HB263 (2021) Detail

Relative to campaign finance reform.


HB 263  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0217

11/10

 

HOUSE BILL 263

 

AN ACT relative to campaign finance reform.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sweeney, Rock. 8; Rep. Alexander Jr., Hills. 6; Rep. Berry, Hills. 44

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill repeals voluntary expenditure limits, requires candidates to form candidate committees, and modifies the maximum contribution amount a person may contribute to candidate committees and political committees.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0217

11/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to campaign finance reform.

 

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

 

1  Nominations by Primary; Administrative Assessment.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 655:19-c, I to read as follows:

I. Candidates for governor, United States senator, representative to Congress, executive councilor, state senator, county officer, and state representative who file declarations of candidacy shall pay the administrative assessment in paragraph I or file primary petitions as provided in paragraph III. Candidates for governor, United States senator, representative to Congress, executive councilor, state senator, county officer, and state representative who file declarations of intent shall pay the administrative assessment in paragraph I and shall meet the requirements of RSA 655:40 through 655:45 for nomination by nomination papers. [Neither the administrative assessment which is paid nor the primary petitions which are filed under this section, nor the nomination papers which must be submitted under RSA 655:41 and filed under RSA 655:43, shall be waived or refunded for a candidate for any of the offices listed in this section who, pursuant to RSA 664:5-a, voluntarily accepts the expenditure limitation set forth in RSA 664:5-b.] At the time of filing declarations of candidacy or declarations of intent, the administrative assessment shall be as follows:

2  New Paragraph; Registration of Political Committees.  Amend RSA 664:3 by inserting after paragraph V the following new paragraph:

VI.  All candidates for office shall form and register a candidate committee for purposes of filing expenditure reports pursuant to RSA 664:6 and RSA 664:7.

3  Political Expenditures and Contributions; Prohibited Political Contributions.  Amend RSA 664:4, V to read as follows:

V. By any person (1) if in excess of [$5,000] $3,500 in value to a candidate committee, 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 campaign expenditures and those expenditures made on his behalf as provided in RSA 664:5-a,] or in excess of $10,000 in value to a political committee other than a political committee of a candidate, (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 fiscal agent, a political committee or its treasurer, or not to any one of the same.

4  Political Expenditures and Contributions; Reporting by Candidate Committee.  Amend RSA 664:7 to read as follows:

664:7  Reporting by [Candidates] Candidate Committee.  Each candidate committee at the primary or general election for governor, councilor, state senator, representative to general court, or county officer[, who has expenditures exceeding $500,] shall file statements before and after an election in like manner and detail as prescribed in RSA 664:6[, II, II-a, III, IV, and V, excepting, however, the expenditures of political committees of the party to which the candidate belongs in elections other than primaries].

5  Itemized Statements Filed by Facsimile Transmission.  Amend RSA 664:9-a to read as follows:

664:9-a  Itemized Statements Filed by Facsimile Transmission.  The sworn itemized statements required to be filed by a political committee [or a candidate] or on the candidate's behalf as required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b may be filed by means of a facsimile transmission; provided, however, that a statement which is transmitted electronically or telephonically by a facsimile device shall also be filed by a political committee [or a candidate] or on the candidate's behalf not later than the last day of each filing period under RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b if a facsimile transmission is used.

6  Reports of Receipts and Expenditures Filed Electronically.  Amend RSA 664:9-b to read as follows:

664:9-b  Reports of Receipts and Expenditures Filed Electronically.  A political committee of a candidate [or a candidate] may electronically report receipts and expenditures, as required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b, by uploading the report to the secretary of state's website.  The report shall be publicly available on the website on or before the date that an itemized statement of receipts and expenditures is due.  The committee [or candidate] may publicly release receipt and expenditure information under this section more frequently than is required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b provided the receipt and expenditure report is up to date when due.

7  Political Expenditures and Contributions; Identification Required.  Amend RSA 664:16-a, II to read as follows:

II.  Any person or entity who violates paragraph I shall be subject to penalty under RSA 664:21, [V and VI] IV and V.

8  Political Expenditures and Contributions; Penalty.  Amend RSA 664:21 to read as follows:

664:21  Penalty.  

[I.  Any candidate who voluntarily agrees to limit campaign expenditures as provided in RSA 664:5-a, and who exceeds the total political expenditure limitation as provided in RSA 664:5-a and 5-b in running for any office in either a state primary or state general election, or both, shall be subject to a fine schedule which is based on the percentage by which the candidate exceeds permitted campaign expenditures, so that the candidate shall pay a percentage of the excess campaign expenditures as follows:

(a)  Candidates for United States Senate and governor:

under $1,000-one percent

$1,000-$5,000-10 percent

$5,000-$10,000-25 percent

$10,000-$50,000-50 percent

over $50,000-100 percent

(b)  Candidates for representative to Congress:

under $1,000-one percent

$1,000-$5,000-10 percent

$5,000-$10,000-25 percent

$10,000-$25,000-50 percent

over $25,000-100 percent

(c)  Candidates for executive council and county officers:

under $500-one percent

$500-$1,000-10 percent

$1,000-$5,000-25 percent

$5,000-$10,000-50 percent

over $10,000-100 percent

(d)  Candidates for state senate:

under $100-one percent

$100-$500-10 percent

$500-$1,000-25 percent

$1,000-$5,000-50 percent

over $5,000-100 percent

(e)  Candidates for the general court:

under $100-one percent

$100-$250-10 percent

$250-$500-25 percent

$500-$1,000-50 percent

over $1,000-100 percent

II.] I.  Any fine assessed under the provision of this section shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

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

[IV.  In addition to the fines levied under paragraph I,] III.  Any person who fails to file any report or statement on the date on which the report or statement is due under this chapter shall be subject to a daily fine of $25 for every weekday for which the report or statement is late and until the report or statement is actually filed, except that candidates for the general court shall be subject to a daily fine of $5 under this paragraph.

[V.  The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to violations of this chapter other than the violation of RSA 664:5-a and 5-b, and] IV.  A person liable under the provisions of this paragraph shall not also be subject to the penalties imposed under [paragraphs I, II and IV] paragraph III.  Any person who otherwise violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or shall be guilty of a felony if any other person.

[VI.] V.(a)  Whoever violates any of the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

(b)  The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation.  All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

(c)  The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property of the state's intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

[VII.] VI.(a)  A political committee other than a political committee of a candidate that fails to register in accordance with RSA 664:3 shall be subject to a fine up to 25 percent of the total amount of independent expenditures made during the period from the date the political committee was required to register to the date the political committee registered.

(b)  A political committee that fails to report independent expenditures in accordance with RSA 664:6, IV-a shall be subject to a fine up to 25 percent of the total amount of independent expenditures not reported or reported late.

[VIII.] VII.  Any person who willfully makes and subscribes to any statement filed under this chapter that he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter shall be guilty of false swearing under RSA 641:2.

9  Repeal.  RSA 664:5-a and 664:5-b, relative to voluntary political expenditure limitations, are repealed.

10  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

Links

HB263 at GenCourtMobile
HB263 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 5, 2021 House Hearing
Feb. 17, 2021 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB263 Revision: 31602 Date: Jan. 9, 2021, 4:33 p.m.

Docket


Feb. 17, 2021: Executive Session: 02/17/2021 01:30 pm Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/95842759377


Feb. 5, 2021: Public Hearing: 02/05/2021 10:15 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/93640014012 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Election Law HJ 2 P. 41