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S.F. No. 3306 - Campaign Finance Modifications (Chapter 119)
 
Author: Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
 
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
 
Date: May 31, 2018



 

Section 1 raises the thresholds for when an entity is considered an associated business.

Section 2 deletes substantive requirements about constituent services and moves them to section 21.  Four additional items are added to the definition of “noncampaign disbursement.”

Section 3 defines “securities” for the purposes of Chapter 10A.

Section 4 defines “services for a constituent or constituent services” for the purposes of Chapter 10A.

Section 5 provides that the board may only investigate an alleged or potential violation if the board receives a written complaint, discovers a potential violation as part of an audit, or discovers a potential violation as a result of a staff review. When the board investigates a written complaint, the board may not broaden the scope of the investigation to include additional alleged violations unless the board determines that probable cause exists to broaden the scope.

Section 6 requires that a matter under staff review that is resolved by conciliation agreement must be presented to the board for approval at a closed meeting. The respondent must be given an opportunity to address the board. If the board does not approve the conciliation agreement, the board must lay the matter over until the next meeting and provide guidance to continue the staff review or direct the executive director to prepare the matter for resolution by the board without an agreement. If an agreement is not approved, any admissions by the respondent and any remedial steps taken or agreed to are not evidence of a violation in a subsequent proceeding.

Section 7 requires the board’s executive director to close a matter under staff review when the review establishes that there was no violation. The executive director must report the closure of the matter to the board and send notice to the respondent.

Section 8 requires that a matter under staff review that is resolved without a formal investigation be submitted to the board for approval at a closed meeting. The respondent must be given an opportunity to address the board. If the board does not approve the written document resolving the matter, the board must provide guidance to continue staff review, initiate a formal investigation, or direct the executive director to prepare the matter for resolution by the board. If the written document is not approved, any admissions by the respondent and any remedial steps taken or agreed to are not evidence of a violation in a subsequent proceeding.

Section 9 requires the executive director to submit to the board a matter under staff review not resolved under sections 5, 6, or 7 and any other matter the board is to consider for the authorization of a formal investigation. The respondent must be allowed to address the board.

Section 10 defines when a filing with the board is complete, based on how the filing was submitted.

Section 11 defines “financial interest” for purposes of disclosing potential conflicts of interest.

Section 12 specifies when an individual that is not a member of the legislature reports a conflict of interest and there is no immediate supervisor, the matter must be assigned to another person and the individual must not participate in any meeting on the issue.

Section 13 clarifies that when a public official who represents a client before an individual, board, commission, or agency, the public official must disclose the action within 14 days of the public official’s initial appearance at a hearing. The information that must be disclosed is specified.

Section 14 adds definitions for purposes of public official representation disclosure.

Section 15 increases the triggering thresholds on the statement of economic interest. Adds definitions for the purposes of the statement of economic interest.

Section 16 species that for the annual statement of economic interest, an individual must disclose any real property owned at any time since the last statement.

Section 17 specifies when a monetary contribution is deemed to have been received based on the method of contribution.

Section 18 provides that an organization that provides contribution processing and delivery services is not required to register with the board or file campaign reports.

Section 19 allows automobile use to be reimbursed at the IRS standard mileage rate for business miles. In order to receive reimbursement, a mileage log must document specific information.

Section 20 deletes language relating to independent expenditure disclaimers and replaces it with a cross reference to section 33 of this bill. All written and broadcast communications must include the disclaimer described in section 33.

Section 21 establishes a new section of statute on noncampaign disbursements.

Subdivision 1 includes the substantive language removed from the definition in section 2. This subdivision includes a list of expenses that a candidate may claim as noncampaign disbursements for services for a constituent.

Subd. 2 limits what food and beverage expenses can be claimed as a noncampaign disbursement while campaigning.

Subd. 3 lists when food and beverages may or may not be claimed as noncampaign disbursements relating to legislative duties.

Subd. 4 lists when expenses for serving in public office may or may not be claimed as noncampaign disbursements.

Section 22 provides definitions for sections 22 to 24, which govern coordinated and noncoordinated expenditures.

Section 23 provides that an expenditure described in this section that expressly advocates for or against a candidate is a coordinated expenditure and is not an independent expenditure. This section explains when the following give rise to a coordinated  expenditure:  fund-raising (subdivision 2), the relationship between the spender and the candidate (subdivision 3), consulting services (subdivision 4), receiving information that is not publicly available (subdivision 5), spender-provided information (subdivision 6), and candidate participation (subdivision 7).

Section 24 provides a list of actions that, taken alone, do not constitute a coordinated expenditure.

Section 25 establishes when reimbursements or noncampaign disbursements need to be itemized in reports and what information must be included on the report. When an ongoing expense has both a campaign purpose and a noncampaign disbursement purpose, the cost must be allocated between the two.

Section 26 requires campaign reports to include an explanation of how certain expenditures were used.

Section 27 provides that if a candidate’s principal campaign committee makes a contribution to an independent expenditure committee or fund after January 1 of an election year for that office, the committee or fund must not make an independent expenditure for that candidate. This section only applies to candidates who have signed the public subsidy agreement.

Section 28 governs contributions given campaign committees for the governor and lieutenant governor before and after merger of the committees.

Section 29 requires political committees, funds, party units, and principal campaign committees that raise funds by selling goods or services to disclose to potential customers that the proceeds are a political contribution. This does not apply to goods or services sold at fund-raising events which require the purchase of a ticket to attend or where the main purpose is to conduct fund-raising. An entity that violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1000.

Section 30 specifies that for the purposes of not accepting certain contributions during session, the regular session starts at midnight on the first day of session and ends at 11:59 on the last day of session.

Section 31 specifies that if a vacancy in nomination occurs for a partisan office after the 79th day before the general election, a candidate may sign and submit a spending limit agreement no later than eight calendar days after the general election.

Section 32 specifies that if a vacancy in nomination occurs for a partisan office after the 79th day before the general election, a candidate must accumulate the required amount of contributions and submit the affidavit to the board within 12 calendar days after the general election.

Section 33 provides the required disclosures for campaign material and independent expenditures. When an address must be included, the address must be either the mailing address or the Web site that includes a mailing address. Disclosure requirements on a Website or social media page are satisfied when the disclaimer appears once on the homepage. For most written communications, the disclaimer must be printed in 8-point or larger font.

Section 34 repeals the following rules:

  • Minnesota Rules, part 4501.0200, subparts 1 (items which are securities) and 2 (items which are not securities); replaced by section 3.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4501.0500, subpart 1a (completion of filing); replaced by section 10.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4503.0100, subpart 6 (services for a constituent); replaced by section 4.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4503.0500, subpart 2 (time of receipt of contributions); replaced by section 17.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4503.1300, subpart 4 (contribution limits for governor and lieutenant governor before and after merger of separate committees); replaced by section 28.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4505.0010 (scope of rules chapter 4505).
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4505.0100, subparts 1 (scope of definitions), 4 (definition of “date of appointment”), and 6 (definition of “accepting employment as a public official”); replaced by section 15.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4505.0700 (real property for statement of economic interest); replaced by sections 15 and 16.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4515.0010 (scope of rules chapter 4515).
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4515.0100, subparts 1 (scope of definitions) and 5 (definition of financial interest); replaced by section 11.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4515.0500, subpart 1 (nonlegislator who has a conflict of interest); replaced by section 12.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4520.0010 (scope of rules chapter 4520).
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4520.0100, subparts 1 (scope of definitions), 4 (definition of “fee”), and 6 (“definition of initial appearance at a hearing”); replaced by section 14.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4520.0400 (obligation to disclose representation); replaced by section 13.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4520.0500 (required reporting information); replaced by section 13.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4525.0330 (submission to board; matter under staff review resolved by conciliation agreement); replaced by section 6.
  • Minnesota Rules, part 4525.0340, subpart 1 (submission to board); replaced by section 9.

Section 35 provides that this act is effective June 1, 2018.

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