Campaign Finance & Elections - General LWVAL Action Priority Level I (Highest) - Monitoring and action of highest priority. Major area for resource expenditures.
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to see sponsor(s), summary (including link to full text), League action and justification for that action, and progress of the bill through the legislative process. Legend:
= LWVAL's support for the legislation.
= LWVAL's opposition to the legislation.
= new bill activity; c
hange from previous week's report such as new progress in the legislature and/or League action. Bill may be one newly added to the report. These updates are in green font
.LWVAL has taken a position on these bills:
SB11 - Elections, political campaigns, phone banks, fraudulent misrepresentation regarding candidates or committees prohibited, investigation and enforcement by Attorney General, penalties, Sec. 17-5-16 am'd.
Sponsor(s): Senator Reed
Summary/Synopsis: Under the current law it is unlawful for a person to fraudulently misrepresent himself or herself on behalf of a political candidate, principal campaign committee, political action committee, or political party.
This bill would make it unlawful for a representative of a phone bank or other automated dialing service to fraudulently misrepresent himself or herself on behalf of a political candidate, principal campaign committee, political action committee, or political party; require that communication initiated by phone bank or other automated dialing service be preceded and followed by notice that the communication is a paid political advertisement and identification of the person or group paying for the communication; and provide penalties for violations. League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports SB11. By extending sanctions for fraudulent misrepresentation to those making phone calls or robot calls on behalf of candidates and political parties, the bill promotes transparency in the political process.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 2/7/2012: First reading and referred to the 02/14/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar;
02/16/2012: 3rd reading passed; two committee amendments (316999-3 and 137002-3) offered and motions to adopt each pass; motion for 3rd reading and pass adopted; engrossed.
2/16/2012: Read for the first time in the 03/01/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar with one substitute (137581-3); pending 3rd reading and favorable from CC&E.
5/09/2012: 3rd Reading Passed; CC&E 1st Substitute (137581-3) Offered; Motion to Adopt adopted (99-0-0); Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted ((99-0-0); Scott intended to vote “Yea”
5/09/2012: Senate – Concurrence Requested; March motion to Concur In and Adopt adopted (21-0-2); House – Concurred in Second House Amendment; Senate – Enrolled; House – Signature Requested
Delivered to Governor at 11:26 a.m. on May 10, 2012
NOTE: Changes in the Substitute: “It shall be unlawful for any owner, employee, agent, or other representative of any phone bank or other automated telephone dialing service” becomes “It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to knowingly misrepresent,”; removes references to phone banks and names automated dialing services; and requires clear identification of sponsor only at the end of the call.
SB15 - Elections, political parties and independent candidates for statewide office, number of names required to gain ballot access, reduced, Secs. 17-6-22, 17-9-3 am'd.
Sponsor(s): Senator Ward
Summary/Synopsis: Under existing law, to gain ballot access, an independent candidate for office must file a written petition signed by at least three percent of the qualified electors who cast ballots for the office of Governor in the last general election. This bill would reduce the number of names of qualified electors required for political parties and independent candidates for statewide office to gain ballot access.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports SB15. The bill promotes greater access to the political process. It reduces the number of signatures an independent candidate needs to collect in order to appear on the ballot. It currently requires a number equal to 3% of the voters in the last gubernatorial election. This bill reduces the number to the lesser of 1 1/2% or 5,000 names.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 2/7/2012: First reading and referred to the 02/14/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and favorable from CCFE&E.
4/26/2012: 3rd reading passed; Ward Amendment (141692-1) offered; Ward motion to Adopt adopted; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted (26-5-1); Engrossed.
4/26/2012: Read for the first time in the House and referred to the
Note: Amendment 141692-1 set the number of signatures a third party must have to get on the ballot to one and one-half percent of qualified electors who cast ballots for the office of governor in the last general election for the state, district or other political subdivision in which the party seeks to qualify candidates for office. Before the amendment, the number was set at one and one-half percent or 5,000 signatures, whichever is less.
5/02/2012: Listed on CC&E calendar Room 123, 9:00 a.m.
5/9/2012: Listed on CC&E calendar Room 123, 9:00 a.m.
5/9/2012: Read for the 2nd time and place on the Calendar with 1 Amendment (142319-2); Pending 3rd Reading and favorable from CC&E with 1 Amendment.
Note: Amendment 142319-2 sets filing time after the 2nd primary.
SB506/HB481 - Fair Ballot Commission created, membership and terms provided for, require Secretary of State provide explanation of measures and post on website, Alabama Informed Voter Act created
SB506 Sponsor(s): Senator Taylor
HB481 Sponsor(s): Representatives McMillan, McClendon, Beckman, Davis, Gaston and Fincher
Summary/Synopsis: SB506 and HB481 are identical.
This bill would:
1. create the Alabama Informed Voter Act;
2. create a Fair Ballot Commission to approve, along with the Attorney General, statements prepared by the Secretary of State that explains what a vote for or what a vote against a measure represents;
3. provide for membership and terms of the commission (one attorney licensed in the state and one private citizen of the state who is not an attorney appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the House Minority Leader);
4. require the Secretary of State to post the fair ballot language on the Secretary of State's website and to make available printed copies;
5. allow any citizen to challenge the ballot language prepared by the Secretary of State with the challenge brought to the circuit court of Montgomery County as an expedited civil action and the decision of the court directly appealable to the Alabama Supreme Court.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports SB506 and HB481.
The legislation would promote clarity in ballot measures and greater transparency in government decision making. It would support creation of a more informed electorate.
Bill Progress in Legislature:
4/12/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
3/06/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the 4/25/2012: on CC&E calendar, Room 123, 9 a.m.
4/26/2012: CC&E 1st Substitute (141506-3) Offered; Constitution, Campaigns and Elections first Amendment (141752-1) Offered; Read for the 2nd time and placed on the calendar with 1 substitute and 1amendment; pending 3rd read and favorable from Constitution, Campaigns and Elections with 1 substitute and 1 amendment
Note: The Substitute (141506-3) changes Commission membership to “15 members. The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of State shall each serve and appoint one attorney licensed in the state and one private citizen of the state who is not an attorney.” It requires a diverse membership with at least one appointed member from each congressional district. The Amendment (141752-1) requires the Sec. of State to prepare the ballot language within 5 days of the bills introduction into the legislature and adds a severability clause should the legislation be declared unconstitutional.
5/2/2012: 3rd Reading passed; CC&E 1st Substitute (141506-3) offered; Motion to Adopt adopted (93-0-0); CC&E 1st Amendment (141752-2) offered; Motion to Adopt adopted (93-0-0);
Holmes Amendment (142372-1) offered; Motion to Adopt adopted (93-0-0);
DeMarco Amendment (142376-1) offered; Motion to adopt adopted (92-0-0);
Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted (96-0-0); Engrossed.
Note: The Holmes amendment allows attorney members of the Commission to collect travel mileage but no other fees. DeMarco’s amendment handles adjournment of the legislature before the approval time lapsed.
5/3/2012: Read for the 1st time in the Senate and referred to the 5/08/2012: Read for the 2nd time and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and favorable from F&TE.
LWVAL is monitoring these bills.[none at this time]