SB 738 Modifies numerous provisions relating to campaign finance
Sponsor: Walsh
LR Number: 4754S.01I Fiscal Note available
Committee: Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics
Last Action: 2/6/2014 - Second Read and Referred S Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee Journal Page: S232
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2014

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Current Bill Summary


SB 738 - This act modifies numerous provisions relating to campaign finance.

The act requires continuing committees to file statements of organization and disclosure reports no later than 60 days prior to the election for which the committee receives contributions or makes expenditures.

The act defines "electronic means" as credit cards, debit cards, and similar instruments by which committees are allowed to make expenditures as long as it is drawn on the official depository account.

Exploratory committees are defined as committees "controlled or directed" by an individual for certain purposes instead of "formed" by such an individual.

Currently, candidates for General Assembly and statewide and certain municipal offices are not required to file statements of organization or disclosure reports for any election if aggregate expenditures and contributions do not reach certain levels. Under the act, this provision only applies to primary or general elections.

A provision requiring that candidates that are exempt from filing statements of organization and disclosure reports file statements of limited activity for each reporting period is repealed.

The act replaces references to "forming" committees with references to "filing statements of organization".

Provisions requiring treasurers and deputy treasurers to reside in the district or county in which the committee sits are repealed.

A provision requiring a candidate who has more than one candidate committee to designate one as responsible for consolidating aggregate contributions is repealed. Persons who have previously filed a statement of committee organization or served as treasurer or deputy treasurer of a committee are barred from filing a statement of organization for a new committee until all reports are filed and fees are paid.

The act specifies that statements of organization for campaign and candidate committees shall be filed no later than 30 days prior to the election for which the committee receives contributions or makes expenditures and no later than 60 days prior to such a date for continuing committees.

The act requires a committee's statement of organization to include the account number and issuer of any credit card in the committee's name.

Currently, campaign committees for state representative, state senator, county clerk, associate circuit court judge, circuit court judge, certain municipal office candidates; district, county, and city political party committees; and certain political action committees are required to file campaign finance disclosure reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission and with an appropriate local election authority. This act eliminates this duplicate reporting requirement by only requiring those committees to file with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The act removes references to petty cash funds. Currently, expenditures of more than $50 from those funds are required to be made by check and a single expenditure from such fund may not exceed $50, the aggregate of which may not exceed the lesser of $5,000 or 10% of all expenditures made by the committee during that calendar year. This act applies this provision to cash expenditures of more than $25 and requires that single cash expenditures shall not exceed $25, the aggregate of which may not exceed the lesser of $2,500 or 5% of all expenditures made by the committee during that calendar year.

Currently, a "Paid for by" notification is required to be placed on printed matter distributed for supporting or opposing candidates and ballot measures. This act adds information appearing on a website and any other paid electronic communication to the definition of "printed matter".

Committees are required to file disclosure reports in an electronic format.

Credit card statements and records are added to the list of records that committees are required to maintain.

Currently, records of supplemental disclosure reports and reports not required pursuant to an election shall be available for inspection by the campaign finance review board. This act requires those reports be available for inspection by the Ethics Commission.

The act stipulates that candidates who file disclosure reports immediately following an election in which the candidate's name appeared on the ballot may convert their candidate committee to a debt service committee.

Currently, aggregate amounts are computed for different types of committees based on different time periods. This act requires that they be based on the day after the closing date of the most recent disclosure report filed and end on the closing date for the period covered. If the committee has not previously filed, the period begins on the date the committee was formed or in cases of a candidate committee, the period begins on the date the candidate became a candidate.

The act repeals a requirement that continuing committees submit additional reports when making expenditures of $500 or more within a reporting period. The act establishes that the reporting period for committees that have not previously filed a disclosure report begins on the earlier of the date the committee accepts contributions or makes expenditures, or opens an official funds depository account.

The act specifies that all disclosure reports are to be cumulative and enumerates the beginning and ending periods for the various types of committees.

Statements of limited activity shall not be filed if the committee has a deficit in excess of $5,000 during the period documented in the report that is required to be filed no later than the thirtieth day after an election or if it has a deficit in excess of $1,000 during later periods. Committees shall not file more than 3 successive statements of limited activity in a calendar year. Requirements for filing supplemental semiannual reports for committees with deficits are repealed.

Currently, reports are to be postmarked no later than midnight of the day previous to the deadline date. This act changes the deadline to midnight of the deadline date.

Initial reports made by out-of-state committees shall state the name and address of the committee receiving contributions or expenditures and such contributions and expenditures shall be made no later than 30 days prior to the election.

Currently, the executive director of the Ethics Commission is required to delete material identifying the name of a complainant on the complaint it supplies to the subject of the complaint. This provision contradicts section 105.957 and is repealed.

This act is similar to SB 605 (2012), and SB 290 (2013).

CHRIS HOGERTY