Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1037 – Idaho Fair Elections Act
SENATE BILL NO. 1037
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S1037........by STENNETT, LANGHORST, KELLY, BURKETT, MALEPEAI, WERK, BILYEU
IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT - Adds to and amends existing law to enact the
"Idaho Fair Elections Act."
01/19 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/22 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature First Regular Session - 2007
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1037
BY STENNETT, LANGHORST, KELLY, BURKETT, MALEPEAI, WERK, BILYEU
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO COMPREHENSIVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM; AMENDING TITLE 34, IDAHO
3 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW CHAPTER 26, TITLE 34, IDAHO CODE, TO PRO-
4 VIDE A SHORT TITLE, TO STATE FINDINGS OF THE LEGISLATURE CONCERNING CAM-
5 PAIGN FINANCE REFORM, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN
6 FINANCING OPTION, TO CREATE THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND AND
7 SPECIFY SOURCES OF FUNDING, TO SPECIFY THE TERMS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE
8 IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT CANDIDATE PROCESS, TO GOVERN THE ADMINISTRATION
9 OF THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT, TO PROVIDE VIOLATIONS AND TO REQUIRE A
10 STUDY REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE; AMENDING CHAPTER 32, TITLE 31, IDAHO
11 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 31-3201H, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE AN
12 ADDITIONAL PENALTY ON ANY CIVIL PENALTY FOR PURPOSES OF THE IDAHO FAIR
13 ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND; AMENDING SECTION 67-6607, IDAHO CODE, TO CHANGE
14 THE ALLOWABLE CONTRIBUTION TO CANDIDATES AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORREC-
15 TIONS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6625, IDAHO CODE, TO INCREASE FINES FOR VIOLA-
16 TION OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION REPORTING PROVISIONS, TO DEDICATE RECEIPTS
17 TO THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORREC-
18 TIONS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6625A, IDAHO CODE, TO INCREASE THE FINE FOR
19 LATE FILING OF REPORTS, TO DEDICATE RECEIPTS TO THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS
20 ACT TRUST FUND AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING TITLE 67,
21 IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW CHAPTER 79, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, TO
22 CREATE THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PRO-
23 VIDE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES
24 AND TO PROVIDE THE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE COMMISSION; PROVIDING SEVER-
25 ABILITY; PROVIDING LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS
26 ACT; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, REFERENCING EFFECTIVE DATES INCORPORATED
27 IN SECTIONS OF LAW AND PROVIDING A SUNSET DATE.
28 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
29 SECTION 1. That Title 34, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
30 by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as Chap-
31 ter 26, Title 34, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
32 CHAPTER 26
33 IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT
34 34-2601. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be known and cited as the "Idaho
35 Fair Elections Act."
36 34-2602. PURPOSE OF ACT. The people who serve their fellow citizens in
37 government hold a deep and sacred trust which traces its origins to the prin-
38 ciples on which the United States of America and the state of Idaho were
40 (1) The legislature of the state of Idaho finds and declares that the
41 current system of privately financed campaigns for election to statewide and
1 legislative office undermines democracy in the following principal ways:
2 (a) It violates the principle of "one person, one vote" and diminishes
3 the meaning of the right to vote by allowing large contributions to have a
4 deleterious influence on the political process.
5 (b) It violates the rights of all citizens to equal and meaningful par-
6 ticipation in the democratic process.
7 (c) It diminishes the free speech rights of nonwealthy voters and candi-
8 dates whose voices are drowned out by those who can afford to monopolize
9 the arena of paid political communications.
10 (d) It undermines the first amendment right of voters and candidates to
11 be heard in the political process; it undermines the first amendment right
12 of voters to hear all candidates' speeches; and it undermines the core
13 first amendment value of open and robust debate in the political process.
14 (e) It fuels the public perception of corruption and undermines public
15 confidence in the democratic process and democratic institutions.
16 (f) It diminishes elected officials' accountability to their constituents
17 by compelling them to be disproportionately accountable to the major con-
18 tributors who finance their election campaigns.
19 (g) It creates a danger of actual corruption by encouraging elected offi-
20 cials to take money from private interests that are directly affected by
21 governmental action.
22 (h) It costs taxpayers millions of dollars for the legislative and regu-
23 latory decisions made by elected officials on behalf of major campaign
25 (i) It drives up the cost of election campaigns, making it difficult for
26 qualified candidates without access to large contributors or personal
27 fortunes to mount competitive campaigns.
28 (j) It disadvantages challengers, because large campaign contributors
29 tend to give their money to incumbents, thus causing elections to be less
31 (k) It inhibits communication with the electorate by candidates without
32 access to large sums of campaign money.
33 (l) It burdens candidates with the incessant rigors of fundraising and
34 thus decreases the time available to carry out their public responsibili-
36 (2) The legislature of the state of Idaho finds and declares that provid-
37 ing a voluntary campaign finance system for all primary and general elections
38 would enhance democracy in the following principal ways:
39 (a) It would help eliminate the deleterious influence of large contribu-
40 tions on the political process, remove access to wealth as a major deter-
41 minant of a citizen's influence within the political process, and restore
42 meaning to the principle of "one person, one vote."
43 (b) It would help restore the rights of all citizens to equal and mean-
44 ingful participation in the democratic process.
45 (c) It would restore the free speech rights of nonwealthy candidates and
46 voters by providing candidates with the equal resources with which to com-
47 municate with voters.
48 (d) It would help restore the first amendment right of voters and candi-
49 dates to be heard in the political process; it would help restore the
50 first amendment right of voters to hear all candidates' speeches; and it
51 would help restore the core first amendment value of open and robust
52 debate in the political process.
53 (e) It would diminish the public perception of corruption and strengthen
54 public confidence in the democratic process and democratic institutions.
55 (f) It would increase the accountability of elected officials to the con-
1 stituents who elect them.
2 (g) It would eliminate the danger of actual corruption caused by the pri-
3 vate financing of the election campaigns of public officials, thus restor-
4 ing public confidence in the fairness of the electoral and legislative
6 (h) It would save taxpayers millions of dollars now wasted due to legis-
7 lative and regulatory decisions made on behalf of major campaign contribu-
9 (i) It would halt and reverse the escalating cost of elections.
10 (j) It would create a more level playing field for challengers and incum-
11 bents, create genuine opportunities for qualified residents of Idaho to
12 run for statewide or legislative office and encourage more competitive
14 (k) It would facilitate communication with the electorate by candidates,
15 regardless of their access to large sums of campaign money.
16 (l) It would free candidates from the incessant rigors of raising money,
17 and allow them more time to carry out their official duties.
18 (3) The legislature of the state of Idaho further finds and declares that
19 unique factual circumstances in Idaho require that the provisions of this cam-
20 paign finance reform act are designed to create a rough proportionality
21 between the benefits and restrictions that apply to participating candidates.
22 34-2603. DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter:
23 (1) "Certified candidate" means a candidate in Idaho running for state-
24 wide office, state senator or state representative who chooses to participate
25 in the Idaho fair elections act and who has met the requirements in section
26 34-2606, Idaho Code, to become a certified candidate.
27 (2) "Commission" means the commission on fair election practices within
28 the office of the secretary of state established by chapter 79, title 67,
29 Idaho Code.
30 (3) "Contribution" means the same as in the definition of "contribution"
31 in section 67-6602, Idaho Code.
32 (4) "Nonparticipating candidate" means a candidate running for statewide
33 office, state senator or state representative who does not choose to partici-
34 pate in the Idaho fair elections act and who is not seeking to be certified as
35 an Idaho fair elections act candidate under section 34-2606, Idaho Code.
36 (5) "Participating candidate" means a candidate running for statewide
37 office, state senator or state representative who is seeking to be certified
38 as an Idaho fair elections act candidate under section 34-2606, Idaho Code.
39 (6) "Qualifying contribution" means a donation:
40 (a) Of five dollars ($5.00) in the form of a check, money order or cash
41 (if accompanied by a receipt with the name and address of the contributor
42 and signed by the contributor) payable to the trust fund in support of a
44 (b) Made by a qualified elector within the state of Idaho and, in the
45 case of a candidate for state senator or state representative, within the
46 legislative district of the candidate;
47 (c) Made during the qualifying period and obtained with the knowledge and
48 approval of the participating candidate; and
49 (d) That is acknowledged by a written receipt that provides the name and
50 address of the donor on forms provided by the commission.
51 (7) "Qualifying period" means:
52 (a) For a participating candidate for statewide office the qualifying
53 period begins November 1 immediately preceding the election year and ends
54 at 5:00 p.m. on the tenth Friday preceding the primary election;
1 (b) For a participating candidate for state senator or state representa-
2 tive, the qualifying period begins on January 1 of the election year and
3 ends at 5:00 p.m. on the tenth Friday preceding the primary election.
4 (8) "Seed money contribution" means a contribution of not more than one
5 hundred dollars ($100) per individual made to a candidate, including every
6 contribution from the candidate or the candidate's family. To be eligible for
7 certification, a candidate may collect and spend only seed money contributions
8 subsequent to becoming a participating candidate as defined in this chapter
9 and throughout the qualifying period. A candidate may not collect or spend
10 seed money contributions after certification as an Idaho fair elections act
11 candidate. The primary purpose of a seed money contribution is to enable a
12 participating candidate to collect qualifying contributions. A seed money con-
13 tribution must be reported according to the procedures developed by the com-
15 (9) "Statewide office" means the office of governor, lieutenant governor,
16 secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, state controller and
17 state superintendent of public instruction.
18 (10) "Trust fund" means the Idaho fair elections act trust fund estab-
19 lished in section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
20 34-2604. ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN FINANCING OPTION. This chapter establishes
21 a voluntary alternative campaign financing option available to candidates run-
22 ning for statewide office, state senator or state representative. This alter-
23 native campaign financing option is available to candidates for elections to
24 be held beginning in the year 2008, if the commission determines that there
25 are sufficient funds in the trust fund to provide a reasonable level of fund-
26 ing for the anticipated number of candidates who may qualify to run under this
27 chapter. If sufficient funds exist in the trust fund to provide funding for
28 the anticipated number of candidates who may qualify to run under this chapter
29 for some, but not all, offices covered by this chapter, the commission shall
30 determine which offices shall receive the funding that year and which shall
31 wait until subsequent election years, based on the following priority: Idaho
32 state house of representatives, all seats; Idaho state senate, all seats;
33 lieutenant governor; governor; attorney general; secretary of state; state
34 superintendent of public instruction; state controller; state treasurer.
35 The commission shall administer this chapter and the trust fund. Candi-
36 dates participating in this chapter must also comply with all election and
37 campaign laws and regulations.
38 34-2605. IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND ESTABLISHED -- SOURCES OF
39 FUNDING. (1) The Idaho fair elections act trust fund is established to finance
40 the election campaigns of certified candidates running for statewide office,
41 state senator or state representative and to pay administrative and enforce-
42 ment costs of the commission related to this chapter. The trust fund is a spe-
43 cial, nonlapsing fund and any interest generated by the fund shall be cred-
44 ited to the fund. The commission shall administer the trust fund. The commis-
45 sion shall keep a record of all moneys deposited in the trust fund that shall
46 indicate the source from which the moneys are derived, the interest earned and
47 the activity or program against which any withdrawal is charged.
48 (2) The following must be deposited into the trust fund:
49 (a) The qualifying contributions required under section 34-2606, Idaho
50 Code, and any excess qualifying contributions when those contributions are
51 submitted to the office;
52 (b) Seed money contributions collected pursuant to section 34-2606, Idaho
53 Code, remaining unspent after a candidate has become a certified candi-
2 (c) Trust fund revenues which were distributed to an Idaho fair elections
3 act candidate and which remain unspent after the candidate has lost a pri-
4 mary election or after all general elections;
5 (d) Other unspent funds distributed to any Idaho fair elections act can-
6 didate who does not remain a candidate throughout a primary or general
7 election cycle;
8 (e) Voluntary donations made directly to the trust fund;
9 (f) Fines collected under sections 34-2608, 67-6625 and 67-6625A, Idaho
11 (g) Revenue from a surcharge on civil assessments in the district courts
12 of Idaho pursuant to section 31-3201H, Idaho Code; and
13 (h) Any other funds as designated by the legislature.
14 (3) By October 1 preceding each election year, the commission shall pub-
15 lish an estimate of the revenue in the trust fund available for distribution
16 to the certified candidates during the upcoming year's election, and shall
17 state whether some or all of the offices shall be covered by this chapter as
18 provided in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
19 (4) All moneys placed in the trust fund are hereby perpetually appropri-
20 ated to the secretary of state for administration and allocation as provided
21 in this chapter. All expenditures from the trust fund shall be paid out in
22 warrants drawn by the state controller upon presentation of proper vouchers
23 from the secretary of state. The provisions of section 67-3516(3) and (4),
24 Idaho Code, are hereby specifically declared not to apply to the administra-
25 tion of the trust fund.
26 34-2606. TERMS OF PARTICIPATION. (1) A participating candidate must file
27 a declaration of intent to seek certification as an Idaho fair elections act
28 candidate and comply with the requirements of this chapter. The declaration of
29 intent must be filed with the commission prior to or during the qualifying
30 period, except as provided in subsection (14) of this section, according to
31 forms and procedures developed by the commission. A participating candidate
32 must submit a declaration of intent prior to collecting qualifying contribu-
33 tions under this chapter.
34 (2) Subsequent to becoming a candidate as defined in section 67-6602,
35 Idaho Code, and prior to certification, a participating candidate may not
36 accept contributions, except for seed money contributions. A participating
37 candidate must limit the candidate's total seed money contributions to the
38 following amounts:
39 (a) Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a candidate for statewide
41 (b) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for a candidate for state senator;
42 (c) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for a candidate for state representa-
44 The commission may, by rule, revise these amounts to ensure effective imple-
45 mentation of this chapter.
46 (3) Participating candidates must obtain qualifying contributions during
47 the qualifying period as follows:
48 (a) For a candidate for governor at least two thousand five hundred
49 (2,500) qualified electors of the state of Idaho must support the candi-
50 dacy by providing a qualifying contribution to that candidate;
51 (b) For a candidate for all other statewide offices at least one thousand
52 five hundred (1,500) qualified electors of the state of Idaho must support
53 the candidacy by providing a qualifying contribution to that candidate;
54 (c) For a candidate for state senate or state house of representatives at
1 least one hundred fifty (150) qualified electors from the candidate's leg-
2 islative district must support the candidacy by providing a qualifying
3 contribution to that candidate.
4 A payment, gift or anything of value may not be given, or caused to be given,
5 in exchange for a qualifying contribution.
6 (4) A participating candidate must submit qualifying contributions to the
7 commission during the qualifying period according to procedures developed by
8 the commission, except as provided in subsection (14) of this section.
9 (5) Upon receipt of a final submittal of qualifying contributions by a
10 participating candidate, the commission shall determine whether or not the
11 candidate has:
12 (a) Signed and filed a declaration of intent to participate in this chap-
14 (b) Submitted the appropriate number of valid qualifying contributions;
15 (c) Met the requirements to become a candidate under section 67-6602,
16 Idaho Code;
17 (d) Not accepted contributions, except for seed money contributions, and
18 otherwise complied with seed money restrictions; and
19 (e) Otherwise met the requirements for certification in this chapter.
20 The commission shall certify a candidate complying with the requirements of
21 this section as an Idaho fair elections act candidate as soon as possible and
22 no later than three (3) business days after the candidate's final submittal of
23 qualifying contributions.
24 Upon certification, a certified candidate must transfer to the trust fund
25 any unspent seed money contributions. A certified candidate must comply with
26 all requirements of this chapter after certification and throughout the pri-
27 mary and general election cycles. Failure to do so is a violation of this
29 (6) After certification, a certified candidate must limit the candidate's
30 campaign expenditures and obligations, including outstanding obligations, to
31 the revenues distributed to the candidate from the trust fund and may not
32 accept any contributions unless specifically authorized by the commission. All
33 revenues distributed to certified candidates from the trust fund must be used
34 for campaign related purposes. The commission shall publish guidelines
35 outlining permissible campaign related expenditures.
36 (7) The commission shall distribute to certified candidates revenues from
37 the trust fund in amounts determined under subsection (8) of this section in
38 the following manner:
39 (a) Within three (3) business days after certification, for candidates
40 certified prior to the tenth Friday before the primary election, revenues
41 from the trust fund must be distributed as if the candidates were in an
42 uncontested primary election.
43 (b) Within three (3) business days after the tenth Friday before the pri-
44 mary election, for primary election certified candidates, revenues from
45 the trust fund must be distributed according to whether the candidate is
46 in a contested or uncontested primary election and reduced by any amounts
47 previously distributed under subsection (7)(a) of this section.
48 (c) Within three (3) business days after the primary election, for gen-
49 eral election certified candidates, revenues from the trust fund must be
50 distributed according to whether or not the candidate is in a contested
51 general election. Funds may not be distributed for uncontested general
53 Funds may be distributed to certified candidates under this section by any
54 mechanism that is expeditious, ensures accountability and safeguards the
55 integrity of the trust fund.
1 (8) Each year prior to the election year, the commission shall determine
2 the amount of funds from the trust fund to be distributed to participating
3 candidates based on the type of election and office and the historical cost to
4 run a competitive race for that office. The following shall guide the commis-
6 (a) For contested primary elections, the amount of revenues to be dis-
7 tributed may be the average amount of campaign expenditures made by candi-
8 dates for that office during contested primary election races for the
9 immediately preceding two (2) contested primary elections.
10 (b) For uncontested primary elections, the amount of revenues distributed
11 is the average amount of campaign expenditures made by each candidate for
12 that office during all uncontested primary election races, or for con-
13 tested races if that amount is lower, for the immediately preceding two
14 (2) primary elections.
15 (c) For contested general elections, the amount of revenues distributed
16 is the average amount of campaign expenditures made by each candidate for
17 that office during all contested general election races for the immedi-
18 ately preceding two (2) contested general elections.
19 (d) Revenues may not be distributed for uncontested general elections.
20 If the commission determines that there is insufficient current data on
21 the cost to run a campaign for a particular office based on previous contested
22 elections for that office, the commission may use discretion to determine an
23 appropriate amount. For the initial computations under this section that are
24 conducted in 2008, the commission may reduce the amounts to be distributed by
25 its estimate of fundraising costs which a certified candidate would not have
27 (9) When any campaign finance or election report shows that the sum of a
28 candidate's expenditures or obligations, or funds raised or borrowed, which-
29 ever is greater, reported under section 67-6607, Idaho Code, exceeds the dis-
30 tribution amount under subsection (8) of this section, the commission shall
31 immediately issue to any opposing certified candidate an additional amount
32 equivalent to the reported excess. Matching funds are limited to two (2) times
33 the amount originally distributed under subsection (8)(a) or (8)(c) of this
34 section, whichever is applicable.
35 (10) A candidate running as an independent candidate certified by the
36 tenth Friday preceding the primary election is eligible for revenues from the
37 trust fund in the same amounts and at the same time as an uncontested primary
38 election candidate and a general election candidate as specified in subsec-
39 tions (7) and (8) of this section.
40 (11) The commission shall establish, by rule, procedures for qualifica-
41 tion, certification, disbursements of trust fund revenues and return of
42 unspent trust fund revenues for races involving special elections, vacancies,
43 withdrawals or replacement candidates.
44 (12) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, participating and certi-
45 fied candidates shall report all money collected, all campaign expenditures,
46 obligations and related activities to the commission according to procedures
47 developed by the commission. Upon the filing of a report of expenditures
48 under section 67-6607, Idaho Code, thirty (30) days after the primary election
49 in which the candidate was defeated and for all other certified candidates
50 thirty (30) days after the general election, all certified candidates shall
51 return all unspent trust fund revenues to the commission. In developing these
52 procedures, the commission shall utilize existing campaign reporting proce-
53 dures whenever practicable.
54 (13) The commission may not distribute revenues to certified candidates in
55 excess of the total amount of money deposited in the trust fund established in
1 section 34-2605, Idaho Code. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this
2 chapter, if the commission determines that the revenues in the trust fund are
3 insufficient to meet distributions under subsection (7) or (8) of this sec-
4 tion, the commission may permit certified candidates to accept and spend con-
5 tributions, reduced by any seed money contributions, aggregating no more than
6 five hundred dollars ($500) per donor per election for candidates for state-
7 wide office, and two hundred dollars ($200) per donor per election for candi-
8 dates for the state senate and state house of representatives, up to the
9 applicable amounts set forth in subsections (7) and (8) of this section
10 according to the rules adopted by the commission.
11 (14) A candidate who has been denied certification as an Idaho fair elec-
12 tions act certified candidate or the opponent of a candidate who has been
13 granted certification as an Idaho fair elections act certified candidate may
14 challenge a certification decision by the commission as follows:
15 (a) A challenger may appeal to the full commission within three (3) busi-
16 ness days of the certification decision. The appeal must be in writing and
17 must set forth the reasons for the appeal.
18 (b) Within five (5) business days after an appeal is properly made by a
19 challenger and after notice is given to the challenger and each and every
20 opponent for the seat or office affected, the commission shall hold a
21 hearing. The challenger has the burden of providing evidence to demon-
22 strate that the commission decision was improper. The commission must rule
23 on the appeal within three (3) business days after the completion of the
25 (c) A challenger may appeal the decision of the commission rendered pur-
26 suant to paragraph (b) of this subsection by commencing an action in dis-
27 trict court.
28 (d) A candidate whose certification by the commission as an Idaho fair
29 elections act certified candidate is revoked on appeal must return to the
30 commission any unspent revenues distributed from the trust fund. If the
31 commission or court finds that an appeal was made frivolously or to cause
32 delay or hardship, the commission or court may require the challenger or
33 appellant to pay costs and attorney's fees of the commission, court and
34 opposing parties, if any.
35 34-2607. ADMINISTRATION OF THE CHAPTER. The commission, within the office
36 of the Idaho secretary of state, shall adopt rules to ensure effective admin-
37 istration of this chapter in the manner provided in chapter 52, title 67,
38 Idaho Code. These rules must include, but must not be limited to, procedures
39 for obtaining qualifying contributions, certification as an Idaho fair elec-
40 tions act candidate, circumstances involving special elections, vacancies,
41 withdrawals or replacements, collection of revenues for the trust fund, dis-
42 tribution of trust fund revenues to certified candidates, return of unspent
43 trust fund disbursements and compliance with the Idaho fair elections act.
44 34-2608. VIOLATIONS. (1) In addition to any other penalties that may be
45 applicable, a person who violates any provision of this chapter is subject to
46 a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation,
47 payable to the trust fund. This penalty is recoverable in a civil action. In
48 addition to any fine, for good cause shown, a candidate found in violation of
49 this chapter may be required to return to the trust fund all amounts distrib-
50 uted to the candidate from the trust fund plus interest. If the commission
51 makes a determination that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the com-
52 mission shall assess a fine or transmit the finding to the attorney general
53 for prosecution. Fines paid under this section must be deposited in the trust
1 fund. In determining whether or not a candidate is in violation of the expen-
2 diture limits of this chapter, the commission may consider as a mitigating
3 factor any circumstances out of the candidate's control.
4 (2) A person who willfully or knowingly violates this chapter, or any
5 rules of the commission, or who willfully or knowingly makes a false statement
6 in any report required by this chapter, commits a felony and, if certified as
7 an Idaho fair elections act candidate, must return to the trust fund all
8 amounts distributed by the trust fund to the candidate.
9 34-2609. STUDY REPORT. By January 30, 2010, and every four (4) years
10 thereafter, the commission shall prepare for the Idaho state legislature a
11 report documenting, evaluating and making recommendations relating to the
12 administration, implementation, funding and enforcement of the Idaho fair
13 elections act and the Idaho fair elections act trust fund.
14 SECTION 2. That Chapter 32, Title 31, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
15 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
16 ignated as Section 31-3201H, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
17 31-3201H. ADDITIONAL PENALTIES. (1) In addition to any other penalty
18 assessment provided by law, a penalty assessment shall be levied in an amount
19 of ten percent (10%) on every fine, penalty and forfeiture imposed and col-
20 lected by the courts for any civil penalty imposed and collected for a civil
21 traffic violation and fine, penalty or forfeiture for a violation of the motor
22 vehicle statutes, for any local ordinance relating to the stopping, standing
23 or operation of a vehicle or for a violation of the fish and game statutes in
24 title 36, Idaho Code.
25 (2) If any deposit of bail, bond or deposit for an alleged civil traffic
26 violation is to be made for a violation, the court shall require a sufficient
27 amount to include the assessment prescribed in this section for forfeited
28 bail, bond or deposit. If bail, bond or deposit is forfeited, the court shall
29 transmit the amount of the assessment pursuant to subsection (5) of this sec-
30 tion. If bail, bond or deposit is returned, the assessment made pursuant to
31 this section shall also be returned.
32 (3) After addition of the penalty assessment, the courts may round the
33 total amount due to the nearest one-quarter (1/4) dollar.
34 (4) The judge may waive all or part of the civil penalty, fine, forfei-
35 ture and penalty assessment, except for mandatory civil penalties and fines,
36 the payment of which would work a hardship on the persons convicted or adjudi-
37 cated or on their immediate families. If a fine or civil penalty is manda-
38 tory, the judge may waive only all or part of the penalty assessments pre-
39 scribed in subsection (1) of this section. If a fine or civil penalty is not
40 mandatory and if a portion of the civil penalty, fine, forfeiture and penalty
41 assessment is waived or suspended, the amount assessed must be divided
42 according to the proportion that the civil penalty, fine, bail or bond, or the
43 penalty assessment represents of the total amount due.
44 (5) After a determination by the court of the amount due, the court shall
45 transmit, on the last day of each month, the assessments collected pursuant to
46 subsections (1) and (2) of this section and a remittance report of the fines,
47 civil penalties and assessments collected pursuant to subsections (1) and (2)
48 of this section to the county treasurer, except that the magistrates division
49 of the district court shall transmit the assessments and the remittance report
50 of the fines, civil penalties and assessments to the city treasurer.
51 (6) The appropriate authorities specified in subsection (5) of this sec-
52 tion shall transmit the ten percent (10%) penalty assessment prescribed in
1 subsection (1) of this section and the remittance report as required in sub-
2 section (5) of this section to the state treasurer on or before the fifteenth
3 day of each month for deposit in the Idaho fair elections act trust fund
4 established in section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
5 (7) Partial payments of the amount due shall be transmitted as prescribed
6 in subsections (5) and (6) of this section and shall be divided according to
7 the proportion that the civil penalty, fine, bail or bond, or penalty assess-
8 ment represents of the total amount due.
9 SECTION 3. That Section 67-6607, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
10 amended to read as follows:
11 67-6607. REPORTS OF CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES. (a) The political
12 treasurer for each candidate and the political treasurer of each political
13 committee shall file with the secretary of state:
14 (1) Not more than fourteen (14) days and not less than seven (7) days
15 before the date of a primary election in which the candidate or political
16 committee is involved, a statement of all contributions received and all
17 expenditures or encumbrances made by or on behalf of the candidate or
18 political committee prior to the fifteenth day before the primary elec-
20 (2) Not more than thirty (30) days after the date of a primary election
21 in which a candidate or a political committee is involved, a statement of
22 all contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or
23 on behalf of the candidate or political committee to cover the period
24 since the fifteenth day before the primary election to and including the
25 tenth day after the primary election;
26 (3) For all political committees supporting or opposing measures, a
27 statement of all contributions received and all expenditures or encum-
28 brances made by or on behalf of the measure or any candidate or made by or
29 against the measure or any candidate shall be filed on the same dates pro-
30 vided in paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5) and (6) of this subsection;
31 (4) Not later than October 10 immediately preceding a general election in
32 which the candidate or political committee is involved, a statement of all
33 contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or on
34 behalf of the candidate or political committee since and including the
35 eleventh day after the date of the primary election and to and including
36 September 30;
37 (5) Not more than fourteen (14) days and not less than seven (7) days
38 before the date of a general election in which the candidate or political
39 committee is involved, a statement of all contributions received and all
40 expenditures or encumbrances made by or on behalf of the candidate or
41 political committee since and including October 1 and to and including
42 the sixteenth day before the general election, together with a cumulative
43 statement showing all such contributions and expenditures or encumbrances
44 to and including the sixteenth day before the general election; and
45 (6) Not more than thirty (30) days after the date of a general election
46 in which the candidate or political committee is involved, a statement of
47 all contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or
48 on behalf of the candidate or political committee to cover the period
49 since the fifteenth day before the general election to and including the
50 tenth day after the general election.
51 (b) For the first report under this section the reporting period shall
52 cover the period beginning with the first contribution, expenditure, or encum-
1 (c) Notwithstanding any other reports required under this section, the
2 political treasurer for each candidate and any political committee supporting
3 or opposing a measure shall notify the secretary of state, in writing, of any
4 individual contribution of one thousand five hundred dollars ($ 1,0500) or
5 more, or multiple contributions aggregating one thousand dollars ($1,000) or
6 more, received by the political treasurer after the sixteenth day before, but
7 more than forty-eight (48) hours before, any primary or general election. This
8 notification shall be made within forty-eight (48) hours after the receipt of
9 such contribution and shall include the name of the candidate or measure, the
10 identification of the contributor, the total amount received in contributions
11 since the end of the previous reporting period, and the date of receipt and
12 amount of the contribution. The notification shall be in addition to the
13 reporting of these contributions in the post election postelection report.
14 (d) For all reports required pursuant to this section the secretary of
15 state shall accept the date of a postmark as the date of receipt except for
16 the seven (7) day pre-election preelection reports which must be received by
17 no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day preceding the primary or general
18 election and except for the reports required in subsection (c) of this section
19 which must be received within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the con-
20 tribution or aggregate contributions.
21 (e) Any reports required to be filed under the provisions of this section
22 may also be filed by means of an electronic facsimile transmission machine or
23 by other electronic means in a format approved by the secretary of state.
24 SECTION 4. That Section 67-6625, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
25 amended to read as follows:
26 67-6625. VIOLATIONS -- CIVIL FINE -- MISDEMEANOR PENALTY -- PROSECUTION
27 -- LIMITATION -- VENUE. (a) Any person who violates the provisions of section
28 67-6603 through 67-6614A, 67-6617, 67-6619, 67-6620, 67-6621(a), 67-6624,
29 67-6629 or 67-6630, Idaho Code, shall be liable for a civil fine not to exceed
30 two hundred fifty one thousand dollars ($ 251,000) if an individual, and not
31 more than two ten thousand five hundred dollars ($ 2,510,000) if a person
32 other than an individual. The burden of proof for such civil liability shall
33 be met by showing a preponderance of the evidence. All fines collected pursu-
34 ant to this section shall be deposited in the Idaho fair elections act trust
35 fund established in section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
36 (b) Any person who violates section 67-6605 or 67-6621(b), Idaho Code,
37 and any person who knowingly and willfully violates section 67-6603 through
38 67-6614A, 67-6617, 67-6619, 67-6620, 67-6621(a), 67-6624, 67-6629 or 67-6630,
39 Idaho Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, in addition to
40 the fines set forth in subsection (a) of this section, may be imprisoned for
41 not more than six (6) months or be both fined and imprisoned.
42 (c) The attorney general or the appropriate prosecuting attorney may
43 prosecute any violations of this act chapter.
44 (d) Prosecution for violation of this act chapter must be commenced
45 within two (2) years after the date on which the violation occurred.
46 (e) Venue for prosecution under the provisions of this chapter shall be
47 in the county of residence of the defendant if the defendant is a resident of
48 the state of Idaho, otherwise venue shall be in Ada county.
49 SECTION 5. That Section 67-6625A, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
50 amended to read as follows:
51 67-6625A. LATE FILING OF STATEMENT OR REPORT -- FEES. If any person fails
1 to file a report or statement on or before a specified date, he shall be lia-
2 ble in an amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day after the deadline until
3 the statement or report is filed, to the secretary of state. For statements or
4 reports filed more than seven (7) days after the deadline, this amount shall
5 increase to one hundred dollars ($100) per day beginning on the eighth day
6 after the deadline until the statement or report is filed. Liability need not
7 be enforced by the secretary of state if on an impartial basis he determines
8 that the late filing was not willful and that enforcement of the liability
9 will not further the purposes of the act chapter, except that no liability
10 shall be waived if a statement or report is not filed within five (5) days
11 after receiving written notice of the filing requirement from the secretary of
13 The remedy provided in this section is cumulative and does not exclude any
14 other remedy or penalty prescribed in section 67-6625, Idaho Code. All amounts
15 collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Idaho fair elec-
16 tions act trust fund established in section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
17 SECTION 6. That Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
18 by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as Chap-
19 ter 79, Title 67, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
20 CHAPTER 79
21 COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES
22 67-7901. COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES CREATED. There is hereby
23 created and established in the office of the secretary of state the "Idaho
24 Commission on Fair Election Practices." Members of the commission shall be
25 appointed as follows:
26 (1) By May 1, 2008, and as needed after that date, the governor, the
27 president of the senate, and the leaders of the minority party in the senate,
28 the speaker of the house of representatives and the leaders of the minority
29 party in the house of representatives shall jointly establish and publish a
30 nomination period during which the members of the public may nominate quali-
31 fied individuals to the governor for appointment to the commission. The ini-
32 tial nomination period must close by September 1, 2008.
33 (2) The governor shall appoint the members of the commission, taking into
34 consideration nominations made during the nomination period. The commission
35 shall be composed of seven (7) Idaho registered voters who support the Idaho
36 fair elections act. At least one (1) member of the committee shall be a member
37 of each political party receiving at least ten percent (10%) of the vote in
38 any statewide election in the previous general election. No more than three
39 (3) members of the commission shall be members of any one (1) political party.
40 No more than three (3) members of the commission shall be residents of the
41 same county.
42 (3) The terms of the commission will be staggered so that the first term
43 of three (3) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2009; the first term
44 of two (2) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2010; and the first term
45 of two (2) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2011.
46 (4) Except as set forth in subsection (3) of this section, the term of
47 office shall be three (3) years and no commissioner shall serve for more than
48 two (2) consecutive terms. The commissioners shall elect a chairman for a term
49 of one (1) year.
50 (5) Except as set forth in subsection (3) of this section, the term of
51 office shall commence on January 1 and expire on December 31.
52 (6) Vacancies shall be filled as terms expire. Each of the commissioners
1 shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified.
2 (7) A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum
3 for the transaction of all business and the carrying out of the duties of the
4 commission. Before entering on the discharge of their duties as members of the
5 commission, each member shall take and subscribe to the oath of office pre-
6 scribed for state officers.
7 (8) Each member of the commission shall be compensated as provided by
8 section 59-509(d), Idaho Code.
9 (9) Members of the commission may be removed by the governor for substan-
10 tial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, inability to discharge the
11 powers and duties of office or violation of this section, after written notice
12 and opportunity for a response.
13 67-7902. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter, the following terms shall have the
14 following meanings:
15 (1) "Commission" means the Idaho commission on fair election practices.
16 (2) "Trust fund" means the Idaho fair elections act trust fund estab-
17 lished in section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
18 67-7903. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES.
19 The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
20 (1) The commission shall administer the Idaho fair elections act trust
22 (2) The commission shall adopt rules to ensure effective administration
23 of this chapter. The rules must include, but must not be limited to, proce-
24 dures for obtaining qualifying contributions, certification of candidates
25 under the Idaho fair elections act, circumstances involving special elections,
26 vacancies, withdrawals or replacement, collection of revenues for the trust
27 fund, distribution of trust fund revenues in a timely manner to certified can-
28 didates, return of unspent trust fund disbursements and compliance with the
29 Idaho fair elections act.
30 (3) By January 30, 2010, and every four (4) years after that date, the
31 commission shall prepare for the legislature a report documenting, evaluating
32 and making recommendations relating to the administration, implementation,
33 funding and enforcement of the Idaho fair elections act and the Idaho fair
34 elections act trust fund.
35 (4) By September 1 preceding each election year, the commission shall
36 publish an estimate of the revenue in the fund available for distribution to
37 the certified candidates during the upcoming year's election, and shall state
38 whether some or all of the offices shall be covered by the Idaho fair elec-
39 tions act pursuant to section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
40 (5) The commission may, by rule, revise the limits of seed money contri-
41 butions in section 34-2606, Idaho Code, to ensure effective implementation of
42 the Idaho fair elections act.
43 (6) Upon receipt of a final submittal of qualifying contributions by a
44 participating candidate, the commission shall determine whether or not the
45 candidate has:
46 (a) Signed and filed a declaration of intent to participate in the Idaho
47 fair elections act;
48 (b) Submitted the appropriate number of valid qualifying contributions;
49 (c) Qualified as a candidate by petition or other means;
50 (d) Not accepted contributions, except for seed money contributions, and
51 otherwise complied with seed money restrictions; and
52 (e) Otherwise met the requirements for participation in the Idaho fair
53 elections act.
1 (7) The commission shall certify a candidate complying with the require-
2 ments of this section as an Idaho fair elections act candidate as soon as pos-
3 sible and no later than three (3) business days after final submittal of qual-
4 ifying contributions.
5 (8) The commission shall publish guidelines outlining permissible cam-
6 paign related expenditures.
7 (9) The commission shall distribute to certified candidates revenues from
8 the trust fund in amounts determined under section 34-2606, Idaho Code.
9 (10) The commission shall work with the secretary of state to ensure the
10 timely public access to campaign finance data, including storing and dissemi-
11 nation of information.
12 (11) The commission shall hear contests over eligibility for funding under
13 chapter 26, title 34, Idaho Code.
14 (12) The commission shall adopt any other rules necessary for administra-
15 tion of this chapter and the Idaho fair elections act, chapter 26, title 34,
16 Idaho Code.
17 67-7904. FUNDING. The funding for the expenses of administering the com-
18 mission shall be from the Idaho fair elections act trust fund plus any addi-
19 tional funds appropriated by the legislature.
20 SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY. The provisions of this act are hereby declared
21 to be severable and if any provision of this act or the application of such
22 provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason,
23 such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of
24 this act.
25 SECTION 8. The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to
26 effectuate the policies and purposes of this act. In the event of conflict
27 between the provisions of this act and any other act, the provisions of this
28 act shall govern.
29 SECTION 9. This act shall be in full force and effect on and after Decem-
30 ber 1, 2007, unless the context of a section specifically provides another
31 effective date; and Section 2 of this act shall be null, void and of no force
32 and effect on and after January 1, 2019.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation amends Title 34 of Idaho Code to provide for an
alternative, voluntary method of financing electoral campaigns.
There is minimal to no impact to the general fund. A trust
fund is created for financing the costs of public campaigns, and
sources of dedicated funds are specified.
Name: Sen. David Langhorst 332-1352
Sen. Kate Kelly
Sen. Clint Stennett
Sen. Mike Burkett
Sen. Edgar Malepeai
Sen. Diane Bilyeu
Sen. Elliot Werk
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1037