This document represents the act as presented to the governor. The version passed by the legislature is the final engrossment. It does not represent the official 2018 session law, which will be available here summer 2018.
language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to campaign finance; adding new definitions; amending provisions relating to disclosure, independent expenditures, noncampaign disbursements, reporting requirements, coordinated and noncoordinated expenditures, and various other changes to campaign finance laws;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 10A.01, subdivisions 5, 26, by adding subdivisions; 10A.022, subdivision 3, by adding subdivisions; 10A.025, by adding a subdivision; 10A.07, subdivisions 1, 2; 10A.08, subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 10A.15, by adding subdivisions; 10A.17, subdivision 4; 10A.25, subdivision 3a; 10A.273, subdivision 3; 10A.322, subdivision 1; 211B.04; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, sections 10A.09, subdivisions 5, 6; 10A.155; 10A.20, subdivision 3; 10A.27, subdivision 16a; 10A.323; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A; repealing Minnesota Rules, parts 4501.0200, subparts 1, 2; 4501.0500, subpart 1a; 4503.0100, subpart 6; 4503.0500, subpart 2; 4503.1300, subpart 4; 4505.0010; 4505.0100, subparts 1, 4, 6; 4505.0700; 4515.0010; 4515.0100, subparts 1, 5; 4515.0500, subpart 1; 4520.0010; 4520.0100, subparts 1, 4, 6; 4520.0400; 4520.0500; 4525.0330; 4525.0340, subpart 1.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
"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 more than $2,500 at fair market value.
"Noncampaign disbursement" means a purchase or payment of money or anything of value made, or an advance of credit incurred, or a donation in kind received, by a principal campaign committee for any of the following purposes:
(1) payment for accounting and legal services;
(2) return of a contribution to the source;
(3) repayment of a loan made to the principal campaign committee by that committee;
(4) return of a public subsidy;
(5) payment for food, beverages, and necessary utensils and supplies, entertainment, and facility rental for a fund-raising event;
(6) services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer in the executive branch, including the costs of preparing and distributing a suggestion or idea solicitation to constituents, performed from the beginning of the term of office to adjournment sine die of the legislature in the election year for the office held, and half the cost of services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer in the executive branch performed from adjournment sine die to 60 days after adjournment sine die;
(7) payment for food and beverages consumed by a candidate or volunteers while they are engaged in campaign activities;
(8) payment for food or a beverage consumed while attending a reception or meeting directly related to legislative duties;
(9) payment of expenses incurred by elected or appointed leaders of a legislative caucus in carrying out their leadership responsibilities;
(10) payment by a principal campaign committee of the candidate's expenses for serving in public office, other than for personal uses;
(11) costs of child care for the candidate's children when campaigning;
(12) fees paid to attend a campaign school;
(13) costs of a postelection party during the election year when a candidate's name will no longer appear on a ballot or the general election is concluded, whichever occurs first;
(14) interest on loans paid by a principal campaign committee on outstanding loans;
(15) filing fees;
(16) post-general election holiday or seasonal cards, thank-you notes, or advertisements in the news media mailed or published prior to the end of the election cycle;
(17) the cost of campaign material purchased to replace defective campaign material, if the defective material is destroyed without being used;
(18) contributions to a party unit;
(19) payments for funeral gifts or memorials;
(20) the cost of a magnet less than six inches in diameter containing legislator contact information and distributed to constituents;
(21) costs associated with a candidate attending a political party state or national convention in this state;
(22) other purchases or payments specified in board rules or advisory opinions as being for any purpose other than to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question; and
(23) costs paid to a third party for processing contributions made by a credit card, debit card, or electronic check
The board must determine whether an activity involves a noncampaign disbursement within the meaning of this subdivision.
A noncampaign disbursement is considered to be made in the year in which the candidate made the purchase of goods or services or incurred an obligation to pay for goods or services.
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.
(1) Upon receipt of a written complaint filed with the board, the board chair or another board member designated by the chair shall promptly make a determination as to whether the complaint alleges a prima facie violation. If a determination is made that the complaint does not allege a prima facie violation, the complaint shall be dismissed without prejudice and the complainant and the subject of the complaint must be promptly notified of the reasons the complaint did not allege a prima facie violation. The notice to the subject of the complaint must include a copy of the complaint. If the complainant files a revised complaint regarding the same facts and the same subject, the prima facie determination must be completed by a board member other than the member who made the initial determination and who does not support the same political party as the member who made the initial determination. The chair may order that the prima facie determination for any complaint be made by the full board and must order that the prima facie determination for a complaint being submitted for the third time be made by the full board.
(2) If a determination is made that the complaint alleges a prima facie violation, the board shall, within 45 days of the prima facie determination, make findings and conclusions as to whether probable cause exists to believe the alleged violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred. Any party filing a complaint and any party against whom a complaint is filed must be given an opportunity to be heard by the board prior to the board's determination as to whether probable cause exists to believe a violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred.
(3) Upon a determination by the board that probable cause exists to believe a violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred, the board must undertake an investigation under subdivision 2 and must issue an order at the conclusion of the investigation, 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 probable cause determination has been made. Prior to making findings and conclusions in an investigation, the board must offer the subject of the complaint an opportunity to answer the allegations of the complaint in writing and to appear before the board to address the matter. The deadline for action on a written complaint may be extended by majority vote of the board.
A public official or a local official elected to or appointed by a metropolitan governmental unit who in the discharge of official duties would be required to take an action or make a decision that would substantially affect the official's financial interests or those of an associated business, unless the effect on the official is no greater than on other members of the official's business classification, profession, or occupation, must take the following actions:
(1) prepare a written statement describing the matter requiring action or decision and the nature of the potential conflict of interest;
(2) deliver copies of the statement to the official's immediate superior, if any; and
(3) if a member of the legislature or of the governing body of a metropolitan governmental unit, deliver a copy of the statement to the presiding officer of the body of service.
If a potential conflict of interest presents itself and there is insufficient time to comply with clauses (1) to (3), the public or local official must orally inform the superior or the official body of service or committee of the body of the potential conflict.
If the official is not a member of the legislature or of the governing body of a metropolitan governmental unit, the superior must assign the matter, if possible, to another employee who does not have a potential conflict of interest.
If there is no immediate superior, the official must abstain, if possible, in a manner prescribed by the board from influence over the action or decision in question.
If the official is a member of the legislature, the house of service may, at the member's request, excuse the member from taking part in the action or decision in question.
If the official is not permitted or is otherwise unable to abstain from action in connection with the matter, the official must file a statement describing the potential conflict and the action taken. A public official must file the statement with the board and a local official must file the statement with the governing body of the official's political subdivision. The statement must be filed within a week of the action taken.
A public official who represents a client for a fee before an individual, board, commission, or agency that has rulemaking authority in a hearing conducted under chapter 14, must disclose the official's participation in the action to the board within 14 days after the appearance. If the public official fails to disclose the participation by the date that the disclosure was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000, starting on the day after the disclosure was due. The board must send notice by certified mail to a public official who fails to disclose the participation within ten business days after the disclosure was due that the public official may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to disclose the participation. A public official who fails to disclose the participation within seven days after the certified mail notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.
(a) 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 more than $50,000;
(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 more than $50,000. A listing under this clause or clause (3) 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;
(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;
(6) a listing of the principal business or professional activity category of each business from which the individual receives more than $50 in any month as an employee, if the individual has an ownership interest of 25 percent or more in the business;
(7) a listing of each principal business or professional activity category from which the individual received compensation of more than $2,500 in the past 12 months as an independent contractor; and
(8) the full name of each security with a value of more than $2,500 owned in part or in full by the public official at any time during the reporting period.
(b) The business or professional categories for purposes of paragraph (a), clauses (6) and (7), must be the general topic headings used by the federal Internal Revenue Service for purposes of reporting self-employment income on Schedule C. This paragraph does not require an individual to report any specific code number from that schedule. Any additional principal business or professional activity category may only be adopted if the category is enacted by law.
(c) For the purpose of an original statement of economic interest, "compensation in any month" includes only compensation received in the calendar month immediately preceding the date of appointment as a public official or filing as a candidate.
(d) For the purpose of calculating the amount of compensation received from any single source in a single month, the amount shall include the total amount received from the source during the month, whether or not the amount covers compensation for more than one month.
(a) Each individual who is required to file a statement of economic interest must also file an annual statement by the last Monday in January of each year that the individual remains in office. The annual statement must cover the period through December 31 of the year prior to the year when the statement is due. The annual statement must include the amount of each honorarium in excess of $50 received since the previous statement and the name and address of the source of the honorarium. The board must maintain each annual statement of economic interest submitted by an officeholder in the same file with the statement submitted as a candidate.
(b) For the purpose of annual statements of economic interest to be filed, "compensation in any month" includes compensation and honoraria received in any month between the end of the period covered in the preceding statement of economic interest and the end of the current period.
(c) An individual must file the annual statement of economic interest required by this subdivision to cover the period for which the individual served as a public official even though at the time the statement was filed, the individual is no longer holding that office as a public official.
Automobile use provided to a committee by an individual may be valued at the lowest rate used by the state to reimburse its employees for automobile use. Alternatively, the value of the automobile may be calculated as the actual cost of fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance directly related to the use of the automobile. An automobile provided by an association must be valued at the fair market value for renting an equivalent automobile.
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), An individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit that independently solicits or accepts contributions or makes independent expenditures on behalf of a candidate must publicly disclose that the expenditure is an independent expenditure. All written communications with those from whom contributions are independently solicited or accepted or to whom independent expenditures are made on behalf of a candidate must contain a statement in conspicuous type that the activity is an independent expenditure and is not approved by the candidate nor is the candidate responsible for it. Similar language must be included in all oral communications, in conspicuous type on the front page of all literature and advertisements published or posted, and at the end of all broadcast advertisements made by that individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit on the candidate's behalf.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to individuals or associations that are not required to register or report under this chapter.
(c) Paragraph (a) does not apply to the following:
(1) bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens, or similar small items on which the independent expenditure statement cannot be conveniently printed;
(2) skywriting, wearing apparel, or other means of displaying an advertisement of such a nature that the inclusion of the independent expenditure statement would be impracticable; and
(3) online banner ads and similar electronic communications that link directly to an online page that includes the independent expenditure statement.
(a) The report required by this section must include each of the items listed in paragraphs (b) to (q) that are applicable to the filer. The board shall prescribe forms based on filer type indicating which of those items must be included on the filer's report.
(b) The report must disclose the amount of liquid assets on hand at the beginning of the reporting period.
(c) The report must disclose the name, address, employer, or occupation if self-employed, and registration number if registered with the board, of each individual or association that has made one or more contributions to the reporting entity, including the purchase of tickets for a fund-raising effort, that in aggregate within the year exceed $200 for legislative or statewide candidates or more than $500 for ballot questions, together with the amount and date of each contribution, and the aggregate amount of contributions within the year from each source so disclosed. A donation in kind must be disclosed at its fair market value. An approved expenditure must be listed as a donation in kind. A donation in kind is considered consumed in the reporting period in which it is received. The names of contributors must be listed in alphabetical order. Contributions from the same contributor must be listed under the same name. When a contribution received from a contributor in a reporting period is added to previously reported unitemized contributions from the same contributor and the aggregate exceeds the disclosure threshold of this paragraph, the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, of the contributor must then be listed on the report.
(d) The report must disclose the sum of contributions to the reporting entity during the reporting period.
(e) The report must disclose each loan made or received by the reporting entity within the year in aggregate in excess of $200, continuously reported until repaid or forgiven, together with the name, address, occupation, principal place of business, if any, and registration number if registered with the board of the lender and any endorser and the date and amount of the loan. If a loan made to the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven or is repaid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a contribution for the year in which the loan was made.
(f) The report must disclose each receipt over $200 during the reporting period not otherwise listed under paragraphs (c) to (e).
(g) The report must disclose the sum of all receipts of the reporting entity during the reporting period.
(h) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each individual or association to whom aggregate expenditures, approved expenditures, independent expenditures, and ballot question expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the reporting entity within the year in excess of $200, together with the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf the expenditure was made, identification of the ballot question that the expenditure was intended to promote or defeat and an indication of whether the expenditure was to promote or to defeat the ballot question, and in the case of independent expenditures made in opposition to a candidate, the candidate's name, address, and office sought. A reporting entity making an expenditure on behalf of more than one candidate for state or legislative office must allocate the expenditure among the candidates on a reasonable cost basis and report the allocation for each candidate.
(i) The report must disclose the sum of all expenditures made by or on behalf of the reporting entity during the reporting period.
(j) The report must disclose the amount and nature of an advance of credit incurred by the reporting entity, continuously reported until paid or forgiven. If an advance of credit incurred by the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven by the creditor or paid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a donation in kind for the year in which the advance of credit was made.
(k) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which contributions have been made that aggregate in excess of $200 within the year and the amount and date of each contribution.
(l) The report must disclose the sum of all contributions made by the reporting entity during the reporting period.
(m) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each individual or association to whom noncampaign disbursements have been made that aggregate in excess of $200 within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity and the amount, date, and purpose of each noncampaign disbursement.
(n) The report must disclose the sum of all noncampaign disbursements made within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity.
(o) The report must disclose the name and address of a nonprofit corporation that provides administrative assistance to a political committee or political fund as authorized by section 211B.15, subdivision 17, the type of administrative assistance provided, and the aggregate fair market value of each type of assistance provided to the political committee or political fund during the reporting period.
(p) Legislative, statewide, and judicial candidates, party units, and political committees and funds must itemize contributions that in aggregate within the year exceed $200 for legislative or statewide candidates or more than $500 for ballot questions on reports submitted to the board. The itemization must include the date on which the contribution was received, the individual or association that provided the contribution, and the address of the contributor. Additionally, the itemization for a donation in kind must provide a description of the item or service received. Contributions that are less than the itemization amount must be reported as an aggregate total.
(q) Legislative, statewide, and judicial candidates, party units, political committees and funds, and committees to promote or defeat a ballot question must itemize expenditures and noncampaign disbursements that in aggregate exceed $200 in a calendar year on reports submitted to the board. The itemization must include the date on which the committee made or became obligated to make the expenditure or disbursement, the name and address of the vendor that provided the service or item purchased, and a description of the service or item purchased. Expenditures and noncampaign disbursements must be listed on the report alphabetically by vendor.
The principal campaign committee of a candidate must not make independent expenditures.
Funds transferred to the joint committee for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor that result in aggregate contributions in excess of the applicable limits may be returned to the contributor within 90 days of the transfer of funds to the joint committee.
For purposes of this section, a "regular session" includes the entire first day and the entire last day of each annual session. For purposes of this section, regular session does not include a special session or the interim between the two annual sessions of a biennium.
(a) As a condition of receiving a public subsidy, a candidate must sign and file with the board a written agreement in which the candidate agrees that the candidate will comply with sections 10A.25; 10A.27, subdivision 10; 10A.324; and 10A.38.
(b) Before the first day of filing for office, the board must forward agreement forms to all filing officers. The board must also provide agreement forms to candidates on request at any time. The candidate must file the agreement with the board at least three weeks before the candidate's state primary. An agreement may not be filed after that date. An agreement once filed may not be rescinded.
(c) The board must notify the commissioner of revenue of any agreement signed under this subdivision.
(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), if a vacancy occurs that will be filled by means of a special election and the filing period does not coincide with the filing period for the general election, a candidate may sign and submit a spending limit agreement not later than the day after the close of the filing period for the special election for which the candidate filed.
(1) between January 1 of the previous year and the cutoff date for transactions included in the report of receipts and expenditures due before the primary election, accumulate contributions from individuals eligible to vote in this state in at least the amount indicated for the office sought, counting only the first $50 received from each contributor, excluding in-kind contributions:
(i) candidates for governor and lieutenant governor running together, $35,000;
(ii) candidates for attorney general, $15,000;
(iii) candidates for secretary of state and state auditor, separately, $6,000;
(iv) candidates for the senate, $3,000; and
(v) candidates for the house of representatives, $1,500;
(2) file an affidavit with the board stating that the principal campaign committee has complied with this paragraph. The affidavit must state the total amount of contributions that have been received from individuals eligible to vote in this state, excluding:
(i) the portion of any contribution in excess of $50;
(ii) any in-kind contribution; and
(iii) any contribution for which the name and address of the contributor is not known and recorded; and
(3) submit the affidavit required by this section to the board in writing by the deadline for reporting of receipts and expenditures before a primary under section 10A.20, subdivision 4.
(b) A candidate for a vacancy to be filled at a special election for which the filing period does not coincide with the filing period for the general election must accumulate the contributions specified in paragraph (a) and must submit the affidavit required by this section to the board within five days after the close of the filing period for the special election for which the candidate filed.
A candidate or the candidate's treasurer must be able to electronically file the affidavit required under this section in the same manner as other reports required by this chapter. The board must not require the candidate or candidate's treasurer to notarize the affidavit of contribution.
(a) A person who participates in the preparation or dissemination of campaign material other than as provided in section 211B.05, subdivision 1, that does not prominently include the name and address of the person or committee causing the material to be prepared or disseminated in a disclaimer substantially in the form provided in paragraph (b) or (c) is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Except in cases covered by paragraph (c), the required form of disclaimer is: "Prepared and paid for by the .......... committee, .........(address)" for material prepared and paid for by a principal campaign committee, or "Prepared and paid for by the .......... committee, .........(address)" for material prepared and paid for by a person or committee other than a principal campaign committee. If the material is produced and disseminated without cost, the words "paid for" may be omitted from the disclaimer.
(c) In the case of broadcast media, the required form of disclaimer is: "Paid for by the ............ committee." If the material is produced and broadcast without cost, the required form of the disclaimer is: "The ............ committee is responsible for the content of this message."
(d) This section does not apply to fund-raising tickets, business cards, personal letters, or similar items that are clearly being distributed by the candidate.
(e) This section does not apply to an individual or association that is not required to register or report under chapter 10A or 211A.
(f) This section does not apply to the following:
(1) bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens, or similar small items on which the disclaimer cannot be conveniently printed;
(2) skywriting, wearing apparel, or other means of displaying an advertisement of such a nature that the inclusion of a disclaimer would be impracticable; and
(3) online banner ads and similar electronic communications that link directly to an online page that includes the disclaimer.
(g) This section does not modify or repeal section 211B.06.
Presented to the governor May 4, 2018
Signed by the governor May 8, 2018, 12:34 p.m.
Copyright © 2018 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.