SB 0031 Modifies campaign finance reports and establishes a deadline on Ethics Commission investigations.
LR Number:S0509.10T Fiscal Note:0509-10
Last Action:07/13/99 - Signed by Governor (w/EC) Journal page:
Title:CCS#2 HCS SCS SBs 31 & 285
Effective Date:EC for certain sections
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Current Bill Summary

CCS#2/HCS/SCS/SBs 31 & 285 - This act modifies certain provisions of the ethics and lobbying laws.

Expenditures made to charitable, not-for-profit, fraternal & civic organizations are excluded from lobbyist reports.

The duty of the Ethics Commission to issue written opinions is broadened to include any complaint the Commission is authorized to receive. Currently, written opinions are made only on complaints regarding campaign finance and conflict of interest. Also, a 90-day time limit to issue opinions is established.

The filing deadline is extended to the next working day when the deadline falls on a holiday or weekend.

A 90-day deadline is established to complete and make determinations on complaint investigations. The Commission may file a petition to extend the deadline in Cole County Circuit Court, which tolls the deadline pending a court decision. This part of the act has an emergency clause.

The cap on anonymous cash contributions made to exploratory committees and candidate committees is increased from $25 to $100. Also, the cap on anonymous individual contributions is increased, when there are twenty-five or more contributing participants, from $25 to $100.

To conform with other provisions in this act, the act requires the reporting of individual names, addresses, employers, etc., for aggregate contributions from each person of more than $100. Currently, the amount is $25. This act also decreases the amount required for the reporting of names and addresses of persons to whom expenditures are made from $150 to $100.

This act changes the filing deadline for reporting from 7 to 8 days before the election. A loophole in special elections is closed by requiring a "40-day before" report if the quarterly report is due more than 40 days before the election. Also, the reporting deadline for quarterly reports is changed from the 7th to the 15th day of January, April, July and October. No quarterly disclosure report is due in January after a November election if a cumulative report is filed in April. Under current law, a report is due 30 days after the November election.

This act also requires 48-hour reporting for any contribution of more than $250. Currently, any amount must be reported by a committee within 48 hours, if it is received after the closing date for the last day before the election to report contributions.

This act establishes late fees for candidates filing late with the local election authority. The late fees are set at $10 per day for the first 30 days the report is late, with a maximum of $300 in late fees.

This act allows smaller continuing committees, which make contributions equal to or less than $15,000 in the applicable calendar year, to file campaign reports on paper forms, and requires larger continuing committees, which make contributions over $15,000, to file electronically once the electronic format is available. Also, all statewide candidates receiving or spending $5,000 or more in any reporting period shall file electronically. These provisions apply in 2000, or when the Commission certifies that the electronic reporting system is properly implemented.

The cap on cash contributions allowed from any single contributor for any election is changed from $25 to $100. Also changed is the cap on cash contributions that candidates and candidate committees can accept from $25 to $100 per person per election cycle.

Reasonable attorney's fees used to defend a person in an investigation relating to that person's holding or running for public office may be paid out of that person's committee.

This act also creates a position in Ethics Commission pertaining to the electronic reporting system.

This act is similar to CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 676.