SB440 (2018) Detail

Relative to prohibited political contributions.










AN ACT relative to prohibited political contributions.


SPONSORS: Sen. Lasky, Dist 13; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1


COMMITTEE: Election Law and Internal Affairs






This bill establishes a prohibition on receiving contributions in violation of the law relative to prohibited political contributions.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to prohibited political contributions.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Prohibited Political Contributions.  Amend RSA 664:4 to read as follows:

664:4  Prohibited Political Contributions.

I.  No contribution, whether tangible or intangible, shall be made to a candidate, a political committee, or a political party, or in behalf of a candidate or political committee or political party, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any candidate or political party at any state primary or general election:

[I.] (a)  [Repealed.]

[II.] (b)  By any partnership as such or by any partner acting in behalf of such partnership.

[III.] (c)  By any labor union or group of labor unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent, or employee acting in behalf of such union or group of unions; or by any organization representing or affiliated with any such union or group of unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent, or employee acting in behalf of such organization.

[IV.] (d)  [Repealed.]

[V.] (e)  By any person (1) if in excess of $5,000 in value, except for contributions made by a candidate in behalf of his own candidacy, or if in excess of $1,000 in value by any person or by any political committee to a candidate or a political committee working on behalf of a candidate who does not voluntarily agree to limit his or her campaign expenditures and those expenditures made on his or her behalf as provided in RSA 664:5-a, (2) if made anonymously or under a name not that of the donor, (3) if made in the guise of a loan, (4) if any other manner concealed, (5) if made without the knowledge and written consent of the candidate or his or her fiscal agent, a political committee or its treasurer, or not to any one of the same.

II.  Any candidate, political committee, or political party who accepts contributions in excess of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 per violation.  Any fine assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

III.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the enforcement powers of the attorney general under RSA 664:18.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.









AN ACT relative to prohibited political contributions.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022







Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase


Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other







This bill would amend RSA 664:4 regarding prohibited political contributions.  The bill would impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for any violation of the campaign contribution statute.  The penalty funds would be deposited in the State general fund.  


The Department of Justice has the authority to enforce election related laws including the one governing campaign contributions.  The Department indicates, because the bill would only expand the penalty options for a violation, it does not anticipate any fiscal impact.


The Judicial Branch states the type of proceeding in the superior court most alike the civil action in this bill would be a complex civil case.  The Branch has no information on how many actions would be filed in the superior court as a result of the bill, but has information on the estimated average cost.  The estimated cost of an average complex civil case in the superior court will be $737 in FY 2019 and $775 in FY 2020.  These amounts do not consider the cost of any appeals that may be taken following trial.  It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2019 and FY 2020 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  


The Department of State indicates this bill may increase general fund revenue by an indeterminable amount, but would not require additional expenditures by the Department.



Departments of Justice and State, and Judicial Branch



SB440 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 16, 2018 Senate Hearing
Jan. 23, 2018 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB440 Revision: 2828 Date: Dec. 20, 2017, 12:11 p.m.


Feb. 15, 2018: Refer to Interim Study, MA, VV; 02/15/2018; SJ 4

Feb. 15, 2018: Committee Report: Referred to Interim Study, 02/15/2018; SC 7

Jan. 23, 2018: ==RECONVENE== Hearing: 01/23/2018, Room 102, LOB, 09:00 am; SC 4

Jan. 16, 2018: ==RECESSED== Hearing: 01/16/2018, Room 102, LOB, 09:40 am; SC 3

Jan. 3, 2018: To Be Introduced 01/03/2018 and Referred to Election Law and Internal Affairs; SJ 1