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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2531

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 02/27/2014 03:25pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to campaign finance; making various technical changes; authorizing the
board to request reconciliation information; authorizing certain fees; authorizing
the board to establish a system to store electronic records online; modifying
certain definitions and fee amounts; imposing penalties; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2012, sections 10A.01, subdivision 5; 10A.02, subdivision 11a, by
adding a subdivision; 10A.025, by adding a subdivision; 10A.09, subdivisions
1, 5, by adding a subdivision; 10A.12, subdivision 5; 10A.255, subdivision
3; 10A.28, subdivision 4; 13.607, subdivision 5a; 211A.02, subdivision 2;
Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, sections 10A.01, subdivision 10; 10A.02,
subdivision 11; 10A.025, subdivision 4; 10A.20, subdivisions 2, 5; repealing
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, subdivision 8.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.01, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Associated business.

"Associated business" means an association,
corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other
organized legal entity from which the individual receives compensation in excess of $50,
except for actual and reasonable expenses, in any month as a director, officer, owner,
member, partner, employer or employee, or whose securities the individual holds worth
new text beginmore than new text end$2,500 deleted text beginor moredeleted text end at fair market value.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 10A.01, subdivision 10, is
amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Candidate.

"Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination or
election as a state constitutional officer, legislator, or judge. An individual is deemed
to seek nomination or election if the individual has taken the action necessary under
the law of this state to qualify for nomination or election, has received contributions or
made expenditures in excess of deleted text begin$100deleted text endnew text begin $750new text end, or has given implicit or explicit consent for
any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of deleted text begin$100deleted text endnew text begin $750new text end,
for the purpose of bringing about the individual's nomination or election. A candidate
remains a candidate until the candidate's principal campaign committee is dissolved as
provided in section 10A.243.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 10A.02, subdivision 11, is
amended to read:


Subd. 11.

Violations; enforcement.

(a) The board may investigate any alleged
violation of this chapter. The board may also investigate an alleged violation of section
211B.04, 211B.12, or 211B.15 by or related to a candidate, treasurer, principal campaign
committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit, as those terms are defined in
this chapter. The board must investigate any violation that is alleged in a written complaint
filed with the board and must within 30 days after the filing of the complaint make findings
and conclusions as to whether a violation has occurred and must issue an order, except that
if the complaint alleges a violation of section 10A.25 or 10A.27, the board must either enter
a conciliation agreement or make public findings and conclusions as to whether a violation
has occurred and must issue an order within 60 days after the filing of the complaint. The
deadline for action on a written complaint may be extended by majority vote of the board.

(b) The board may bring legal actions or negotiate settlements in its own name to
recover money raised from contributions subject to the conditions in this paragraph.

(1) No action may be commenced unless the board has made a formal determination,
after an investigation, that the money was raised for political purposes as defined in
section 211B.01, subdivision 6, and that the money was used for purposes not permitted
under this chapter or under section 211B.12.

(2) Prior to commencing an action, the board must give the association whose money
was misused written notice by certified mail of its intent to take action under this subdivision
and must give the association a reasonable opportunity, for a period of not less than 90
days, to recover the money without board intervention. This period must be extended
for at least an additional 90 days for good cause if the association is actively pursuing
recovery of the money. The board may not commence a legal action under this subdivision
if the association has commenced a legal action for the recovery of the same money.

(3) Any funds recovered under this subdivision must be deposited in a campaign
finance recovery account in the special revenue fund and are appropriated as follows:

(i) an amount equal to the board's actual costs and disbursements in the action,
including court reporter fees for depositions taken in the course of an investigation, is
appropriated to the board for its operations;

(ii) an amount equal to the reasonable value of legal services provided by the Office
of the Attorney General in the recovery matter, calculated on the same basis as is used
for charging legal fees to state agencies, is appropriated to the attorney general for the
attorney general's operations; and

(iii) any remaining balance is appropriated to the board for distribution to the
association to which the money was originally contributed.

(4) Notwithstanding clause (3), item (iii), if the candidate of a principal campaign
committee is the person who used the association's money for illegal purposes, or if the
association or political fund whose money was misused is no longer registered with the
board, any money remaining after the payments specified in clause (3), items (i) and (ii),
must be transferred to the general account of the state elections campaign account.

(5) Any action by the board under this paragraph must be commenced not later than
four years after the improper use of money is shown on a report filed with the board or the
board has actual knowledge of improper use. No action may be commenced under this
paragraph for improper uses disclosed on reports for calendar years prior to 2011.

(6) If the board prevails in an action brought under this subdivision and the court
makes a finding that the misuse of funds was willful, the court may enter judgment in favor
of the board and against the person misusing the funds in the amount of the misused funds.

(c) Within a reasonable time after beginning an investigation of an individual
or association, the board must notify the individual or association of the fact of the
investigation. The board must not make a finding deleted text beginof whether there is probable cause to
believe
deleted text endnew text begin thatnew text end a violation has occurred without notifying the individual or association of the
nature of the allegations and affording an opportunity to answer those allegations.

(d) A hearing new text beginbefore the board new text endor action of the board concerning a complaint or
investigation other than deleted text begina finding concerning probable causedeleted text endnew text begin findings, conclusions, and
orders
new text end or a conciliation agreement is confidential. Until the board makes a public finding
deleted text beginconcerning probable causedeleted text end or enters a conciliation agreement:

(1) a member, employee, or agent of the board must not disclose to an individual
information obtained by that member, employee, or agent concerning a complaint or
investigation except as required to carry out the investigation or take action in the matter
as authorized by this chapter; and

(2) an individual who discloses information contrary to this subdivision is subject
to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

(e) A matter that is under the board's jurisdiction pursuant to this section and that
may result in a criminal offense must be finally disposed of by the board before the alleged
violation may be prosecuted by a city or county attorney.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.02, subdivision 11a, is amended to read:


Subd. 11a.

Data privacy.

If, after making a public finding deleted text beginconcerning probable
cause
deleted text end or entering a conciliation agreement, the board determines that the record of the
investigation contains statements, documents, or other matter that, if disclosed, would
unfairly injure the reputation of an innocent individual, the board may:

(1) retain the statement, document, or other matter as a private record, as defined in
section 13.02, subdivision 12, for a period of one year, after which it must be destroyed; or

(2) return the statement, document, or other matter to the individual who supplied
it to the board.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.02, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 11b. new text end

new text begin Data privacy related to electronic reporting system. new text end

new text begin The board may
develop and maintain systems to enable treasurers to enter and store electronic records
online for the purpose of complying with this chapter. Data entered into such systems
by treasurers or their authorized agents is not government data under chapter 13 and
may not be accessed or used by the board for any purpose without the treasurer's written
consent. Data from such systems that has been submitted to the board as a filed report is
government data under chapter 13.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 10A.025, subdivision 4, is
amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Changes and corrections.

Material changes in information previously
submitted and corrections to a report or statement must be reported in writing to the board
within ten days following the date of the event prompting the change or the date upon
which the person filing became aware of the inaccuracy. The change or correction must
identify the form and the paragraph containing the information to be changed or corrected.

A person who willfully fails to report a material change or correction is subject to a
civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000. A willful violation of this subdivision
is a gross misdemeanor.

The board must send a new text beginwritten new text endnotice deleted text beginby certified maildeleted text end to any individual who fails to
file a report required by this subdivision. If the individual fails to file the required report
within ten business days after the notice was sent, the board may impose a late filing fee of
deleted text begin$5deleted text endnew text begin $25new text end per day up to deleted text begin$100deleted text endnew text begin $1,000new text end starting on the 11th day after the notice was sent. The
board deleted text beginmustdeleted text endnew text begin maynew text end send an additional notice by certified mail to an individual who fails to
file a report within deleted text begin14deleted text endnew text begin ten businessnew text end days after the first notice was sent by the board deleted text beginthatdeleted text endnew text begin.
The certified notice must state that if the individual does not file the requested report
within ten business days after the certified notice was sent,
new text end the individual may be subject
to a civil penalty for failure to file a report. An individual who fails to file a report required
by this subdivision within deleted text beginsevendeleted text endnew text begin ten businessnew text end days after the deleted text beginseconddeleted text endnew text begin certifiednew text end notice was
sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.025, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Reconciliation information; penalty. new text end

new text begin An individual or association
required to file a report under this chapter must provide information requested by the
board to reconcile discrepancies between the report and reports filed by other individuals
or associations. The board's request for information must be in writing. If the individual
or association fails to provide the requested information within ten business days after the
request was sent, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day up to $1,000.
new text end

new text begin The board may send notice by certified mail to an individual or association that has
not timely responded to the board's written request for reconciliation information. The
certified notice must state that if the individual or association does not respond to the
board's request for information within ten business days after the certified notice was
sent, the individual or association may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to provide
information to the board. An individual or association that does not provide the requested
information within ten business days after the certified notice was sent is subject to a civil
penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.
new text end

new text begin A person who willfully fails to cooperate with the board to reconcile a report
discrepancy is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Time for filing.

deleted text beginExcept for a candidate for elective office in the
judicial branch,
deleted text end An individual must file a statement of economic interest with the board:

(1) within 60 days of accepting employment as a public official or a local official in
a metropolitan governmental unit;

new text begin (2) within 60 days of assuming office as a district court judge, appeals court judge,
supreme court justice, or county commissioner;
new text end

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on
the ballot for an elective state new text beginconstitutional or legislative new text endoffice or an elective local office
in a metropolitan governmental unitnew text begin other than county commissionernew text end;

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (4)new text end in the case of a public official requiring the advice and consent of the senate,
within 14 days after undertaking the duties of office; or

deleted text begin (4)deleted text endnew text begin (5)new text end in the case of members of the Minnesota Racing Commission, the director
of the Minnesota Racing Commission, chief of security, medical officer, inspector of
pari-mutuels, and stewards employed or approved by the commission or persons who
fulfill those duties under contract, within 60 days of accepting or assuming duties.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 1a. new text end

new text begin Exception; senior judges. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding subdivision 1, a retired judge
or justice appointed to serve as a senior judge or justice under section 2.724 is not required
to comply with the provisions of this section.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Form.

A statement of economic interest required by this section must be
on a form prescribed by the board. The individual filing must provide the following
information:

(1) name, address, occupation, and principal place of business;

(2) the name of each associated business and the nature of that association;

(3) a listing of all real property within the state, excluding homestead property, in
which the individual holds: (i) a fee simple interest, a mortgage, a contract for deed as
buyer or seller, or an option to buy, whether direct or indirect, if the interest is valued in
excess of $2,500; or (ii) an option to buy, if the property has a fair market value of new text beginmore
than
new text end$50,000 deleted text beginor moredeleted text end;

(4) a listing of all real property within the state in which a partnership of which the
individual is a member holds: (i) a fee simple interest, a mortgage, a contract for deed
as buyer or seller, or an option to buy, whether direct or indirect, if the individual's share
of the partnership interest is valued in excess of $2,500; or (ii) an option to buy, if the
property has a fair market value of new text beginmore than new text end$50,000 deleted text beginor moredeleted text end. A listing under clause
(3) or (4) must indicate the street address and the municipality or the section, township,
range and approximate acreage, whichever applies, and the county in which the property
is located; and

(5) a listing of any investments, ownership, or interests in property connected with
pari-mutuel horse racing in the United States and Canada, including a racehorse, in which
the individual directly or indirectly holds a partial or full interest or an immediate family
member holds a partial or full interest.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.12, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Dues or membership fees.

An association may, if not prohibited by other
law, deposit in its political fund money derived from dues or membership fees. Under
section 10A.20, the treasurer of the fund must disclose the name of any member whose
dues, membership fees, and contributions deposited in the political fund together exceed
deleted text begin$100deleted text endnew text begin $200new text end in a year.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 10A.20, subdivision 2, is
amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Time for filing.

(a) The reports must be filed with the board on or before
January 31 of each year and additional reports must be filed as required and in accordance
with paragraphs (b) to deleted text begin(d)deleted text endnew text begin (f)new text end.

(b) In each year in which the name of a candidate for legislative or district court
judicial office is on the ballot, the report of the principal campaign committee must be
filed 15 days before a primary new text beginelection new text endand ten days before a general election, seven
days before a special primary new text beginelection new text endand new text beginseven days before new text enda special new text begingeneral new text endelection,
and ten days after a special election cycle.

(c) In each general election year, a political committee, a political fund, a state
party committee, new text beginand new text enda party unit established by all or a part of the party organization
within a house of the legislaturedeleted text begin, and the principal campaign committee of a candidate for
constitutional or appellate court judicial office
deleted text end must file reports on the following schedule:

(1) a first-quarter report covering the calendar year through March 31, which is
due April 14;

(2) deleted text beginin a year in which a primary election is held in August,deleted text end a report covering the
calendar year through May 31, which is due June 14;

deleted text begin (3) in a year in which a primary election is held before August, a pre-general-election
report covering the calendar year through July 15, which is due July 29;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end a pre-primary-election report due 15 days before a primary election;

deleted text begin (5)deleted text endnew text begin (4)new text end a pre-general-election report due 42 days before the general election;new text begin and
new text end

deleted text begin (6)deleted text endnew text begin (5)new text end a pre-general-election report due ten days before a general electiondeleted text begin; anddeleted text endnew text begin.
new text end

deleted text begin (7) for a special election, a constitutional office candidate whose name is on the
ballot must file reports seven days before a special primary and a special election, and ten
days after a special election cycle.
deleted text end

(d) In each general election year, a party unit not included in paragraph (c) must file
reports 15 days before a primary election and ten days before a general election.

new text begin (e) In each year in which a constitutional office or appellate court judicial seat is
on the ballot, the principal campaign committee of a candidate for that office or seat
must file reports on the following schedule:
new text end

new text begin (1) a first-quarter report covering the calendar year through March 31, which is
due April 14;
new text end

new text begin (2) a report covering the calendar year through May 31, which is due June 14;
new text end

new text begin (3) a pre-primary-election report due 15 days before a primary election;
new text end

new text begin (4) a pre-general-election report due 42 days before the general election;
new text end

new text begin (5) a pre-general-election report due ten days before a general election; and
new text end

new text begin (6) for a special election, a constitutional office candidate whose name is on the
ballot must file reports seven days before a special primary election, seven days before a
special general election, and ten days after a special election cycle.
new text end

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (f)new text end Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) to deleted text begin(d),deleted text endnew text begin (e):
new text end

new text begin (1) the principal campaign committee of a candidate whose name will not be on the
primary election ballot is not required to file the report due 15 days before the primary
election or the report due seven days before a special primary election; and
new text end

new text begin (2)new text end the principal campaign committee of a candidate whose name will not be on the
general election ballot is not required to file new text beginthe report due 42 days before the general
election,
new text endthe report due ten days before a general electionnew text begin,new text end or new text beginthe report due new text endseven days
before a special new text begingeneral new text endelection.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 10A.20, subdivision 5, is
amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Pre-election reports.

(a) Any loan, contribution, or contributions:

(1) to a political committee or political fund from any one source totaling more
than $1,000;

(2) to the principal campaign committee of a candidate for an appellate court judicial
office totaling more than $2,000;

(3) to the principal campaign committee of a candidate for district court judge
totaling more than $400; or

(4) to the principal campaign committee of a candidate for constitutional office or
for the legislature totaling more than 50 percent of the election deleted text begincycledeleted text endnew text begin segmentnew text end contribution
limit for the office,

received between the last day covered in the last report before an election and the election
must be reported to the board in the manner provided in paragraph (b).

(b) A loan, contribution, or contributions required to be reported to the board under
paragraph (a) must be reported to the board either:

(1) in person by the end of the next business day after its receipt; or

(2) by electronic means sent within 24 hours after its receipt.

(c) These loans and contributions must also be reported in the next required report.

(d) This notice requirement does not apply in a primary election to a candidate who
is unopposed in the primary, in a primary election to a ballot question political committee
or fund, or in a general election to a candidate whose name is not on the general election
ballot. The board must post the report on its Web site by the end of the next business day
after it is received.

(e) This subdivision does not apply to a ballot question or independent expenditure
political committee or fund that has not met the registration threshold of section 10A.14,
subdivision 1a. However, if a contribution that would be subject to this section triggers the
registration requirement in section 10A.14, subdivision 1a, then both registration under
that section and reporting under this section are required.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.255, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Publication of expenditure limit.

By April 15 of each election year
the board must publish deleted text beginin the State Registerdeleted text endnew text begin on its Web sitenew text end the expenditure limit for
each office for that calendar year under section 10A.25 as adjusted by this section. The
revisor of statutes must code the adjusted amounts in the next edition of Minnesota
Statutes, section 10A.25, subdivision 2.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.28, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Civil action.

If the board is unable after a reasonable time to correct by
informal methods a matter deleted text beginthat constitutes probable causedeleted text endnew text begin where there is reasonnew text end to believe
that excess expenditures have been made or excess contributions accepted contrary to
subdivision 1 or 2, the board must make a public finding deleted text beginof probable causedeleted text end in the matter.
deleted text beginAfter making a public finding, the board must bring an action, or transmit the finding to a
county attorney who must bring an action, in the District Court of Ramsey County or, in the
case of a legislative candidate, the district court of a county within the legislative district,
to collect a civil penalty as imposed by the board under subdivision 1 or 2. All money
recovered under this section must be deposited in the general fund of the state treasury.
deleted text end

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 13.607, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:


Subd. 5a.

Campaign reportsnew text begin and datanew text end.

Certain reports filed with the Campaign
Finance and Public Disclosure Board are classified under section 10A.20.new text begin Certain data
stored by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board is not government data
under section 10A.02, subdivision 11b.
new text end

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 211A.02, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Information required.

The report to be filed by a candidate or committee
must include:

(1) the name of the candidate or ballot question;

(2) the printed name, address, telephone number, signature, and e-mail address, if
available, of the person responsible for filing the report;

(3) the total cash on handnew text begin designated to be used for political purposesnew text end;

(4) the total amount of deleted text beginreceiptsdeleted text endnew text begin contributionsnew text end and deleted text beginexpendituresdeleted text endnew text begin disbursementsnew text end for the
period from the last previous report to five days before the current report is due;

(5) the amount, date, and purpose for each deleted text beginexpendituredeleted text endnew text begin disbursementnew text end; and

(6) the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, of any
individual or committee that during the year has made one or more contributions that in
the aggregate exceed $100, and the amount and date of each contribution. The filing
officer must restrict public access to the address of any individual who has made a
contribution that exceeds $100 and who has filed with the filing officer a written statement
signed by the individual that withholding the individual's address from the financial report
is required for the safety of the individual or the individual's family.

Sec. 18. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, subdivision 8, new text end new text begin is repealed.
new text end

Sec. 19. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 18 are effective the day following final enactment.
new text end