Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1292
– Fair elections act
SENATE BILL NO. 1292
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S1292.........by STENNETT, LANGHORST, KELLY, BURKETT, WERK, BILYEU, SAGNESS
FAIR ELECTIONS ACT - Adds to and amends existing law to enact the Idaho
Fair Elections Act to provide an alternative campaign financing option; to
create the Idaho Fair Elections Act Trust Fund; to specify terms of
participation in the Idaho Fair Elections Act candidate process; to provide
for administration of the act; to provide for violations; to require a
report; to increase fines for violations of campaign contribution reporting
provisions; to create a Commission on Fair Election Practices; to provide
powers and duties; and to provide a source of funding.
01/17 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/18 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2008
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1292
BY STENNETT, LANGHORST, KELLY, BURKETT, WERK, BILYEU, SAGNESS
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 DEFINE TERMS, TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN
5 FINANCING OPTION, TO CREATE THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND AND
6 SPECIFY SOURCES OF FUNDING, TO SPECIFY THE TERMS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE
7 IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT CANDIDATE PROCESS, TO GOVERN THE ADMINISTRATION
8 OF THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT, TO PROVIDE VIOLATIONS AND TO REQUIRE A
9 STUDY REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE; AMENDING CHAPTER 32, TITLE 31, IDAHO
10 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 31-3201H, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE AN
11 ADDITIONAL PENALTY ON ANY CIVIL PENALTY FOR PURPOSES OF THE IDAHO FAIR
12 ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND; AMENDING SECTION 67-6607, IDAHO CODE, TO CHANGE
13 THE ALLOWABLE CONTRIBUTION TO CANDIDATES AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORREC-
14 TIONS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6625, IDAHO CODE, TO INCREASE FINES FOR VIOLA-
15 TION OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION REPORTING PROVISIONS, TO DEDICATE RECEIPTS
16 TO THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORREC-
17 TIONS; AMENDING SECTION 67-6625A, IDAHO CODE, TO INCREASE THE FINE FOR
18 LATE FILING OF REPORTS, TO DEDICATE RECEIPTS TO THE IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS
19 ACT TRUST FUND AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING TITLE 67,
20 IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW CHAPTER 84, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, TO
21 CREATE THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PRO-
22 VIDE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES
23 AND TO PROVIDE THE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE COMMISSION; PROVIDING SEVER-
24 ABILITY; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, REFERENCING EFFECTIVE DATES INCORPO-
25 RATED IN SECTIONS OF LAW AND PROVIDING A SUNSET DATE.
26 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
27 SECTION 1. That Title 34, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
28 by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as Chap-
29 ter 26, Title 34, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
30 CHAPTER 26
31 IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT
32 34-2601. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be known and cited as the "Idaho
33 Fair Elections Act."
34 34-2602. DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter:
35 (1) "Certified candidate" means a candidate in Idaho running for state-
36 wide office, state senator or state representative who chooses to participate
37 in the Idaho fair elections act and who has met the requirements in section
38 34-2605, Idaho Code, to become a certified candidate.
39 (2) "Commission" means the commission on fair election practices within
40 the office of the secretary of state established by chapter 84, title 67,
41 Idaho Code.
1 (3) "Contribution" means the same as in the definition of "contribution"
2 in section 67-6602, Idaho Code.
3 (4) "Nonparticipating candidate" means a candidate running for statewide
4 office, state senator or state representative who does not choose to partici-
5 pate in the Idaho fair elections act and who is not seeking to be certified as
6 an Idaho fair elections act candidate under section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
7 (5) "Participating candidate" means a candidate running for statewide
8 office, state senator or state representative who is seeking to be certified
9 as an Idaho fair elections act candidate under section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
10 (6) "Qualifying contribution" means a donation:
11 (a) Of five dollars ($5.00) in the form of a check, money order or cash,
12 if accompanied by a receipt with the name and address of the contributor
13 and signed by the contributor, payable to the trust fund in support of a
15 (b) Made by a qualified elector within the state of Idaho and, in the
16 case of a candidate for state senator or state representative, within the
17 legislative district of the candidate;
18 (c) Made during the qualifying period and obtained with the knowledge and
19 approval of the participating candidate; and
20 (d) That is acknowledged by a written receipt providing the name and
21 address of the donor on a form provided by the commission.
22 (7) "Qualifying period" means:
23 (a) For a participating candidate for statewide office the qualifying
24 period begins November 1 immediately preceding the election year and ends
25 at 5:00 p.m. on the tenth Friday preceding the primary election;
26 (b) For a participating candidate for state senator or state representa-
27 tive, the qualifying period begins on January 1 of the election year and
28 ends at 5:00 p.m. on the tenth Friday preceding the primary election.
29 (8) "Seed money contribution" means a contribution of not more than one
30 hundred dollars ($100) per individual made to a candidate, including every
31 contribution from the candidate or the candidate's family. To be eligible for
32 certification, a candidate may collect and spend only seed money contributions
33 subsequent to becoming a participating candidate as defined in this chapter
34 and throughout the qualifying period. A candidate may not collect or spend
35 seed money contributions after certification as an Idaho fair elections act
36 candidate. The primary purpose of a seed money contribution is to enable a
37 participating candidate to collect qualifying contributions. A seed money con-
38 tribution must be reported according to the procedures developed by the com-
40 (9) "Statewide office" means the office of governor, lieutenant governor,
41 secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, state controller and
42 state superintendent of public instruction.
43 (10) "Trust fund" means the Idaho fair elections act trust fund estab-
44 lished in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
45 34-2603. ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN FINANCING OPTION. This chapter establishes
46 a voluntary alternative campaign financing option available to candidates run-
47 ning for statewide office, state senator or state representative. This alter-
48 native campaign financing option is available to candidates for elections to
49 be held beginning in the year 2010, if the commission determines that there
50 are sufficient funds in the trust fund to provide a reasonable level of fund-
51 ing for the anticipated number of candidates who may qualify to run under this
52 chapter. If sufficient funds exist in the trust fund to provide funding for
53 the anticipated number of candidates who may qualify to run under this chapter
54 for some, but not all, offices covered by this chapter, the commission shall
1 determine which offices shall receive the funding that year and which shall
2 wait until subsequent election years, based on the following priority: Idaho
3 state house of representatives, all seats; Idaho state senate, all seats;
4 lieutenant governor; governor; attorney general; secretary of state; state
5 superintendent of public instruction; state controller; state treasurer.
6 The commission shall administer this chapter and the trust fund. Candi-
7 dates participating in this chapter must also comply with all other election
8 and campaign laws and rules and regulations.
9 34-2604. IDAHO FAIR ELECTIONS ACT TRUST FUND ESTABLISHED -- SOURCES OF
10 FUNDING. (1) The Idaho fair elections act trust fund is established to finance
11 the election campaigns of certified candidates and to pay administrative and
12 enforcement costs of the commission related to this chapter. The trust fund is
13 a special, nonlapsing fund and any interest generated by the fund shall be
14 credited to the fund. The commission shall keep a record of all moneys depos-
15 ited in the trust fund that shall indicate the source from which the moneys
16 are derived, the interest earned and the activity or program against which any
17 withdrawal is charged.
18 (2) The following must be deposited into the trust fund:
19 (a) The qualifying contributions required under section 34-2605, Idaho
20 Code, and any excess qualifying contributions when those contributions are
21 submitted to the commission;
22 (b) Seed money contributions collected pursuant to section 34-2605, Idaho
23 Code, remaining unspent after a candidate has become a certified candi-
25 (c) Trust fund revenues distributed to an Idaho fair elections act can-
26 didate and remaining unspent after the candidate has lost a primary elec-
27 tion or after the general election;
28 (d) Other unspent funds distributed to any Idaho fair elections act can-
29 didate who does not remain a candidate throughout a primary or general
30 election cycle;
31 (e) Voluntary donations made directly to the trust fund;
32 (f) Fines collected under sections 34-2607, 67-6625 and 67-6625A, Idaho
34 (g) Revenue from a surcharge on civil assessments in the district courts
35 of Idaho pursuant to section 31-3201H, Idaho Code; and
36 (h) Any other funds as designated by the legislature.
37 (3) By October 1 preceding each election year, the commission shall pub-
38 lish an estimate of the funds in the trust fund available for distribution to
39 the certified candidates during the upcoming year's election, and shall state
40 whether some or all of the offices shall be qualified to receive funding as
41 provided in section 34-2603, Idaho Code.
42 (4) All moneys placed in the trust fund are hereby perpetually appropri-
43 ated to the secretary of state for administration and allocation as provided
44 in this chapter. All expenditures from the trust fund shall be paid out in
45 warrants drawn by the state controller upon presentation of proper vouchers
46 from the secretary of state. The provisions of section 67-3516(3) and (4),
47 Idaho Code, are hereby specifically declared not to apply to the administra-
48 tion of the trust fund.
49 34-2605. TERMS OF PARTICIPATION. (1) A participating candidate must file
50 a declaration of intent to seek certification as an Idaho fair elections act
51 candidate and comply with the requirements of this chapter. The declaration of
52 intent must be filed with the commission prior to or during the qualifying
53 period, except as provided in subsection (14) of this section, according to
1 forms and procedures developed by the commission. A participating candidate
2 must submit a declaration of intent prior to collecting qualifying contribu-
3 tions under this chapter.
4 (2) Subsequent to becoming a candidate as defined in section 67-6602,
5 Idaho Code, and prior to certification, a participating candidate may not
6 accept contributions, except for seed money contributions. A participating
7 candidate must limit the candidate's total seed money contributions to the
8 following amounts:
9 (a) Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a candidate for statewide
11 (b) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for a candidate for state senator;
12 (c) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for a candidate for state representa-
14 (3) Participating candidates must obtain qualifying contributions during
15 the qualifying period as follows:
16 (a) For a candidate for governor at least two thousand five hundred
17 (2,500) qualified electors of the state of Idaho must support the candi-
18 dacy by providing a qualifying contribution to that candidate;
19 (b) For a candidate for all other statewide offices at least one thousand
20 five hundred (1,500) qualified electors of the state of Idaho must support
21 the candidacy by providing a qualifying contribution to that candidate;
22 (c) For a candidate for state senate or state house of representatives at
23 least one hundred fifty (150) qualified electors from the candidate's leg-
24 islative district must support the candidacy by providing a qualifying
25 contribution to that candidate.
26 A payment, gift or anything of value may not be given, or caused to be given,
27 in exchange for a qualifying contribution.
28 (4) A participating candidate must submit qualifying contributions to the
29 commission during the qualifying period according to procedures developed by
30 the commission, except as provided in subsection (13) of this section.
31 (5) Upon receipt of a final submittal of qualifying contributions by a
32 participating candidate, the commission shall determine whether or not the
33 candidate has:
34 (a) Signed and filed a declaration of intent to participate in this chap-
36 (b) Submitted the appropriate number of valid qualifying contributions;
37 (c) Met the requirements to become a candidate under section 67-6602,
38 Idaho Code;
39 (d) Not accepted contributions, except for seed money contributions, and
40 otherwise complied with seed money restrictions; and
41 (e) Otherwise met the requirements for certification as set forth in this
43 The commission shall certify a candidate complying with the requirements of
44 this section as an Idaho fair elections act candidate as soon as possible and
45 no later than three (3) business days after the candidate's final submittal of
46 qualifying contributions.
47 Upon certification, a certified candidate must transfer to the trust fund
48 any unspent seed money contributions. A certified candidate must comply with
49 all requirements of this chapter after certification and throughout the pri-
50 mary and general election cycles. Failure to do so is a violation of this
51 chapter. Written notice of certification or a denial of certification shall be
52 delivered to the candidate and the opponent, if any.
53 (6) After certification, a certified candidate must limit the candidate's
54 campaign expenditures and obligations, including outstanding obligations, to
55 the amount of the revenues distributed to the candidate from the trust fund
1 and may not accept any contributions unless specifically authorized by the
2 commission. All moneys distributed to certified candidates from the trust fund
3 must be used for campaign related purposes. The commission shall publish
4 guidelines outlining permissible campaign related expenditures.
5 (7) The commission shall distribute to certified candidates revenues from
6 the trust fund in amounts determined under subsection (8) of this section in
7 the following manner:
8 (a) Within three (3) business days after certification, for candidates
9 certified prior to the tenth Friday before the primary election, revenues
10 from the trust fund must be distributed as if the candidates were in an
11 uncontested primary election.
12 (b) Within three (3) business days after the tenth Friday before the pri-
13 mary election, for primary election certified candidates, revenues from
14 the trust fund must be distributed according to whether the candidate is
15 in a contested or uncontested primary election and reduced by any amounts
16 previously distributed under subsection (7)(a) of this section.
17 (c) Within three (3) business days after the primary election, for gen-
18 eral election certified candidates, revenues from the trust fund must be
19 distributed according to whether or not the candidate is in a contested
20 general election. Funds shall not be distributed to uncontested general
21 election candidates.
22 Funds may be distributed to certified candidates under this section by any
23 mechanism that is expeditious, ensures accountability and safeguards the
24 integrity of the trust fund.
25 (8) Each year prior to the election year, the commission shall determine
26 the amount of funds from the trust fund to be distributed to participating
27 candidates based on the type of election and office and the historical cost to
28 run a competitive race for that office. The following shall guide the commis-
30 (a) For contested primary elections, the amount of revenues to be dis-
31 tributed may be the average amount of campaign expenditures made by candi-
32 dates for that office during contested primary election races for the
33 immediately preceding two (2) contested primary elections.
34 (b) For uncontested primary elections, the amount of revenues distributed
35 is the average amount of campaign expenditures made by each candidate for
36 that office during all uncontested primary election races, or for con-
37 tested races if that amount is lower, for the immediately preceding two
38 (2) primary elections.
39 (c) For contested general elections, the amount of revenues distributed
40 is the average amount of campaign expenditures made by each candidate for
41 that office during all contested general election races for the immedi-
42 ately preceding two (2) contested general elections.
43 (d) Revenues shall not be distributed to uncontested general election
45 If the commission determines that there is insufficient current data on his-
46 toric expenditures for a particular office based upon previous contested elec-
47 tions for that office, the commission may use discretion to determine an
48 appropriate amount.
49 (9) When any campaign finance or election report shows that the sum of a
50 candidate's expenditures or obligations, or funds raised or borrowed, which-
51 ever is greater, reported under section 67-6607, Idaho Code, exceeds the dis-
52 tribution amount under subsection (8) of this section, the commission shall
53 immediately issue to any opposing certified candidate an additional amount
54 equivalent to the reported excess. Matching funds are limited to two (2) times
55 the amount originally distributed under subsection (8)(a) or (8)(c) of this
1 section, whichever is applicable.
2 (10) A candidate running as an independent candidate certified by the
3 tenth Friday preceding the primary election is eligible for revenues from the
4 trust fund in the same amounts and at the same time as an uncontested primary
5 election candidate and a general election candidate as specified in subsec-
6 tions (7) and (8) of this section.
7 (11) The commission shall establish, by rule, procedures for qualifica-
8 tion, certification, disbursements of trust fund revenues and return of
9 unspent trust fund revenues for races involving special elections, vacancies,
10 withdrawals or replacement candidates.
11 (12) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, participating and certi-
12 fied candidates shall report all money collected, all campaign expenditures,
13 obligations and related activities to the commission according to procedures
14 developed by the commission. Upon the filing of a report of expenditures under
15 section 67-6607, Idaho Code, thirty (30) days after the primary election in
16 which the candidate was defeated and for all other certified candidates thirty
17 (30) days after the general election, all certified candidates shall return
18 all unspent trust fund revenues to the commission. In developing these proce-
19 dures, the commission shall utilize existing campaign reporting procedures
20 whenever practicable.
21 (13) The commission may not distribute revenues to certified candidates in
22 excess of the total amount of money deposited in the trust fund established in
23 section 34-2604, Idaho Code. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this
24 chapter, if the commission determines that the revenues in the trust fund are
25 insufficient to meet distributions under subsection (7) or (9) of this sec-
26 tion, the commission may permit certified candidates to accept and spend con-
27 tributions, reduced by any seed money contributions, aggregating no more than
28 five hundred dollars ($500) per donor per election for candidates for state-
29 wide office, and two hundred dollars ($200) per donor per election for candi-
30 dates for the state senate and state house of representatives, up to the
31 applicable amounts set forth in subsections (7) and (9) of this section
32 according to the rules adopted by the commission.
33 (14) A candidate who has been denied certification as a certified candi-
34 date or the opponent of a certified candidate may challenge a certification
35 decision by the commission as follows:
36 (a) A challenger may appeal to the full commission within three (3) busi-
37 ness days of the certification decision. The appeal must be in writing and
38 must set forth the reasons for the appeal.
39 (b) Within five (5) business days after an appeal is properly made by a
40 challenger and after notice is given to the challenger and each and every
41 opponent for the seat or office affected, the commission shall hold a
42 hearing. The challenger has the burden of providing evidence to demon-
43 strate that the commission decision was improper. The commission must rule
44 on the appeal within three (3) business days after the completion of the
46 (c) A challenger may appeal the decision of the commission rendered pur-
47 suant to paragraph (b) of this subsection by commencing an action in dis-
48 trict court.
49 (d) A candidate whose certification as a certified candidate is revoked
50 on appeal must return to the commission any unspent revenues distributed
51 from the trust fund. If the commission or court finds that an appeal was
52 made frivolously or to cause delay or hardship, the commission or court
53 may require the challenger or appellant to pay costs and attorney's fees
54 of the commission, court and opposing parties, if any.
1 34-2606. ADMINISTRATION OF THE CHAPTER. The commission, which shall exist
2 within the office of the Idaho secretary of state, shall adopt rules to ensure
3 effective administration of this chapter in the manner provided in chapter
4 52, title 67, Idaho Code. These rules must include, but must not be limited
5 to, procedures for obtaining qualifying contributions, certification as an
6 Idaho fair elections act candidate, circumstances involving special elections,
7 vacancies, withdrawals or replacements, collection of revenues for the trust
8 fund, distribution of trust fund revenues to certified candidates, return of
9 unspent trust fund disbursements and compliance with the Idaho fair elections
11 34-2607. VIOLATIONS. (1) In addition to any other penalties that may be
12 applicable, a person who violates any provision of this chapter is subject to
13 a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation,
14 payable to the trust fund. This penalty is recoverable in a civil action. In
15 addition to any fine, for good cause shown, a candidate found in violation of
16 this chapter may be required to return to the trust fund all amounts distrib-
17 uted to the candidate from the trust fund plus interest. If the commission
18 makes a determination that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the com-
19 mission shall assess a fine or transmit the finding to the attorney general
20 for prosecution. Fines paid under this section shall be deposited in the trust
21 fund. In determining whether or not a candidate is in violation of the expen-
22 diture limits of this chapter, the commission may consider as a mitigating
23 factor any circumstances out of the candidate's control.
24 (2) A person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this
25 chapter, or any rules of the commission, or who willfully or knowingly makes a
26 false statement in any report required by this chapter, commits a misdemeanor
27 and, if certified as an Idaho fair elections act candidate, must return to the
28 trust fund all amounts distributed by the trust fund to the candidate.
29 34-2608. STUDY REPORT. By January 30, 2012, and every four (4) years
30 thereafter, the commission shall prepare and submit to the legislature of the
31 state of Idaho a report documenting, evaluating and making recommendations
32 relating to the administration, implementation, funding and enforcement of the
33 Idaho fair elections act and the Idaho fair elections act trust fund.
34 SECTION 2. That Chapter 32, Title 31, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
35 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
36 ignated as Section 31-3201H, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
37 31-3201H. ADDITIONAL PENALTIES. (1) In addition to any other penalty
38 assessment provided by law, a penalty assessment shall be levied in an amount
39 of ten percent (10%) on every fine, penalty and forfeiture imposed and col-
40 lected by the courts for any civil penalty imposed and collected for a civil
41 traffic violation and fine, penalty or forfeiture for a violation of the motor
42 vehicle statutes, for any local ordinance relating to the stopping, standing
43 or operation of a vehicle or for a violation of the fish and game statutes in
44 title 36, Idaho Code.
45 (2) If any deposit of bail, bond or deposit for an alleged civil traffic
46 violation is to be made for a violation, the court shall require a sufficient
47 amount to include the assessment prescribed in this section for forfeited
48 bail, bond or deposit. If bail, bond or deposit is forfeited, the court shall
49 transmit the amount of the assessment pursuant to subsection (5) of this sec-
50 tion. If bail, bond or deposit is returned, the assessment made pursuant to
51 this section shall also be returned.
1 (3) After addition of the penalty assessment, the courts may round the
2 total amount due to the nearest one-quarter (1/4) dollar.
3 (4) The judge may waive all or part of the civil penalty, fine, forfei-
4 ture and penalty assessment, except for mandatory civil penalties and fines,
5 the payment of which would work a hardship on the persons convicted or adjudi-
6 cated or on their immediate families. If a fine or civil penalty is manda-
7 tory, the judge may waive only all or part of the penalty assessments pre-
8 scribed in subsection (1) of this section. If a fine or civil penalty is not
9 mandatory and if a portion of the civil penalty, fine, forfeiture and penalty
10 assessment is waived or suspended, the amount assessed must be divided accord-
11 ing to the proportion that the civil penalty, fine, bail or bond, or the pen-
12 alty assessment represents of the total amount due.
13 (5) After a determination by the court of the amount due, the court shall
14 transmit, on the last day of each month, the assessments collected pursuant to
15 subsections (1) and (2) of this section and a remittance report of the fines,
16 civil penalties and assessments collected pursuant to subsections (1) and (2)
17 of this section to the county treasurer, except that the magistrates division
18 of the district court shall transmit the assessments and the remittance report
19 of the fines, civil penalties and assessments to the city treasurer.
20 (6) The appropriate authorities specified in subsection (5) of this sec-
21 tion shall transmit the ten percent (10%) penalty assessment prescribed in
22 subsection (1) of this section and the remittance report as required in sub-
23 section (5) of this section to the state treasurer on or before the fifteenth
24 day of each month for deposit in the Idaho fair elections act trust fund
25 established in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
26 (7) Partial payments of the amount due shall be transmitted as prescribed
27 in subsections (5) and (6) of this section and shall be divided according to
28 the proportion that the civil penalty, fine, bail or bond, or penalty assess-
29 ment represents of the total amount due.
30 SECTION 3. That Section 67-6607, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
31 amended to read as follows:
32 67-6607. REPORTS OF CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES. (a) The political
33 treasurer for each candidate and the political treasurer of each political
34 committee shall file with the secretary of state:
35 (1) Not more than fourteen (14) days and not less than seven (7) days
36 before the date of a primary election in which the candidate or political
37 committee is involved, a statement of all contributions received and all
38 expenditures or encumbrances made by or on behalf of the candidate or
39 political committee prior to the fifteenth day before the primary elec-
41 (2) Not more than thirty (30) days after the date of a primary election
42 in which a candidate or a political committee is involved, a statement of
43 all contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or
44 on behalf of the candidate or political committee to cover the period
45 since the fifteenth day before the primary election to and including the
46 tenth day after the primary election;
47 (3) For all political committees supporting or opposing measures, a
48 statement of all contributions received and all expenditures or encum-
49 brances made by or on behalf of the measure or any candidate or made by or
50 against the measure or any candidate shall be filed on the same dates pro-
51 vided in paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5) and (6) of this subsection;
52 (4) Not later than October 10 immediately preceding a general election in
53 which the candidate or political committee is involved, a statement of all
1 contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or on
2 behalf of the candidate or political committee since and including the
3 eleventh day after the date of the primary election and to and including
4 September 30;
5 (5) Not more than fourteen (14) days and not less than seven (7) days
6 before the date of a general election in which the candidate or political
7 committee is involved, a statement of all contributions received and all
8 expenditures or encumbrances made by or on behalf of the candidate or
9 political committee since and including October 1 and to and including the
10 sixteenth day before the general election, together with a cumulative
11 statement showing all such contributions and expenditures or encumbrances
12 to and including the sixteenth day before the general election; and
13 (6) Not more than thirty (30) days after the date of a general election
14 in which the candidate or political committee is involved, a statement of
15 all contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or
16 on behalf of the candidate or political committee to cover the period
17 since the fifteenth day before the general election to and including the
18 tenth day after the general election.
19 (b) For the first report under this section the reporting period shall
20 cover the period beginning with the first contribution, expenditure, or encum-
22 (c) Notwithstanding any other reports required under this section, the
23 political treasurer for each candidate and any political committee supporting
24 or opposing a measure shall notify the secretary of state, in writing, of any
25 individual contribution of one thousand five hundred dollars ($ 1,0500) or
26 more, or multiple contributions aggregating one thousand dollars ($1,000) or
27 more, received by the political treasurer after the sixteenth day before, but
28 more than forty-eight (48) hours before, any primary or general election. This
29 notification shall be made within forty-eight (48) hours after the receipt of
30 such contribution and shall include the name of the candidate or measure, the
31 identification of the contributor, the total amount received in contributions
32 since the end of the previous reporting period, and the date of receipt and
33 amount of the contribution. The notification shall be in addition to the
34 reporting of these contributions in the post election postelection report.
35 (d) For all reports required pursuant to this section the secretary of
36 state shall accept the date of a postmark as the date of receipt except for
37 the seven (7) day pre-election preelection reports which must be received by
38 no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day preceding the primary or general
39 election and except for the reports required in subsection (c) of this section
40 which must be received within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the con-
41 tribution or aggregate contributions.
42 (e) Any reports required to be filed under the provisions of this section
43 may also be filed by means of an electronic facsimile transmission machine or
44 by other electronic means in a format approved by the secretary of state.
45 SECTION 4. That Section 67-6625, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
46 amended to read as follows:
47 67-6625. VIOLATIONS -- CIVIL FINE -- MISDEMEANOR PENALTY -- PROSECUTION
48 -- LIMITATION -- VENUE. (a) Any person who violates the provisions of section
49 67-6603 through 67-6614A, 67-6617, 67-6619, 67-6620, 67-6621(a), 67-6624,
50 67-6629 or 67-6630, Idaho Code, shall be liable for a civil fine not to exceed
51 two hundred fifty one thousand dollars ($ 251,000) if an individual, and not
52 more than two ten thousand five hundred dollars ($ 2,510,000) if a person other
53 than an individual. The burden of proof for such civil liability shall be met
1 by showing a preponderance of the evidence. All fines collected pursuant to
2 this section shall be deposited in the Idaho fair elections act trust fund
3 established in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
4 (b) Any person who violates section 67-6605 or 67-6621(b), Idaho Code,
5 and any person who knowingly and willfully violates section 67-6603 through
6 67-6614A, 67-6617, 67-6619, 67-6620, 67-6621(a), 67-6624, 67-6629 or 67-6630,
7 Idaho Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, in addition to
8 the fines set forth in subsection (a) of this section, may be imprisoned for
9 not more than six (6) months or be both fined and imprisoned.
10 (c) The attorney general or the appropriate prosecuting attorney may
11 prosecute any violations of this act chapter.
12 (d) Prosecution for violation of this act chapter must be commenced
13 within two (2) years after the date on which the violation occurred.
14 (e) Venue for prosecution under the provisions of this chapter shall be
15 in the county of residence of the defendant if the defendant is a resident of
16 the state of Idaho, otherwise venue shall be in Ada county.
17 SECTION 5. That Section 67-6625A, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
18 amended to read as follows:
19 67-6625A. LATE FILING OF STATEMENT OR REPORT -- FEES. If any person fails
20 to file a report or statement on or before a specified date, he shall be lia-
21 ble in an amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day after the deadline until
22 the statement or report is filed, to the secretary of state. For statements or
23 reports filed more than seven (7) days after the deadline, this amount shall
24 increase to one hundred dollars ($100) per day beginning on the eighth day
25 after the deadline until the statement or report is filed. Liability need not
26 be enforced by the secretary of state if on an impartial basis he determines
27 that the late filing was not willful and that enforcement of the liability
28 will not further the purposes of the act chapter, except that no liability
29 shall be waived if a statement or report is not filed within five (5) days
30 after receiving written notice of the filing requirement from the secretary of
32 The remedy provided in this section is cumulative and does not exclude any
33 other remedy or penalty prescribed in section 67-6625, Idaho Code. All amounts
34 collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Idaho fair elec-
35 tions act trust fund established in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
36 SECTION 6. That Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
37 by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as Chap-
38 ter 84, Title 67, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
39 CHAPTER 84
40 COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES
41 67-8401. COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES CREATED. There is hereby
42 created and established in the office of the secretary of state the "Idaho
43 Commission on Fair Election Practices." Members of the commission shall be
44 appointed as follows:
45 (1) By May 1, 2009, and as needed after that date, the governor, the
46 president of the senate, and the leaders of the majority and minority parties
47 in the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the leaders of
48 the majority and minority parties in the house of representatives shall
49 jointly establish and publish a nomination period during which the members of
50 the public may nominate qualified individuals to the governor for appointment
1 to the commission. The initial nomination period must close by September 1,
3 (2) The governor shall appoint the members of the commission, taking into
4 consideration nominations made during the nomination period. The commission
5 shall be composed of seven (7) Idaho registered voters. At least one (1) mem-
6 ber of the committee shall be a member of each political party receiving at
7 least ten percent (10%) of the vote in any statewide election in the previous
8 general election. No more than four (4) members of the commission shall be
9 members of any one (1) political party. No more than three (3) members of the
10 commission shall be residents of the same county.
11 (3) The terms of the commission members will be staggered so that the
12 first term of three (3) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2010; the
13 first term of two (2) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2011; and the
14 first term of two (2) commissioners shall expire on December 31, 2012.
15 (4) Except as set forth in subsection (3) of this section, the term of
16 office shall be three (3) years and no commissioner shall serve for more than
17 two (2) consecutive terms. The commissioners shall elect a chairman for a term
18 of one (1) year.
19 (5) Except as set forth in subsection (3) of this section, the term of
20 office shall commence on January 1 and expire on December 31.
21 (6) Vacancies shall be filled as terms expire. Each of the commissioners
22 shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified.
23 (7) A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum
24 for the transaction of all business and the carrying out of the duties of the
25 commission. Before entering on the discharge of their duties as members of the
26 commission, each member shall take and subscribe to the oath of office pre-
27 scribed for state officers.
28 (8) Each member of the commission shall be compensated as provided by
29 section 59-509(d), Idaho Code.
30 (9) Members of the commission may be removed by the governor for substan-
31 tial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, inability to discharge the
32 powers and duties of office or any violation of the provisions of this chap-
33 ter, after written notice and opportunity for a response.
34 67-8402. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter, the following terms shall have the
35 following meanings:
36 (1) "Commission" means the Idaho commission on fair election practices.
37 (2) "Trust fund" means the Idaho fair elections act trust fund estab-
38 lished in section 34-2604, Idaho Code.
39 67-8403. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION ON FAIR ELECTION PRACTICES.
40 The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
41 (1) The commission shall administer the Idaho fair elections act trust
43 (2) The commission shall adopt rules to ensure effective administration
44 of this chapter. The rules must include, but must not be limited to, proce-
45 dures for obtaining qualifying contributions, certification of candidates
46 under the Idaho fair elections act, circumstances involving special elections,
47 vacancies, withdrawals or replacement, collection of revenues for the trust
48 fund, distribution of trust fund revenues in a timely manner to certified can-
49 didates, return of unspent trust fund disbursements and compliance with the
50 Idaho fair elections act.
51 (3) By September 1 preceding each election year, the commission shall
52 publish an estimate of the revenue in the fund available for distribution to
53 the certified candidates during the upcoming year's election, and shall state
1 whether some or all of the offices shall be covered by the Idaho fair elec-
2 tions act pursuant to section 34-2603, Idaho Code.
3 (4) The commission shall publish guidelines outlining permissible cam-
4 paign related expenditures.
5 (5) The commission shall distribute to certified candidates revenues from
6 the trust fund in amounts determined under section 34-2605, Idaho Code.
7 (6) The commission shall work with the secretary of state to ensure the
8 timely public access to campaign finance data, including storing and dissemi-
9 nation of information.
10 (7) The commission shall hear contests over eligibility for funding under
11 chapter 26, title 34, Idaho Code.
12 (8) The commission shall adopt any other rules necessary for administra-
13 tion of this chapter and the Idaho fair elections act, chapter 26, title 34,
14 Idaho Code.
15 67-8404. FUNDING. The funding for the expenses of administering the com-
16 mission shall be from the Idaho fair elections act trust fund in addition to
17 any additional funds appropriated by the legislature.
18 SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY. The provisions of this act are hereby declared
19 to be severable and if any provision of this act or the application of such
20 provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason,
21 such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of
22 this act.
23 SECTION 8. This act shall be in full force and effect on and after Decem-
24 ber 1, 2008, unless the context of a section specifically provides another
25 effective date; and Section 2 of this act shall be null, void and of no force
26 and effect on and after January 1, 2019.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Idaho Fair Elections Act
This legislation amends Titles 34 and 67 of the Idaho Code to
provide for an alternative, voluntary method of financing
There is minimal to no impact to the general fund. The bill
creates a trust fund to finance the costs of public campaigns.
The source of these dedicated funds is specified.
Name: Sen. Clint Stennett, Minority Leader
Sen. David Langhorst, Asst. Minority Leader
Sen. Kate Kelly, Minority Caucus Chair
Sen. Mike Burkett
Sen. Elliot Werk
Sen. Diane Bilyeu
Sen. Dick Sageness
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1292