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SF 1249

as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to elections; requiring candidates to receive 
  1.3             a certain percentage of votes in the general election 
  1.4             to be eligible to receive payments from the general 
  1.5             account in the state elections campaign fund; 
  1.6             permitting a political party to lose major party 
  1.7             status every two years, rather than every four years; 
  1.8             amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 10A.31, 
  1.9             subdivision 7; 10A.322, subdivision 1; 200.02, 
  1.10            subdivision 7. 
  1.12     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 10A.31, 
  1.13  subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
  1.14     Subd. 7.  [DISTRIBUTION OF GENERAL ACCOUNT.] (a) As soon as 
  1.15  the board has obtained the results of the primary election from 
  1.16  the secretary of state, but no later than one week after 
  1.17  certification of the primary results by the state canvassing 
  1.18  board Within two weeks after the state canvassing board has 
  1.19  certified the results of the general election, the board must 
  1.20  distribute the available money in the general account, as 
  1.21  certified by the commissioner of revenue on September November 1 
  1.22  and according to allocations set forth in subdivision 5, in 
  1.23  equal amounts to all candidates of a major political party whose 
  1.24  names are to appear on the ballot in the general election and 
  1.25  who: 
  1.26     (1) have signed a spending limit agreement under section 
  1.27  10A.322; 
  1.28     (2) have filed the affidavit of contributions required by 
  2.1   section 10A.323; and 
  2.2      (3) were opposed in either the primary election or the 
  2.3   general election; and 
  2.4      (4) are either a candidate for statewide office who 
  2.5   received at least five percent of the votes cast in the general 
  2.6   election for that office or a candidate for legislative office 
  2.7   who received at least ten percent of the votes cast in the 
  2.8   general election for that office.  
  2.9      (b) The public subsidy under this subdivision may not be 
  2.10  paid in an amount that would cause the sum of the public subsidy 
  2.11  paid from the party account plus the public subsidy paid from 
  2.12  the general account to exceed 50 percent of the expenditure 
  2.13  limit for the candidate or 50 percent of the expenditure limit 
  2.14  that would have applied to the candidate if the candidate had 
  2.15  not been freed from expenditure limits under section 10A.25, 
  2.16  subdivision 10.  Money from the general account not paid to a 
  2.17  candidate because of the 50 percent limit must be distributed 
  2.18  equally among all other qualifying candidates for the same 
  2.19  office until all have reached the 50 percent limit or the 
  2.20  balance in the general account is exhausted. 
  2.21     (c) A candidate must expend or become obligated to expend 
  2.22  at least an amount equal to 50 percent of the money distributed 
  2.23  by the board under this subdivision no later than the end of the 
  2.24  final reporting period preceding the general election.  
  2.25  Otherwise, the candidate must repay to the board the difference 
  2.26  between the amount the candidate spent or became obligated to 
  2.27  spend by the deadline and the amount distributed to the 
  2.28  candidate under this subdivision.  The candidate must make the 
  2.29  repayment no later than six months following the general 
  2.30  election.  The candidate must reimburse the board for all 
  2.31  reasonable costs, including litigation costs, incurred in 
  2.32  collecting any amount due. 
  2.33     If the board determines that a candidate has failed to 
  2.34  repay money as required by this paragraph, the board may not 
  2.35  distribute any additional money to the candidate until the 
  2.36  entirety of the repayment has been made. 
  3.1      Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 10A.322, 
  3.2   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  3.3      Subdivision 1.  [AGREEMENT BY CANDIDATE.] (a) As a 
  3.4   condition of receiving a public subsidy, a candidate must sign 
  3.5   and file with the board a written agreement in which the 
  3.6   candidate agrees that the candidate will comply with sections 
  3.7   10A.25; 10A.27, subdivision 10; 10A.31, subdivision 7, paragraph 
  3.8   (c); and 10A.324. 
  3.9      (b) Before the first day of filing for office, the board 
  3.10  must forward agreement forms to all filing officers.  The board 
  3.11  must also provide agreement forms to candidates on request at 
  3.12  any time.  The candidate must file the agreement with the board 
  3.13  by September 1 preceding the candidate's general election or a 
  3.14  special election held at the general election.  An agreement may 
  3.15  not be filed after that date.  An agreement once filed may not 
  3.16  be rescinded. 
  3.17     (c) The board must notify the commissioner of revenue of 
  3.18  any agreement signed under this subdivision. 
  3.19     (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), if a vacancy occurs that 
  3.20  will be filled by means of a special election and the filing 
  3.21  period does not coincide with the filing period for the general 
  3.22  election, a candidate may sign and submit a spending limit 
  3.23  agreement not later than the day after the candidate files the 
  3.24  affidavit of candidacy or nominating petition for the office. 
  3.25     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 200.02, 
  3.26  subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
  3.27     Subd. 7.  [MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY.] (a) "Major political 
  3.28  party" means a political party that maintains a party 
  3.29  organization in the state, political division or precinct in 
  3.30  question and that has presented at least one candidate for 
  3.31  election to the office of: 
  3.32     (1) governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, 
  3.33  state auditor, or attorney general at the last preceding state 
  3.34  general election for those offices; or 
  3.35     (2) presidential elector or U.S. senator at the last 
  3.36  preceding state general election for presidential electors; and 
  4.1      whose candidate received votes in each county in that 
  4.2   election and received votes from not less than five percent of 
  4.3   the total number of individuals who voted in that election. 
  4.4      (b) "Major political party" also means a political party 
  4.5   that maintains a party organization in the state, political 
  4.6   subdivision, or precinct in question and whose members present 
  4.7   to the secretary of state a petition for a place on the state 
  4.8   partisan primary ballot, which petition contains signatures of a 
  4.9   number of the party members equal to at least five percent of 
  4.10  the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state 
  4.11  general election. 
  4.12     (c) A political party whose candidate receives a sufficient 
  4.13  number of votes at a state general election described in 
  4.14  paragraph (a) becomes a major political party as of January 1 
  4.15  following that election and retains its major party status 
  4.16  notwithstanding that the party fails to present a candidate who 
  4.17  receives the number and percentage of votes required under 
  4.18  paragraph (a) at the following state general election. 
  4.19     (d) A major political party whose candidates fail to 
  4.20  receive the number and percentage of votes required under 
  4.21  paragraph (a) at either a state general election described by 
  4.22  paragraph (a) loses major party status as of December 31 
  4.23  following the most recent state general that election.