Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 315 – Public funds, expended, campaign
HOUSE BILL NO. 315
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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
|||| 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
2 RELATING TO EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6602, IDAHO CODE,
3 TO ADD DEFINITIONS; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 66, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE
4 ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-6606A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE
5 FINDINGS, TO PROVIDE PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR IMPROPER EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC
6 FUNDS, TO PROVIDE FOR PROSECUTION OF VIOLATIONS AND FOR AN INJUNCTION, TO
7 PROVIDE AN EXEMPTION AND TO PROVIDE FOR REPORTING OF EXPENDITURES.
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
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
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-
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-
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
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.
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
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 315