Phone:    (208) 332-1000