Elections and Campaign Finance Laws

LWVAL Action Priority Level II - Monitoring occurs; action dependent on opportunity and available resources.

Click a bill 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.

thumbs_up_icon.jpg = LWVAL's support for the legislation.
thumbs_down_icon.jpg = LWVAL's opposition to the legislation.
green-right-arrow.jpg = new bill activity; change 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.

green-right-arrow.jpgthumbs_up_icon.jpgHB524 - Campaign contributions, date when received, clarified, Sec. 17-5-2 am'd

Sponsor(s): Representative Davis

Summary/Synopsis: This bill adds a provision in the law that requires reporting of campaign contributions. It clarifies that the date of a contribution, for reporting purposes, is the date the candidate first has use of the contribution. Of course, this means that promises of contributions do not have to be reported until the gift has been made, but those promises never had to be reported.

League Action and Justification: Support. This bill and its substitute bill are good clarifications and represent a positive move toward greater transparency..

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/20/2014: Read for the 1st time and referred to the
02/26/2014: Read for the 2nd time and placed on the calendar with 1 Substitute (159322-2); E&CF 1st Substitute Offered; Pending 3rd Read and Favorable from E&CF with 1 Substitute

Note: The substitute bill states: “For purposes of reporting contributions as required by this chapter, the date of receipt of a contribution shall be the first date the recipient of the contribution is able to make use of the contribution. In the case of a contribution in the form of a check, the date of receipt is the earlier of:
  1. Ten days from the date that the check came within the recipient's control; or The date that the check was deposited into the recipient's account,”
  2. It adds a definition related to reporting expenditures: “For purposes of reporting expenditures as required by this chapter, the date expenditure is made is the date the instrument authorizes the expenditure. In the case of an expenditure made by check, the date of expenditure is the date of the check.”

04/01/2014: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from CC&E

green-right-arrow.jpgthumbs_down_icon.jpgSB434: Political parties, qualifying fees for candidates for election to public office at primary elections, amount of fee increased to up to 5 percent of salary of office sought, Sec. 17-13-47 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Sen. Marsh

Summary/Synopsis: Currently, political parties can assess their nominees for office a qualifying fee of up to 2% of the annual salary for the position sought. This bill would increase the maximum fee to 5% of the salary. The law would become effective date after the 2014 General Election

League Action and Justification: Oppose

This provision would create more of a financial burden on a potential nominee, and thus make it more difficult for individuals to seek office.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

03/05/2014: Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections.

03/18/2014: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from CCFE&E

04/01/2014: Lost in house of origin; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass lost on Roll Call Vote (10-16-0)

LWVAL is monitoring this bill:

HB577 - Registrars of voters, serving while running for elected office prohibited, Sec. 17-3-2 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Representative Ford

Summary/Synopsis: The registrar of elections or one working under his or her direction would not be allowed to serve in that position if he or she is running for political office. The individual would be required to take a leave of absence until he or she either loses the election or completes the elected term. This applies only in counties of at least 600,000 in population.

League Action and Justification: Monitor.

For purposes of transparency and fairness, League positions support the idea that a candidate should not have access to the registrar's information and tools. However, League positions on election laws call for equal application of election laws throughout the state, and the restrictions in this law would apply to only one county at the present time. The bill will be monitored for member and public information purposes.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

3/05/2014: Read for the first time and referred to the

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