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Table of Sections

2010 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute chapter. Also view the most recent published version.

Chapter 10A. Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure

Chapter Sections
Section Headnote
10A.01Definitions
10A.02Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board
10A.025Filing Requirements
10A.027Information on Web Site
10A.03Lobbyist Registration
10A.04Lobbyist Reports
10A.05Lobbyist Report
10A.06Contingent Fees Prohibited
10A.065Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
10A.07Conflicts of Interest
10A.071Certain Gifts by Lobbyists and Principals Prohibited
10A.08Representation Disclosure
10A.09Statements of Economic Interest
10A.10Renumbered 10A.025, subd 2
10A.105Principal Campaign Committee
10A.11Organization of Committees and Party Units
10A.12Political Funds
10A.121Independent Expenditure Political Committees and Independent Expenditure Political Funds
10A.13Accounts That Must Be Kept
10A.14Registration
10A.15Contributions
10A.16Earmarking Contributions Prohibited
10A.17Expenditures
10A.18Time for Rendering Bills, Charges, or Claims; Penalty
10A.19Renumbered 10A.105
10A.20Campaign Reports
10A.21Repealed, 1997 c 202 art 2 s 64
10A.22Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
10A.23Renumbered 10A.025, subd 4
10A.24Dissolution or Termination
10A.241Transfer of Debts
10A.242Dissolution of Inactive Committees and Funds
10A.25Spending Limits
10A.255Adjustment by Consumer Price Index
10A.257Carryforward
10A.26Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109
10A.265Renumbered 10A.37
10A.27Contribution Limits
10A.273Contributions and Solicitations during Legislative Session
10A.275Multicandidate Political Party Expenditures
10A.28Penalty for Exceeding Limits
10A.29Circumvention Prohibited
10A.30State Elections Campaign Fund
10A.31Designation of Income Tax Payments
10A.315Special Election Subsidy
10A.316Never effective
10A.32Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
10A.321Estimates of Minimum Amounts to Be Received
10A.322Spending Limit Agreements
10A.323Affidavit of Contributions
10A.324Return of Public Subsidy
10A.325Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.33Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32
10A.335Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.34Remedies
10A.35Commercial Use of Information Prohibited
10A.36Reprisals Prohibited; Penalty
10A.37Freedom to Associate and Communicate
10A.38Captioning of Campaign Advertisements
10A.40Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.41Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.42Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.43Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.44Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.45Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.46Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.47Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.48Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.49Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.50Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51
10A.51Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51

10A.01 DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Application.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subd. 2.Administrative action.

"Administrative action" means an action by any official, board, commission or agency of the executive branch to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule under chapter 14. "Administrative action" does not include the application or administration of an adopted rule, except in cases of rate setting, power plant and powerline siting, and granting of certificates of need under section 216B.243.

Subd. 3.Advance of credit.

"Advance of credit" means any money owed for goods provided or services rendered. "Advance of credit" does not mean a loan as defined in subdivision 21.

Subd. 4.Approved expenditure.

"Approved expenditure" means an expenditure made on behalf of a candidate by an entity other than the principal campaign committee of the candidate, if the expenditure is made with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of the candidate, the candidate's principal campaign committee, or the candidate's agent. An approved expenditure is a contribution to that candidate.

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 $2,500 or more at fair market value.

Subd. 6.Association.

"Association" means a group of two or more persons, who are not all members of an immediate family, acting in concert.

Subd. 7.Ballot question.

"Ballot question" means a question or proposition that is placed on the ballot and that may be voted on by all voters of the state. "Promoting or defeating a ballot question" includes activities, other than lobbying activities, related to qualifying the question for placement on the ballot.

Subd. 7a.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 1]

Subd. 7b.

[Renumbered subd 13]

Subd. 8.Board.

"Board" means the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

Subd. 9.Campaign expenditure.

"Campaign expenditure" or "expenditure" means a purchase or payment of money or anything of value, or an advance of credit, made or incurred for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or for the purpose of promoting or defeating a ballot question.

An expenditure 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.

An expenditure made for the purpose of defeating a candidate is considered made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of that candidate or any opponent of that candidate.

Except as provided in clause (1), "expenditure" includes the dollar value of a donation in kind.

"Expenditure" does not include:

(1) noncampaign disbursements as defined in subdivision 26;

(2) services provided without compensation by an individual volunteering personal time on behalf of a candidate, ballot question, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit;

(3) the publishing or broadcasting of news items or editorial comments by the news media; or

(4) an individual's unreimbursed personal use of an automobile owned by the individual and used by the individual while volunteering personal time.

Subd. 9a.

[Renumbered subd 16]

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 $100, or has given implicit or explicit consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $100, 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.24.

Subd. 10a.

[Renumbered subd 4]

Subd. 10b.

[Renumbered subd 18]

Subd. 10c.

[Renumbered subd 26]

Subd. 11.Contribution.

(a) "Contribution" means money, a negotiable instrument, or a donation in kind that is given to a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit.

(b) "Contribution" includes a loan or advance of credit to a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit, if the loan or advance of credit is: (1) forgiven; or (2) repaid by an individual or an association other than the political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which the loan or advance of credit was made. If an advance of credit or a loan is forgiven or repaid as provided in this paragraph, it is a contribution in the year in which the loan or advance of credit was made.

(c) "Contribution" does not include services provided without compensation by an individual volunteering personal time on behalf of a candidate, ballot question, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit; the publishing or broadcasting of news items or editorial comments by the news media; or an individual's unreimbursed personal use of an automobile owned by the individual while volunteering personal time.

Subd. 12.Depository.

"Depository" means a bank, savings association, or credit union organized under federal or state law and transacting business within this state.

Subd. 13.Donation in kind.

"Donation in kind" means anything of value that is given, other than money or negotiable instruments. An approved expenditure is a donation in kind.

Subd. 14.

[Repealed, 1976 c 307 s 35]

Subd. 15.Election.

"Election" means a primary, special primary, general, or special election.

Subd. 16.Election cycle.

"Election cycle" means the period from January 1 following a general election for an office to December 31 following the next general election for that office, except that "election cycle" for a special election means the period from the date the special election writ is issued to 60 days after the special election is held.

Subd. 17.Financial institution.

"Financial institution" means a lending institution chartered by an agency of the federal government or regulated by the commissioner of commerce.

Subd. 17a.

[Renumbered subd 30]

Subd. 17b.

[Renumbered subd 34]

Subd. 18.Independent expenditure.

"Independent expenditure" means an expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, if the expenditure is made without the express or implied consent, authorization, or cooperation of, and not in concert with or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any candidate's principal campaign committee or agent. An independent expenditure is not a contribution to that candidate. An independent expenditure does not include the act of announcing a formal public endorsement of a candidate for public office, unless the act is simultaneously accompanied by an expenditure that would otherwise qualify as an independent expenditure under this subdivision.

Subd. 18a.Independent expenditure political committee.

"Independent expenditure political committee" means a political committee that makes only independent expenditures and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1.

Subd. 18b.Independent expenditure political fund.

"Independent expenditure political fund" means a political fund that makes only independent expenditures and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1.

Subd. 19.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 1]

Subd. 20.Loan.

"Loan" means an advance of money or anything of value made to a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit.

Subd. 21.Lobbyist.

(a) "Lobbyist" means an individual:

(1) engaged for pay or other consideration of more than $3,000 from all sources in any year for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit, by communicating or urging others to communicate with public or local officials; or

(2) who spends more than $250, not including the individual's own traveling expenses and membership dues, in any year for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit, by communicating or urging others to communicate with public or local officials.

(b) "Lobbyist" does not include:

(1) a public official;

(2) an employee of the state, including an employee of any of the public higher education systems;

(3) an elected local official;

(4) a nonelected local official or an employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity, unless the nonelected official or employee of a political subdivision spends more than 50 hours in any month attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit other than the political subdivision employing the official or employee, by communicating or urging others to communicate with public or local officials, including time spent monitoring legislative or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit, and related research, analysis, and compilation and dissemination of information relating to legislative or administrative policy in this state, or to the policies of metropolitan governmental units;

(5) a party or the party's representative appearing in a proceeding before a state board, commission, or agency of the executive branch unless the board, commission, or agency is taking administrative action;

(6) an individual while engaged in selling goods or services to be paid for by public funds;

(7) a news medium or its employees or agents while engaged in the publishing or broadcasting of news items, editorial comments, or paid advertisements which directly or indirectly urge official action;

(8) a paid expert witness whose testimony is requested by the body before which the witness is appearing, but only to the extent of preparing or delivering testimony; or

(9) a party or the party's representative appearing to present a claim to the legislature and communicating to legislators only by the filing of a claim form and supporting documents and by appearing at public hearings on the claim.

(c) An individual who volunteers personal time to work without pay or other consideration on a lobbying campaign, and who does not spend more than the limit in paragraph (a), clause (2), need not register as a lobbyist.

(d) An individual who provides administrative support to a lobbyist and whose salary and administrative expenses attributable to lobbying activities are reported as lobbying expenses by the lobbyist, but who does not communicate or urge others to communicate with public or local officials, need not register as a lobbyist.

Subd. 22.Local official.

"Local official" means a person who holds elective office in a political subdivision or who is appointed to or employed in a public position in a political subdivision in which the person has authority to make, to recommend, or to vote on as a member of the governing body, major decisions regarding the expenditure or investment of public money.

Subd. 23.Major political party.

"Major political party" means a major political party as defined in section 200.02, subdivision 7.

Subd. 24.Metropolitan governmental unit.

"Metropolitan governmental unit" means any of the seven counties in the metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, a regional railroad authority established by one or more of those counties under section 398A.03, a city with a population of over 50,000 located in the seven-county metropolitan area, the Metropolitan Council, or a metropolitan agency as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 5a.

Subd. 25.Minor political party.

"Minor political party" means a minor political party as defined in section 200.02, subdivision 23.

Subd. 26.Noncampaign disbursement.

"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 thank-you notes or advertisements in the news media;

(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.

Subd. 27.Political committee.

"Political committee" means an association whose major purpose is to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question, other than a principal campaign committee or a political party unit.

Subd. 28.Political fund.

"Political fund" means an accumulation of dues or voluntary contributions by an association other than a political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit, if the accumulation is collected or expended to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question.

Subd. 29.Political party.

"Political party" means a major political party or a minor political party. A political party is the aggregate of all its political party units in this state.

Subd. 30.Political party unit or party unit.

"Political party unit" or "party unit" means the state committee or the party organization within a house of the legislature, congressional district, county, legislative district, municipality, or precinct.

Subd. 31.Political subdivision.

"Political subdivision" means the Metropolitan Council, a metropolitan agency as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 5a, or a municipality as defined in section 471.345, subdivision 1.

Subd. 32.Population.

"Population" means the population established by the most recent federal census, by a special census taken by the United States Bureau of the Census, by an estimate made by the Metropolitan Council, or by an estimate made by the state demographer under section 4A.02, whichever has the latest stated date of count or estimate.

Subd. 33.Principal.

"Principal" means an individual or association that:

(1) spends more than $500 in the aggregate in any calendar year to engage a lobbyist, compensate a lobbyist, or authorize the expenditure of money by a lobbyist; or

(2) is not included in clause (1) and spends a total of at least $50,000 in any calendar year on efforts to influence legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of metropolitan governmental units, as described in section 10A.04, subdivision 6.

Subd. 34.Principal campaign committee.

"Principal campaign committee" means a principal campaign committee formed under section 10A.105.

Subd. 35.Public official.

"Public official" means any:

(1) member of the legislature;

(2) individual employed by the legislature as secretary of the senate, legislative auditor, chief clerk of the house of representatives, revisor of statutes, or researcher, legislative analyst, or attorney in the Office of Senate Counsel and Research or House Research;

(3) constitutional officer in the executive branch and the officer's chief administrative deputy;

(4) solicitor general or deputy, assistant, or special assistant attorney general;

(5) commissioner, deputy commissioner, or assistant commissioner of any state department or agency as listed in section 15.01 or 15.06, or the state chief information officer;

(6) member, chief administrative officer, or deputy chief administrative officer of a state board or commission that has either the power to adopt, amend, or repeal rules under chapter 14, or the power to adjudicate contested cases or appeals under chapter 14;

(7) individual employed in the executive branch who is authorized to adopt, amend, or repeal rules under chapter 14 or adjudicate contested cases under chapter 14;

(8) executive director of the State Board of Investment;

(9) deputy of any official listed in clauses (7) and (8);

(10) judge of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals;

(11) administrative law judge or compensation judge in the State Office of Administrative Hearings or unemployment law judge in the Department of Employment and Economic Development;

(12) member, regional administrator, division director, general counsel, or operations manager of the Metropolitan Council;

(13) member or chief administrator of a metropolitan agency;

(14) director of the Division of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement in the Department of Public Safety;

(15) member or executive director of the Higher Education Facilities Authority;

(16) member of the board of directors or president of Enterprise Minnesota, Inc.;

(17) member of the board of directors or executive director of the Minnesota State High School League;

(18) member of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority established in section 473.755;

(19) citizen member of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources;

(20) manager of a watershed district, or member of a watershed management organization as defined under section 103B.205, subdivision 13;

(21) supervisor of a soil and water conservation district;

(22) director of Explore Minnesota Tourism; or

(23) citizen member of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council established in section 97A.056.

Subd. 36.State committee.

"State committee" means the organization that, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the political party at the state level.

10A.02 CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD.

Subdivision 1.Membership.

The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board is composed of six members. The governor must appoint the members with the advice and consent of three-fifths of both the senate and the house of representatives acting separately. If either house fails to confirm the appointment of a board member within 45 legislative days after appointment or by adjournment sine die, whichever occurs first, the appointment terminates on the day following the 45th legislative day or on adjournment sine die, whichever occurs first. If either house votes not to confirm an appointment, the appointment terminates on the day following the vote not to confirm. Two members must be former members of the legislature who support different political parties; two members must be persons who have not been public officials, held any political party office other than precinct delegate, or been elected to public office for which party designation is required by statute in the three years preceding the date of their appointment; and the other two members must support different political parties. No more than three of the members of the board may support the same political party. No member of the board may currently serve as a lobbyist.

Subd. 2.Vacancy; terms.

An appointment to fill a vacancy is made only for the unexpired term of a member who is being replaced and the appointee must meet the same stated qualifications as the member being replaced. The membership terms, compensation, and removal of members on the board are as provided in section 15.0575, except that the extension of terms and the filling of vacancies are subject to the advice and consent of the legislature in the same manner as provided in subdivision 1.

Subd. 3.Vote required.

The concurring vote of four members of the board is required to decide any matter before the board.

Subd. 4.Officers.

The board must elect from among its members a chair and a vice-chair. Meetings of the board are at the call of the chair or at the call of any four members of the board acting together.

Subd. 5.Executive director; staff.

The board must appoint an executive director. The executive director is in the unclassified service. The executive director serves as secretary of the board and must keep a record of all proceedings and actions by the board. The board may also employ and prescribe the duties of other permanent or temporary employees in the unclassified service as may be necessary to administer this chapter, subject to appropriation. The executive director and all other employees serve at the pleasure of the board. Expenses of the board must be approved by the chair or another member as the rules of the board may provide and the expenses must then be paid in the same manner as other state expenses are paid.

Subd. 6.

[Repealed, 1976 c 134 s 79]

Subd. 7.Political activity.

All members and employees of the board are subject to any provisions of law regulating political activity by state employees. In addition, no member or employee of the board may be a candidate for, or holder of, (1) a national, state, congressional district, legislative district, county, or precinct office in a political party, or (2) an elected public office for which party designation is required by statute.

Subd. 8.Duties.

(a) The board must report at the close of each fiscal year to the legislature, the governor, and the public concerning the action it has taken, the names, salaries, and duties of all individuals in its employ, and the money it has disbursed. The board must include and identify in its report any other reports it has made during the fiscal year. It may indicate apparent abuses and offer legislative recommendations.

(b) The board must prescribe forms for statements and reports required to be filed under this chapter and make the forms available to individuals required to file them.

(c) The board must make available to the individuals required to file the reports and statements a manual setting forth the recommended uniform methods of bookkeeping and reporting.

(d) The board must develop a filing, coding, and cross-indexing system consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(e) The board must make the reports and statements filed with it available for public inspection and copying by the end of the second day following the day on which they were received. An individual may copy a report or statement by hand or by duplicating machine and the board must provide duplicating services at cost for this purpose.

(f) Notwithstanding section 138.163, the board must preserve reports and statements for a period of five years from the date of receipt.

(g) The board must compile and maintain a current list and summary of all statements or parts of statements pertaining to each candidate.

(h) The board may prepare and publish reports it considers appropriate.

Subd. 9.Documents; information.

The executive director must inspect all material filed with the board as promptly as necessary to comply with this chapter and other provisions of law requiring the filing of a document with the board. The executive director must immediately notify the individual required to file a document with the board if a written complaint is filed with the board alleging, or it otherwise appears, that a document filed with the board is inaccurate or does not comply with this chapter, or that the individual has failed to file a document required by this chapter. The executive director may provide an individual required to file a document under this chapter with factual information concerning the limitations on corporate campaign contributions imposed by section 211B.15.

Subd. 10.Audits and investigations.

The board may make audits and investigations with respect to statements and reports that are filed or that should have been filed under this chapter. In all matters relating to its official duties, the board has the power to issue subpoenas and cause them to be served. If a person does not comply with a subpoena, the board may apply to the District Court of Ramsey County for issuance of an order compelling obedience to the subpoena. A person failing to obey the order is punishable by the court as for contempt.

Subd. 11.Violations; enforcement.

(a) The board may investigate any alleged violation of 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 a public finding of whether there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, 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 a public finding of whether there is probable cause, 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) 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 of whether there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred without notifying the individual or association of the nature of the allegations and affording an opportunity to answer those allegations.

(c) A hearing or action of the board concerning a complaint or investigation other than a finding concerning probable cause or a conciliation agreement is confidential. Until the board makes a public finding concerning probable cause 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.

Subd. 11a.Data privacy.

If, after making a public finding concerning probable cause 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.

Subd. 12.Advisory opinions.

(a) The board may issue and publish advisory opinions on the requirements of this chapter based upon real or hypothetical situations. An application for an advisory opinion may be made only by an individual or association who wishes to use the opinion to guide the individual's or the association's own conduct. The board must issue written opinions on all such questions submitted to it within 30 days after receipt of written application, unless a majority of the board agrees to extend the time limit.

(b) A written advisory opinion issued by the board is binding on the board in a subsequent board proceeding concerning the person making or covered by the request and is a defense in a judicial proceeding that involves the subject matter of the opinion and is brought against the person making or covered by the request unless:

(1) the board has amended or revoked the opinion before the initiation of the board or judicial proceeding, has notified the person making or covered by the request of its action, and has allowed at least 30 days for the person to do anything that might be necessary to comply with the amended or revoked opinion;

(2) the request has omitted or misstated material facts; or

(3) the person making or covered by the request has not acted in good faith in reliance on the opinion.

(c) A request for an opinion and the opinion itself are nonpublic data. The board, however, may publish an opinion or a summary of an opinion, but may not include in the publication the name of the requester, the name of a person covered by a request from an agency or political subdivision, or any other information that might identify the requester, unless the person consents to the inclusion.

Subd. 12a.Advisory opinions; rules.

If the board intends to apply principles of law or policy announced in an advisory opinion issued under subdivision 12 more broadly than to the individual or association to whom the opinion was issued, the board must adopt these principles or policies as rules under chapter 14.

Subd. 13.Rules.

Chapter 14 applies to the board. The board may adopt rules to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Subd. 14.Legal services.

Notwithstanding section 8.15, the board must not be assessed the cost of legal services rendered to it by the attorney general's office.

Subd. 15.Disposition of fees.

The board must deposit all fees collected under this chapter into the general fund in the state treasury.

10A.025 FILING REQUIREMENTS.

Subdivision 1.Filing date.

If a scheduled filing date under this chapter falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the filing date is the next regular business day.

Subd. 1a.Electronic filing.

A report or statement required to be filed under this chapter may be filed electronically. The board shall adopt rules to regulate electronic filing and to ensure that the electronic filing process is secure.

Subd. 2.Penalty for false statements.

A report or statement required to be filed under this chapter must be signed and certified as true by the individual required to file the report. The signature may be an electronic signature consisting of a password assigned by the board. An individual who signs and certifies to be true a report or statement knowing it contains false information or who knowingly omits required information is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.

Subd. 3.Record keeping; penalty.

A person required to file a report or statement must maintain records on the matters required to be reported, including vouchers, canceled checks, bills, invoices, worksheets, and receipts, that will provide in sufficient detail the necessary information from which the filed reports and statements may be verified, explained, clarified, and checked for accuracy and completeness. The person must keep the records available for audit, inspection, or examination by the board or its authorized representatives for four years from the date of filing of the reports or statements or of changes or corrections to them. A person who knowingly violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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 guilty of a gross misdemeanor and is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.

The board must send a notice by certified mail 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 $5 per day up to $100 starting on the 11th day after the notice was sent. The board must send an additional notice by certified mail to an individual who fails to file a report within 14 days after the first notice was sent by the board that 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 seven days after the second notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

10A.027 INFORMATION ON WEB SITE.

The board must not post on its Web site any canceled checks, bank account numbers, credit card account numbers, or Social Security numbers that may be in the board's possession as a result of report or statement filings, complaints, or other proceedings under this chapter.

History:

2006 c 253 s 1

10A.03 LOBBYIST REGISTRATION.

Subdivision 1.First registration.

A lobbyist must file a registration form with the board within five days after becoming a lobbyist or being engaged by a new individual, association, political subdivision, or public higher education system.

Subd. 2.Form.

The board must prescribe a registration form, which must include:

(1) the name, address, and e-mail address of the lobbyist;

(2) the principal place of business of the lobbyist;

(3) the name and address of each individual, association, political subdivision, or public higher education system, if any, by whom the lobbyist is retained or employed or on whose behalf the lobbyist appears;

(4) the Web site address of each association, political subdivision, or public higher education system identified under clause (3), if the entity maintains a Web site; and

(5) a general description of the subject or subjects on which the lobbyist expects to lobby.

If the lobbyist lobbies on behalf of an association, the registration form must include the name and address of the officers and directors of the association.

Subd. 3.Failure to file.

The board must send a notice by certified mail to any lobbyist who fails to file a registration form within five days after becoming a lobbyist. If a lobbyist fails to file a form within ten business days after the notice was sent, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, starting on the 11th day after the notice was sent. The board must send an additional notice by certified mail to a lobbyist who fails to file a form within 14 days after the first notice was sent by the board that the lobbyist may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file the form. A lobbyist who fails to file a form within seven days after the second notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Subd. 4.Publication.

The restrictions of section 10.60 notwithstanding, the board may publish the information required in subdivision 2 on its Web site.

Subd. 5.Exemptions.

For good cause shown, the board must grant exemptions to the requirement that e-mail addresses be provided.

10A.04 LOBBYIST REPORTS.

Subdivision 1.Reports required.

A lobbyist must file reports of the lobbyist's activities with the board as long as the lobbyist continues to lobby. The report may be filed electronically. A lobbyist may file a termination statement at any time after ceasing to lobby.

Subd. 2.Time of reports.

Each report must cover the time from the last day of the period covered by the last report to 15 days before the current filing date. The reports must be filed with the board by the following dates:

(1) January 15; and

(2) June 15.

Subd. 2a.

MS 2003 Supp [ Expired, 1Sp2003 c 1 art 2 s 24]

Subd. 3.Information to lobbyist.

An employer or employee about whose activities a lobbyist is required to report must provide the information required by subdivision 4 to the lobbyist no later than five days before the prescribed filing date.

Subd. 4.Content.

(a) A report under this section must include information the board requires from the registration form and the information required by this subdivision for the reporting period.

(b) A lobbyist must report the lobbyist's total disbursements on lobbying, separately listing lobbying to influence legislative action, lobbying to influence administrative action, and lobbying to influence the official actions of a metropolitan governmental unit, and a breakdown of disbursements for each of those kinds of lobbying into categories specified by the board, including but not limited to the cost of publication and distribution of each publication used in lobbying; other printing; media, including the cost of production; postage; travel; fees, including allowances; entertainment; telephone and telegraph; and other expenses.

(c) A lobbyist must report the amount and nature of each gift, item, or benefit, excluding contributions to a candidate, equal in value to $5 or more, given or paid to any official, as defined in section 10A.071, subdivision 1, by the lobbyist or an employer or employee of the lobbyist. The list must include the name and address of each official to whom the gift, item, or benefit was given or paid and the date it was given or paid.

(d) A lobbyist must report each original source of money in excess of $500 in any year used for the purpose of lobbying to influence legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit. The list must include the name, address, and employer, or, if self-employed, the occupation and principal place of business, of each payer of money in excess of $500.

(e) On the report due June 15, the lobbyist must provide a general description of the subjects lobbied in the previous 12 months.

Subd. 4a.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 5]

Subd. 5.Late filing.

If a lobbyist or principal fails to file a report required by this section within ten business days after the report was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, commencing with the 11th day after the report was due. The board must send notice by certified mail to any lobbyist or principal who fails to file a report within ten business days after the report was due that the lobbyist or principal may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file the report or pay the fee. A lobbyist or principal who fails to file a report or statement or pay a fee 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.

Subd. 6.Principal reports.

(a) A principal must report to the board as required in this subdivision by March 15 for the preceding calendar year.

(b) The principal must report the total amount, rounded to the nearest $20,000, spent by the principal during the preceding calendar year to influence legislative action, administrative action, and the official action of metropolitan governmental units.

(c) The principal must report under this subdivision a total amount that includes:

(1) all direct payments by the principal to lobbyists in this state;

(2) all expenditures for advertising, mailing, research, analysis, compilation and dissemination of information, and public relations campaigns related to legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of metropolitan governmental units in this state; and

(3) all salaries and administrative expenses attributable to activities of the principal relating to efforts to influence legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of metropolitan governmental units in this state.

Subd. 7.Financial records.

The board may randomly audit the financial records of lobbyists and principals required to report under this section.

Subd. 8.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 5]

10A.05 LOBBYIST REPORT.

Within 30 days after each lobbyist filing date set by section 10A.04, the executive director of the board must publish the names of the lobbyists registered who were not previously reported, the names of the individuals, associations, political subdivisions, or public higher education systems whom they represent as lobbyists, the subject or subjects on which they are lobbying, and whether in each case they lobby to influence legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit.

10A.06 CONTINGENT FEES PROHIBITED.

No person may act as or employ a lobbyist for compensation that is dependent upon the result or outcome of any legislative or administrative action, or of the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit. A person who violates this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

10A.065

Subdivision 1.

[Renumbered 10A.273, subdivision 1]

Subd. 1a.

[Renumbered 10A.273, subd 2]

Subd. 2.

[Renumbered 10A.273, subd 3]

Subd. 3.

[Renumbered 10A.273, subd 4]

Subd. 4.

[Renumbered 10A.273, subd 5]

Subd. 5.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

10A.07 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

Subdivision 1.Disclosure of potential conflicts.

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.

Subd. 2.Required actions.

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.

Subd. 3.Interest in contract; local officials.

This section does not apply to a local official with respect to a matter governed by sections 471.87 and 471.88.

10A.071 CERTAIN GIFTS BY LOBBYISTS AND PRINCIPALS PROHIBITED.

Subdivision 1.Definitions.

(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.

(b) "Gift" means money, real or personal property, a service, a loan, a forbearance or forgiveness of indebtedness, or a promise of future employment, that is given and received without the giver receiving consideration of equal or greater value in return.

(c) "Official" means a public official, an employee of the legislature, a judge, or a local official of a metropolitan governmental unit.

Subd. 2.Prohibition.

A lobbyist or principal may not give a gift or request another to give a gift to an official. An official may not accept a gift from a lobbyist or principal.

Subd. 3.Exceptions.

(a) The prohibitions in this section do not apply if the gift is:

(1) a contribution as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 11;

(2) services to assist an official in the performance of official duties, including but not limited to providing advice, consultation, information, and communication in connection with legislation, and services to constituents;

(3) services of insignificant monetary value;

(4) a plaque with a resale value of $5 or less;

(5) a trinket or memento costing $5 or less;

(6) informational material with a resale value of $5 or less; or

(7) food or a beverage given at a reception, meal, or meeting away from the recipient's place of work by an organization before whom the recipient appears to make a speech or answer questions as part of a program.

(b) The prohibitions in this section do not apply if the gift is given:

(1) because of the recipient's membership in a group, a majority of whose members are not officials, and an equivalent gift is given to the other members of the group; or

(2) by a lobbyist or principal who is a member of the family of the recipient, unless the gift is given on behalf of someone who is not a member of that family.

10A.08 REPRESENTATION DISCLOSURE.

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 within ten business days after the disclosure required by this section was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, starting on the 11th 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.

10A.09 STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST.

Subdivision 1.Time for filing.

Except for a candidate for elective office in the judicial branch, 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;

(2) within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot for an elective state office or an elective local office in a metropolitan governmental unit;

(3) 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

(4) 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.

Subd. 2.Notice to board.

The secretary of state or the appropriate county auditor, upon receiving an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot from an individual required by this section to file a statement of economic interest, and any official who nominates or employs a public or local official required by this section to file a statement of economic interest, must notify the board of the name of the individual required to file a statement and the date of the affidavit, petition, or nomination.

Subd. 3.Notice of filing.

The board must notify the presiding officer of the house that will approve or disapprove the nomination, of the name of an individual who has filed a statement of economic interest with the board, a copy of the statement, and the date on which the statement was filed.

Subd. 4.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

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 $50,000 or more;

(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 $50,000 or more. 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.

Subd. 6.Supplementary statement.

Each individual who is required to file a statement of economic interest must file a supplementary statement on April 15 of each year that the individual remains in office if information on the most recently filed statement has changed. The supplementary statement, if required, 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 a statement of economic interest submitted by an officeholder in the same file with the statement submitted as a candidate.

Subd. 6a.Local officials.

A local official required to file a statement under this section must file it with the governing body of the official's political subdivision. The governing body must maintain statements filed with it under this subdivision as public data.

Subd. 7.Late filing.

If an individual fails to file a statement of economic interest required by this section within ten business days after the statement was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, commencing on the 11th day after the statement was due. The board must send notice by certified mail to any individual who fails to file a statement within ten business days after the statement was due that the individual may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file a statement. An individual who fails to file a statement within seven days after the certified mail notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board up to $1,000.

Subd. 8.Failure to file; suspension.

A public official, except a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer, who is required to file a statement of economic interest and fails to do so by the prescribed deadline must be suspended without pay by the board in the manner prescribed in the contested case procedures in chapter 14.

10A.10 [Renumbered 10A.025, subd 2]

10A.105 PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE.

Subdivision 1.Single committee.

A candidate must not accept contributions from a source, other than self, in aggregate in excess of $100 or accept a public subsidy unless the candidate designates and causes to be formed a single principal campaign committee for each office sought. A candidate may not authorize, designate, or cause to be formed any other political committee bearing the candidate's name or title or otherwise operating under the direct or indirect control of the candidate. However, a candidate may be involved in the direct or indirect control of a party unit.

Subd. 2.Replacement of officers.

A candidate may at any time without cause remove and replace the chair, treasurer, deputy treasurer, or any other officer of the candidate's principal campaign committee.

10A.11 ORGANIZATION OF COMMITTEES AND PARTY UNITS.

Subdivision 1.Chair and treasurer.

A political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit must have a chair and a treasurer. The chair and treasurer may be the same individual.

Subd. 2.Treasurer vacancy.

A political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not accept a contribution or make an expenditure or permit an expenditure to be made on its behalf while the office of treasurer is vacant.

Subd. 3.Deputy treasurers.

The treasurer of a political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit may appoint as many deputy treasurers as necessary and is responsible for their accounts.

Subd. 4.Depositories.

The treasurer of a political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit may designate one or two depositories in each county in which a campaign is conducted.

Subd. 5.Commingling prohibited.

A political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not commingle its funds with personal funds of officers, members, or associates of the committee.

Subd. 6.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 7.Penalty.

A person who knowingly violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

10A.12 POLITICAL FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.When required.

An association other than a political committee or party unit may not contribute more than $100 in aggregate in any one year to candidates, political committees, or party units or make any approved or independent expenditure or expenditure to promote or defeat a ballot question unless the contribution or expenditure is made from a political fund.

Subd. 1a.When required for independent expenditures.

An association other than a political committee that makes only independent expenditures and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1, must do so by forming and registering an independent expenditure political fund if the expenditure is in excess of $100 or by contributing to an existing independent expenditure political committee or political fund.

Subd. 1b.Penalty for noncompliant independent expenditure.

An association that makes an independent expenditure without complying with subdivision 1a is subject to a civil penalty of up to four times the amount of the independent expenditure, but not to exceed $25,000, except when the violation was intentional.

Subd. 2.Commingling prohibited.

The contents of a political fund may not be commingled with other funds or with the personal funds of an officer or member of the fund.

Subd. 3.Treasurer.

An association that has a political fund must elect or appoint a treasurer of the political fund.

Subd. 4.Treasurer vacancy.

A political fund may not accept a contribution or make an expenditure or contribution from the political fund while the office of treasurer of the political fund is vacant.

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 $100 in a year.

Subd. 6.Penalty.

A person who knowingly violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

10A.121 INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE POLITICAL COMMITTEES AND INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE POLITICAL FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.Permitted disbursements.

An independent expenditure political committee or an independent expenditure political fund, in addition to making independent expenditures, may:

(1) pay costs associated with its fund-raising and general operations;

(2) pay for communications that do not constitute contributions or approved expenditures; and

(3) make contributions to other independent expenditure political committees or independent expenditure political funds.

Subd. 2.Penalty.

(a) An independent expenditure political committee or independent expenditure political fund is subject to a civil penalty of up to four times the amount of the contribution or approved expenditure if it does the following:

(1) makes a contribution to a candidate, party unit, political committee, or political fund other than an independent expenditure political committee or an independent expenditure political fund; or

(2) makes an approved expenditure.

(b) No other penalty provided in law may be imposed for conduct that is subject to a civil penalty under this section.

History:

2010 c 397 s 6

10A.13 ACCOUNTS THAT MUST BE KEPT.

Subdivision 1.Accounts; penalty.

The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must keep an account of:

(1) the sum of all contributions, except any donation in kind valued at $20 or less, made to the committee, fund, or party unit;

(2) the name and address of each source of a contribution made to the committee, fund, or party unit in excess of $20, together with the date and amount of each;

(3) each expenditure made by the committee, fund, or party unit, together with the date and amount;

(4) each approved expenditure made on behalf of the committee, fund, or party unit, together with the date and amount; and

(5) the name and address of each political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which contributions in excess of $20 have been made, together with the date and amount.

Any individual who knowingly violates this subdivision is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Subd. 2.Receipts.

The treasurer must obtain a receipted bill, stating the particulars, for every expenditure over $100 made by, or approved expenditure over $100 made on behalf of, the committee, fund, or party unit, and for any expenditure or approved expenditure in a lesser amount if the aggregate amount of lesser expenditures and approved expenditures made to the same individual or association during the same year exceeds $100.

10A.14 REGISTRATION.

Subdivision 1.First registration.

The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must register with the board by filing a statement of organization no later than 14 days after the committee, fund, or party unit has made a contribution, received contributions, or made expenditures in excess of $100, or by the end of the next business day after it has received a loan or contribution that must be reported under section 10A.20, subdivision 5, whichever is earlier.

Subd. 2.Form.

The statement of organization must include:

(1) the name, address, and Web site address if the registrant maintains a Web site, of the committee, fund, or party unit;

(2) the name, address, and e-mail address of the chair of a political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit;

(3) the name and address of any supporting association of a political fund;

(4) the name, address, and e-mail address of the treasurer and any deputy treasurers;

(5) the name, address, and e-mail address of the candidate of a principal campaign committee;

(6) a listing of all depositories or safety deposit boxes used; and

(7) for the state committee of a political party only, a list of its party units.

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1976 c 307 s 35]

Subd. 4.Failure to file; penalty.

If an individual fails to file a statement required by this section within ten business days after the statement was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, commencing with the 11th day after the statement was due.

The board must send notice by certified mail to any individual who fails to file a statement within ten business days after the statement was due that the individual may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file the statement. An individual who fails to file the statement 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.

Subd. 5.Exemptions.

For good cause shown, the board must grant exemptions to the requirement that e-mail addresses be provided.

10A.15 CONTRIBUTIONS.

Subdivision 1.Anonymous contributions.

A political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not retain an anonymous contribution in excess of $20, but must forward it to the board for deposit in the general account of the state elections campaign fund.

Subd. 2.Source; amount; date.

An individual who receives a contribution in excess of $20 for a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must, on demand of the treasurer, inform the treasurer of the name and, if known, the address of the source of the contribution, the amount of the contribution, and the date it was received.

Subd. 3.Deposit.

All contributions received by or on behalf of a candidate, principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit must be deposited in an account designated "Campaign Fund of ..... (name of candidate, committee, fund, or party unit)." All contributions must be deposited promptly upon receipt and, except for contributions received during the last three days of a reporting period as described in section 10A.20, must be deposited during the reporting period in which they were received. A contribution received during the last three days of a reporting period must be deposited within 72 hours after receipt and must be reported as received during the reporting period whether or not deposited within that period. A candidate, principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit may refuse to accept a contribution. A deposited contribution may be returned to the contributor within 60 days after deposit. A contribution deposited and not returned within 60 days after that deposit must be reported as accepted.

Subd. 3a.Excess.

A treasurer of a principal campaign committee of a candidate may not deposit a contribution that on its face exceeds the limit on contributions to the candidate prescribed by section 10A.27 unless, at the time of deposit, the treasurer issues a check to the source for the amount of the excess.

Subd. 3b.Attributable contributions.

Contributions made to a candidate or principal campaign committee that are directed to the candidate or principal campaign committee by a political fund, committee, or party unit must be reported as attributable to the political fund, committee, or party unit and count toward the contribution limits of that fund, committee, or party unit specified in section 10A.27, if the fund, committee, or party unit was organized or is operated primarily to direct contributions other than from its own money to one or more candidates or principal campaign committees. The treasurer of the political fund, committee, or party unit must advise the candidate or the candidate's principal campaign committee if the contribution or contributions are not from the money of the fund, committee, or party unit and the original source of the money. As used in this subdivision, the term "direct" includes, but is not limited to, order, command, control, or instruct. A violation of this subdivision is a violation of section 10A.29.

Subd. 3c.Related committees.

An individual, association, political committee, political fund, or party unit may establish, finance, maintain, or control a political committee, political fund, or party unit. One who does this is a "parent." The political committee, fund, or party unit so established, financed, maintained, or controlled is a "subsidiary." If the parent is an association, the association must create a political committee or political fund to serve as the parent for reporting purposes. A subsidiary must report its contribution to a candidate or principal campaign committee as attributable to its parent, and the contribution is counted toward the contribution limits in section 10A.27 of the parent as well as of the subsidiary.

Subd. 4.Penalty.

An individual violating this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Subd. 5.Registration number on checks.

A contribution made to a candidate by a lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or party unit must show the name of the lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or party unit and the number under which it is registered with the board.

10A.16 EARMARKING CONTRIBUTIONS PROHIBITED.

An individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not solicit or accept a contribution from any source with the express or implied condition that the contribution or any part of it be directed to a particular candidate other than the initial recipient. An individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit that knowingly accepts any earmarked contribution is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.

10A.17 EXPENDITURES.

Subdivision 1.Authorization.

A political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not expend money unless the expenditure is authorized by the treasurer or deputy treasurer of that committee, fund, or party unit.

Subd. 2.Written authorization.

An individual or association may not make an approved expenditure of more than $20 without receiving written authorization from the treasurer of the principal campaign committee of the candidate who approved the expenditure stating the amount that may be spent and the purpose of the expenditure.

Subd. 3.Petty cash.

The treasurer or deputy treasurer of a political committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit may sign vouchers for petty cash of up to $100 per week for statewide elections or $20 per week for legislative elections, to be used for miscellaneous expenditures.

Subd. 3a.Personal loans.

A principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit may not lend money it has raised to anyone for purposes not related to the conduct of a campaign.

Subd. 4.Independent expenditures.

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.

Subd. 5.Penalty.

A person who violates subdivision 2 is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000. A person who knowingly violates subdivision 3a or 4 or falsely claims that an expenditure was an independent expenditure is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.

10A.18 TIME FOR RENDERING BILLS, CHARGES, OR CLAIMS; PENALTY.

A person who has a bill, charge, or claim against a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit for an expenditure must render in writing to the treasurer of the committee, fund, or party unit the bill, charge, or claim within 60 days after the material or service is provided. A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

10A.19 [Renumbered 10A.105]

10A.20 CAMPAIGN REPORTS.

Subdivision 1.First filing; duration.

The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must begin to file the reports required by this section in the first year it receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $100 and must continue to file until the committee, fund, or party unit is terminated. The reports must be filed electronically in a standards-based open format specified by the board. For good cause shown, the board must grant exemptions to the requirement that reports be filed electronically.

[See Note.]

Subd. 1a.If treasurer position is vacant.

If the position of treasurer of a principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit is vacant, the candidate, chair of a political committee or party unit, or association officer of a political fund is responsible for filing reports required by this section.

Subd. 1b.Release of reports.

Except as provided in subdivision 1c, a report filed under this section is nonpublic data until 8:00 a.m. on the day following the day the report was due.

Subd. 1c.Reports of certain political party units.

(a) This subdivision applies to the following party units:

(1) the two state party units of major political parties that received the highest level of contributions in the last election year;

(2) the two party units established by members of a major party in the house of representatives that received the highest level of contributions in the last election year; and

(3) the two party units established by members of a major party in the senate that received the highest level of contributions in the last election year.

(b) A report filed under this section by a member of one of the party units listed in paragraph (a) is nonpublic data until the reports of each of the party units in that group have been filed.

(c) A report filed electronically under this section by a member of one of the party units listed in paragraph (a) is nonpublic data unless the reports of each of the party units in that group are filed electronically or until the board has created electronic data from the nonelectronic report so that data from each report are available in the same electronic form. The board may produce a viewable image of an electronic report after the requirements of paragraph (b) have been met.

(d) A party unit may waive the restrictions on publication of data established in this section through a written statement signed by the treasurer.

(e) Nothing in this subdivision prevents the board from publicly disclosing that an entity subject to this section has filed a report and the date the report was filed.

(f) Each group listed in paragraph (a) is exempt from the electronic filing requirement unless both members of the group have approved the filing format specified by the board.

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 (d).

(b) In each year in which the name of the candidate is on the ballot, the report of the principal campaign committee must be filed 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election, seven days before a special primary and a special election, and ten days after a special election cycle.

(c) In each general election year, a political committee or political fund must file reports 28 and 15 days before a primary and 42 and ten days before a general election. Beginning in 2012, reports required under this paragraph must also be filed 56 days before a primary.

(d) In each general election year, a party unit must file reports 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election.

Subd. 3.Contents of report.

(a) The report must disclose the amount of liquid assets on hand at the beginning of the reporting period.

(b) The report must disclose the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, 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 $100 for legislative or statewide candidates or 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.

(c) The report must disclose the sum of contributions to the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(d) The report must disclose each loan made or received by the reporting entity within the year in aggregate in excess of $100, continuously reported until repaid or forgiven, together with the name, address, occupation, and principal place of business, if any, 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.

(e) The report must disclose each receipt over $100 during the reporting period not otherwise listed under paragraphs (b) to (d).

(f) The report must disclose the sum of all receipts of the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(g) The report must disclose the name and address of each individual or association to whom aggregate expenditures, including approved expenditures, have been made by or on behalf of the reporting entity within the year in excess of $100, 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 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.

(h) The report must disclose the sum of all expenditures made by or on behalf of the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(i) 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.

(j) The report must disclose the name and address of each political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which contributions have been made that aggregate in excess of $100 within the year and the amount and date of each contribution.

(k) The report must disclose the sum of all contributions made by the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(l) The report must disclose the name and address of each individual or association to whom noncampaign disbursements have been made that aggregate in excess of $100 within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity and the amount, date, and purpose of each noncampaign disbursement.

(m) The report must disclose the sum of all noncampaign disbursements made within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity.

(n) 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.

Subd. 3a.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 23]

Subd. 4.Period of report.

A report must cover the period from January 1 of the reporting year to seven days before the filing date, except that the report due on January 31 must cover the period from the last day covered by the previous report to December 31.

Subd. 5.Preelection reports.

Any loan, contribution, or contributions to a political committee or political fund from any one source totaling $1,000 or more, or in a statewide election for judicial office, any loan, contribution, or contributions from any one source totaling $2,000 or more, or in any judicial district totaling $400 or more, and any loan, contribution, or contributions to a candidate for constitutional office or for the legislature from any one source totaling 80 percent or more of the 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 one of the following ways:

(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.

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

This notice requirement does not apply with respect to a primary in which the statewide or legislative candidate is unopposed.

The board must post the report on its Web site by the end of the next business day after it is received.

Subd. 6.Report when no committee.

A candidate who does not designate and cause to be formed a principal campaign committee and an individual who makes independent expenditures or expenditures expressly advocating the approval or defeat of a ballot question in aggregate in excess of $100 in a year must file with the board a report containing the information required by subdivision 3. Reports required by this subdivision must be filed on the dates on which reports by committees, funds, and party units are filed.

Subd. 6a.Statement of independence.

An individual, political committee, political fund, or party unit filing a report or statement disclosing an independent expenditure under subdivision 3 or 6 must file with the report a sworn statement that the disclosed expenditures were not made with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any candidate's principal campaign committee or agent.

Subd. 6b.

[Repealed, 2010 c 327 s 29]

Subd. 7.Statement of inactivity.

If a reporting entity has no receipts or expenditures during a reporting period, the treasurer must file with the board at the time required by this section a statement to that effect.

Subd. 8.Exemption from disclosure.

The board must exempt a member of or contributor to an association or any other individual, from the requirements of this section if the member, contributor, or other individual demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that disclosure would expose the member or contributor to economic reprisals, loss of employment, or threat of physical coercion.

An association may seek an exemption for all of its members or contributors if it demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that a substantial number of its members or contributors would suffer a restrictive effect on their freedom of association if members were required to seek exemptions individually.

Subd. 9.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 10.Exemption procedure.

An individual or association seeking an exemption under subdivision 8 must submit a written application for exemption to the board. The board, without hearing, must grant or deny the exemption within 30 days after receiving the application and must issue a written order stating the reasons for its action. The board must publish its order in the State Register and give notice to all parties known to the board to have an interest in the matter. If the board receives a written objection to its action from any party within 20 days after publication of its order and notification of interested parties, the board must hold a contested case hearing on the matter. Upon the filing of a timely objection from the applicant, an order denying an exemption is suspended pending the outcome of the contested case. If no timely objection is received, the exemption continues in effect until a written objection is filed with the board in a succeeding election year. The board by rule must establish a procedure so that an individual seeking an exemption may proceed anonymously if the individual would be exposed to the reprisals listed in subdivision 8 if the individual's identity were to be revealed for the purposes of a hearing.

Subd. 11.

[Renumbered 10A.36]

Subd. 12.Failure to file; penalty.

If an individual fails to file a report required by this section that is due January 31 within ten business days after the report was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000, commencing the day after the report was due.

If an individual fails to file a report required by this section that is due before a primary or election within three days after the date due, regardless of whether the individual has received any notice, the board may impose a late filing fee of $50 per day, not to exceed $1,000, commencing on the day after the date the statement was due.

The board must send notice by certified mail to an individual who fails to file a report within ten business days after the report was due that the individual may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file the report. An individual who fails to file the report 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.

Subd. 13.Third-party reimbursement.

An individual or association filing a report disclosing an expenditure or noncampaign disbursement that must be reported and itemized under subdivision 3, paragraph (g) or (l), that is a reimbursement to a third party must report the purpose of each expenditure or disbursement for which the third party is being reimbursed. In the alternative, the reporting individual or association may report individually each of the underlying expenditures being reimbursed. An expenditure or disbursement is a reimbursement to a third party if it is for goods or services that were not directly provided by the individual or association to whom the expenditure or disbursement is made. Third-party reimbursements include payments to credit card companies and reimbursement of individuals for expenses they have incurred.

Subd. 14.Reports by solicitors.

An individual or association, other than a candidate or the members of a candidate's principal campaign committee, that directly solicits and causes others to make contributions to candidates or a party unit in a house of the legislature, that aggregate more than $5,000 between January 1 of a general election year and the end of the reporting period must file with the board a report disclosing the amount of each contribution, the names of the contributors, and to whom the contributions were given. The report must be filed 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election. The report for each calendar year must be filed with the board by January 31 of the following year.

Subd. 15.Equitable relief.

A candidate whose opponent does not timely file the report due 15 days before the primary, the report due ten days before the general election, or the notice required under section 10A.25, subdivision 10, may petition the district court for immediate equitable relief to enforce the filing requirement. A prevailing party under this subdivision may be awarded attorney fees and costs by the court.

NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 1 by Laws 2010, chapter 327, section 14, is effective January 1, 2012, and applies to reports for election years on or after that date. Laws 2010, chapter 327, section 14, the effective date.

10A.21 [Repealed, 1997 c 202 art 2 s 64]

10A.22

Subdivision 1.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1976 c 307 s 35]

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 4.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 5.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 6.

[Renumbered 10A.025, subd 3]

Subd. 7.

[Renumbered 10A.27, subd 13]

Subd. 8.

[Repealed, 1976 c 307 s 35]

10A.23 [Renumbered 10A.025, subd 4]

10A.24 DISSOLUTION OR TERMINATION.

Subdivision 1.Termination report.

A political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit may not dissolve until it has settled all of its debts and disposed of all its assets in excess of $100 and filed a termination report. "Assets" include credit balances at vendors and physical assets such as computers and postage stamps. Physical assets must be listed at their fair market value. The termination report may be made at any time and must include all information required in periodic reports.

Subd. 2.Termination allowed.

Notwithstanding subdivision 1, a committee, fund, or party unit that has debts incurred more than six years previously, has disposed of all its assets, and has met the requirements of section 10A.20, subdivision 7, may notify any remaining creditors by certified mail and then file a termination report.

10A.241 TRANSFER OF DEBTS.

Notwithstanding section 10A.24, a candidate may terminate the candidate's principal campaign committee for one state office by transferring any debts of that committee to the candidate's principal campaign committee for another state office if all outstanding unpaid bills or loans from the committee being terminated are assumed and continuously reported by the committee to which the transfer is being made until paid or forgiven. A loan that is forgiven is covered by section 10A.20 and, for purposes of section 10A.324, is a contribution to the principal campaign committee from which the debt was transferred under this section.

10A.242 DISSOLUTION OF INACTIVE COMMITTEES AND FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.Dissolution required.

A political committee, political fund, or principal campaign committee must be dissolved within 60 days after receiving notice from the board that the committee or fund has become inactive. The assets of the committee or fund must be spent for the purposes authorized by section 211B.12 and other applicable law or liquidated and deposited in the general account of the state elections campaign fund within 60 days after the board notifies the committee or fund that it has become inactive.

Subd. 2.Inactivity defined.

(a) A principal campaign committee becomes inactive on the later of the following dates:

(1) when six years have elapsed since the last election in which the person was a candidate for the office sought or held at the time the principal campaign committee registered with the board; or

(2) when six years have elapsed since the last day on which the individual for whom it exists served in an elective office subject to this chapter.

(b) A political committee or fund becomes inactive when two years have elapsed since the end of a reporting period during which the political committee or fund made an expenditure or disbursement requiring disclosure under this chapter.

Subd. 3.Remaining debts.

If a committee or fund becomes inactive when it still has unpaid debts, the committee or fund must liquidate available assets to pay the debts. If insufficient assets exist to pay the debts, the board may set up a payment schedule and allow the committee or fund to defer dissolution until all debts are paid. This section does not extinguish debts incurred by the committee or fund.

10A.25 SPENDING LIMITS.

Subdivision 1.Limits are voluntary.

The expenditure limits imposed by this section apply only to a candidate who has signed an agreement under section 10A.322 to be bound by them as a condition of receiving a public subsidy for the candidate's campaign.

Subd. 2.Amounts.

(a) In a year in which an election is held for an office sought by a candidate, the principal campaign committee of the candidate must not make campaign expenditures nor permit approved expenditures to be made on behalf of the candidate that result in aggregate expenditures in excess of the following:

(1) for governor and lieutenant governor, running together, $2,577,200;

(2) for attorney general, $429,600;

(3) for secretary of state and state auditor, separately, $214,800;

(4) for state senator, $64,500;

(5) for state representative, $32,500.

(b) In addition to the amount in paragraph (a), clause (1), a candidate for endorsement for the office of lieutenant governor at the convention of a political party may make campaign expenditures and approved expenditures of five percent of that amount to seek endorsement.

(c) If a special election cycle occurs during a general election cycle, expenditures by or on behalf of a candidate in the special election do not count as expenditures by or on behalf of the candidate in the general election.

(d) The expenditure limits in this subdivision for an office are increased by ten percent for a candidate who is running for that office for the first time and who has not run previously for any other office whose territory now includes a population that is more than one-third of the population in the territory of the new office.

Subd. 2a.Aggregated expenditures.

If a candidate makes expenditures from more than one principal campaign committee for nomination or election to statewide office in the same election year, the amount of expenditures from all of the candidate's principal campaign committees for statewide office for that election year must be aggregated for purposes of applying the limits on expenditures under subdivision 2.

Subd. 3.Governor and lieutenant governor a single candidate.

For the purposes of sections 10A.11 to 10A.34, a candidate for governor and a candidate for lieutenant governor, running together, are considered a single candidate. Except as provided in subdivision 2, paragraph (b), all expenditures made by or all approved expenditures made on behalf of the candidate for lieutenant governor are considered to be expenditures by or approved expenditures on behalf of the candidate for governor.

Subd. 3a.Independent expenditures.

The principal campaign committee of a candidate must not make independent expenditures.

Subd. 4.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 30]

Subd. 5.Contested primary races.

Notwithstanding the limits imposed by subdivision 2, the winning candidate in a contested race in a primary who received fewer than twice as many votes as any one of the candidate's opponents in that primary may make expenditures and permit approved expenditures to be made on behalf of the candidate equal to 120 percent of the applicable limit as set forth in subdivision 2, but no more than 100 percent of the limit until after the primary.

Subd. 6.Limit in nonelection year.

During an election cycle, in any year before the election year for the office held or sought by the candidate, a candidate must not make campaign expenditures nor permit approved expenditures to be made on behalf of the candidate that exceed 20 percent of the expenditure limit set forth in subdivision 2.

Subd. 7.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 30]

Subd. 8.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 9.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 10.Effect of opponent's conduct.

(a) After the deadline for filing a spending limit agreement under section 10A.322, a candidate who has agreed to be bound by the expenditure limits imposed by this section as a condition of receiving a public subsidy for the candidate's campaign may choose to be released from the expenditure limits but remain eligible to receive a public subsidy if the candidate has an opponent who has not agreed to be bound by the limits and has received contributions or made or become obligated to make expenditures during that election cycle in excess of the following limits:

(1) up to the close of the reporting period before the primary election, receipts or expenditures equal to 20 percent of the expenditure limit for that office as set forth in subdivision 2; or

(2) after the close of the reporting period before the primary election, cumulative receipts or expenditures during that election cycle equal to 50 percent of the expenditure limit for that office as set forth in subdivision 2.

Before the primary election, a candidate's "opponents" are only those who will appear on the ballot of the same party in the primary election.

(b) A candidate who has not agreed to be bound by expenditure limits, or the candidate's principal campaign committee, must file written notice with the board and provide written notice to any opponent of the candidate for the same office within 24 hours of exceeding the limits in paragraph (a). The notice must state only that the candidate or candidate's principal campaign committee has received contributions or made or become obligated to make campaign expenditures in excess of the limits in paragraph (a).

(c) Upon receipt of the notice, a candidate who had agreed to be bound by the limits may file with the board a notice that the candidate chooses to be no longer bound by the expenditure limits. A notice of a candidate's choice not to be bound by the expenditure limits that is based on the conduct of an opponent in the state primary election may not be filed more than one day after the State Canvassing Board has declared the results of the state primary.

(d) A candidate who has agreed to be bound by the expenditure limits imposed by this section and whose opponent in the general election has chosen, as provided in paragraph (c), not to be bound by the expenditure limits because of the conduct of an opponent in the primary election is no longer bound by the limits but remains eligible to receive a public subsidy.

Subd. 11.

[Renumbered 10A.257, subdivision 1]

Subd. 12.

[Renumbered 10A.257, subd 2]

Subd. 13.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 30]

NOTE: See section 10A.255, subdivision 3.

10A.255 ADJUSTMENT BY CONSUMER PRICE INDEX.

Subdivision 1.Method of calculation.

The dollar amounts in section 10A.25, subdivision 2, must be adjusted for general election years as provided in this section. Each general election year, the executive director of the board must determine the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index from December of the year preceding the last general election year to December of the year preceding the year in which the determination is made. The dollar amounts used for the preceding general election year must be multiplied by that percentage. The product of the calculation must be added to each dollar amount to produce the dollar limitations to be in effect for the next general election. The product must be rounded up to the next highest $100 increment. The index used must be the revised Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers for the St. Paul-Minneapolis metropolitan area prepared by the United States Department of Labor.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 3.Publication of expenditure limit.

By April 15 of each election year the board must publish in the State Register 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.

10A.257 CARRYFORWARD.

Subdivision 1.Unused funds.

After all campaign expenditures and noncampaign disbursements for an election cycle have been made, an amount up to 50 percent of the election year expenditure limit for the office may be carried forward. Any remaining amount up to the total amount of the public subsidy from the state elections campaign fund must be returned to the state treasury for credit to the general fund under section 10A.324. Any remaining amount in excess of the total public subsidy must be contributed to the state elections campaign fund or a political party for multicandidate expenditures as defined in section 10A.275.

Subd. 2.Unused postage and credit balances carried forward.

Postage that is purchased but not used during an election cycle and credit balances at vendors that exceed a combined total of $500 must be carried forward and counted as expenditures during the election cycle during which they are used.

10A.26 [Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]
10A.265 [Renumbered 10A.37]

10A.27 CONTRIBUTION LIMITS.

Subdivision 1.Contribution limits.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 2, a candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept aggregate contributions made or delivered by any individual, political committee, or political fund in excess of the following:

(1) to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor running together, $2,000 in an election year for the office sought and $500 in other years;

(2) to a candidate for attorney general, secretary of state, or state auditor, $1,000 in an election year for the office sought and $200 in other years;

(3) to a candidate for state senator, $500 in an election year for the office sought and $100 in other years;

(4) to a candidate for state representative, $500 in an election year for the office sought and $100 in the other year; and

(5) to a candidate for judicial office, $2,000 in an election year for the office sought and $500 in other years.

(b) The following deliveries are not subject to the bundling limitation in this subdivision:

(1) delivery of contributions collected by a member of the candidate's principal campaign committee, such as a block worker or a volunteer who hosts a fund-raising event, to the committee's treasurer; and

(2) a delivery made by an individual on behalf of the individual's spouse.

(c) A lobbyist, political committee, political party unit, or political fund must not make a contribution a candidate is prohibited from accepting.

Subd. 2.Political party and dissolving principal campaign committee limit.

A candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept contributions from any political party units or dissolving principal campaign committees in aggregate in excess of ten times the amount that may be contributed to that candidate as set forth in subdivision 1. The limitation in this subdivision does not apply to a contribution from a dissolving principal campaign committee of a candidate for the legislature to another principal campaign committee of the same candidate.

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]

Subd. 4.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 34]

Subd. 5.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 34]

Subd. 6.

[Repealed, 1993 c 318 art 2 s 51]

Subd. 7.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 34]

Subd. 8.Excess loans prohibited.

A candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept a loan from other than a financial institution for an amount in excess of the contribution limits imposed by this section. A candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept a loan from a financial institution for which the financial institution may hold an endorser of the loan liable to pay an amount in excess of the amount that the endorser may contribute to that candidate.

Subd. 9.Contributions to and from other candidates.

(a) A candidate or the treasurer of a candidate's principal campaign committee must not accept a contribution from another candidate's principal campaign committee or from any other committee bearing the contributing candidate's name or title or otherwise authorized by the contributing candidate, unless the contributing candidate's principal campaign committee is being dissolved. A candidate's principal campaign committee must not make a contribution to another candidate's principal campaign committee, except when the contributing committee is being dissolved.

(b) A principal campaign committee that makes a contribution to another principal campaign committee must provide with the contribution a written statement of the committee's intent to dissolve and terminate its registration within 12 months after the contribution was made. If the committee fails to dissolve and terminate its registration by that time, the board may levy a civil penalty up to four times the size of the contribution against the contributing committee. A contribution from a terminating principal campaign committee that is not accepted by another principal campaign committee must be forwarded to the board for deposit in the general account of the state elections campaign fund.

(c) A candidate's principal campaign committee must not accept a contribution from, or make a contribution to, a committee associated with a person who seeks nomination or election to the office of president, senator, or representative in Congress of the United States.

(d) A candidate or the treasurer of a candidate's principal campaign committee must not accept a contribution from a candidate for political subdivision office in any state, unless the contribution is from the personal funds of the candidate for political subdivision office. A candidate or the treasurer of a candidate's principal campaign committee must not make a contribution from the principal campaign committee to a candidate for political subdivision office in any state.

Subd. 10.Limited personal contributions.

A candidate who accepts a public subsidy may not contribute to the candidate's own campaign during a year more than ten times the candidate's election year contribution limit under subdivision 1.

Subd. 11.Contributions from certain types of contributors.

A candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept a contribution from a political committee, political fund, lobbyist, or large contributor, if the contribution will cause the aggregate contributions from those types of contributors to exceed an amount equal to 20 percent of the expenditure limits for the office sought by the candidate, provided that the 20 percent limit must be rounded to the nearest $100. For purposes of this subdivision, "large contributor" means an individual, other than the candidate, who contributes an amount that is more than $100 and more than one-half the amount an individual may contribute.

Subd. 12.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 34]

Subd. 13.Unregistered association limit; statement; penalty.

(a) The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must not accept a contribution of more than $100 from an association not registered under this chapter unless the contribution is accompanied by a written statement that meets the disclosure and reporting period requirements imposed by section 10A.20. This statement must be certified as true and correct by an officer of the contributing association. The committee, fund, or party unit that accepts the contribution must include a copy of the statement with the report that discloses the contribution to the board. This subdivision does not apply when a national political party contributes money to its affiliate in this state.

(b) An unregistered association may provide the written statement required by this subdivision to no more than three committees, funds, or party units in a calendar year. Each statement must cover at least the 30 days immediately preceding and including the date on which the contribution was made. An unregistered association or an officer of it is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000, if the association or its officer:

(1) fails to provide a written statement as required by this subdivision; or

(2) fails to register after giving the written statement required by this subdivision to more than three committees, funds, or party units in a calendar year.

(c) The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit who accepts a contribution in excess of $100 from an unregistered association without the required written disclosure statement is subject to a civil penalty up to four times the amount in excess of $100.

Subd. 14.Contributions of business revenue.

An association may, if not prohibited by other law, contribute revenue from the operation of a business to an independent expenditure political committee or an independent expenditure political fund without complying with subdivision 13.

Subd. 15.Contributions of dues or contribution revenue.

(a) An association may, if not prohibited by other law, contribute revenue from membership dues or fees, or from contributions received by the association to an independent expenditure political committee or an independent expenditure political fund without complying with subdivision 13. Before the day when the recipient committee or fund's next report must be filed with the board under section 10A.20, subdivision 2 or 5, an association that has contributed $5,000 or more in aggregate to independent expenditure political committees or funds during the calendar year must provide in writing to the recipient's treasurer a statement that includes the name, address, and amount attributable to each individual or association that paid the association dues or fees, or made contributions to the association that, in total, aggregate $1,000 or more of the contribution from the association to the independent expenditure political committee or fund. The statement must also include the total amount of the contribution from individuals or associations not subject to itemization under this section. The statement must be certified as true and correct by an officer of the donor association.

(b) To determine the membership dues or fees, or contributions made by an individual or association that exceed $1,000 of the contribution made by the donor association to the independent expenditure political committee or fund, the donor association must:

(1) apply a pro rata calculation to all unrestricted dues, fees, and contributions received by the donor association in the calendar year; or

(2) as provided in paragraph (c), identify the specific individuals or associations whose dues, fees, or contributions are included in the contribution to the independent expenditure political committee or fund.

(c) Dues, fees, or contributions from an individual or association must be identified in a contribution to an independent expenditure political committee or fund under paragraph (b), clause (2), if:

(1) the individual or association has specifically authorized the donor association to use the individual's or association's dues, fees, or contributions for this purpose; or

(2) the individual's or association's dues, fees, or contributions to the donor association are unrestricted and the donor association designates them as the source of the subject contribution to the independent expenditure political committee or fund. After a portion of an individual's or association's dues, fees, or contributions to the donor association have been designated as the source of a contribution to an independent expenditure political committee or fund, that portion of the individual's or association's dues, fees, or contributions to the donor association may not be designated as the source of any other contribution to an independent expenditure political committee or fund.

(d) For the purposes of this section, "donor association" means the association contributing to an independent expenditure political committee or fund that is required to provide a statement under paragraph (a).

Subd. 16.Treasurer to submit disclosure statements.

The treasurer of a political committee or political fund receiving a statement required under subdivision 15 must file a copy of the statement before the deadline for the committee or fund's next report filed with the board under section 10A.20, subdivision 2 or 5, after receiving the statement.

Subd. 17.Penalty.

(a) An association that makes a contribution under subdivision 15 and fails to provide the required statement within the time specified is subject to a civil penalty of up to four times the amount of the contribution, but not to exceed $25,000, except when the violation was intentional.

(b) An independent expenditure political committee or an independent expenditure political fund that files a report without including the statement required under subdivision 15 is subject to a civil penalty of up to four times the amount of the contribution for which disclosure was not filed, but not to exceed $25,000, except when the violation was intentional.

(c) No other penalty provided in law may be imposed for conduct that is subject to a civil penalty under this section.

10A.273 CONTRIBUTIONS AND SOLICITATIONS DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

Subdivision 1.Contributions during legislative session.

(a) A candidate for the legislature or for constitutional office, the candidate's principal campaign committee, or a political committee or party unit established by all or a part of the party organization within a house of the legislature, must not solicit or accept a contribution from a registered lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or dissolving principal campaign committee, or from a party unit established by the party organization within a house of the legislature, during a regular session of the legislature.

(b) A registered lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or dissolving principal campaign committee, or a party unit established by the party organization within a house of the legislature, must not make a contribution to a candidate for the legislature or for constitutional office, the candidate's principal campaign committee, or a political committee or party unit established by all or a part of the party organization within a house of the legislature during a regular session of the legislature.

Subd. 2.Party unit solicitations.

A political party unit must not solicit or receive at an event hosted by a candidate for the legislature or by a candidate for constitutional office a contribution from a lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or party unit during a regular session of the legislature.

Subd. 3.Definition.

For purposes of this section, "regular session" does not include a special session or the interim between the two annual sessions of a biennium.

Subd. 4.Civil penalty.

A candidate, political committee, party unit, political fund, principal campaign committee, or registered lobbyist that violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000. If the board makes a public finding that there is probable cause to believe a violation of this section has occurred, 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, to collect a civil penalty as imposed by the board. Penalties paid under this section must be deposited in the general fund in the state treasury.

Subd. 5.Special election.

This section does not apply in a legislative special election during the period beginning when the person becomes a candidate in the special election and ending on the day of the special election.

10A.275 MULTICANDIDATE POLITICAL PARTY EXPENDITURES.

Subdivision 1.Exceptions.

Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, the following expenditures by a party unit, or two or more party units acting together, with at least one party unit being either: the state committee or the party organization within a congressional district, county, or legislative district, are not considered contributions to or expenditures on behalf of a candidate for the purposes of section 10A.25 or 10A.27 and must not be allocated to candidates under section 10A.20, subdivision 3, paragraph (g):

(1) expenditures on behalf of candidates of that party generally without referring to any of them specifically in a published, posted, or broadcast advertisement;

(2) expenditures for the preparation, display, mailing, or other distribution of an official party sample ballot listing the names of three or more individuals whose names are to appear on the ballot;

(3) expenditures for a telephone conversation including the names of three or more individuals whose names are to appear on the ballot;

(4) expenditures for a political party fund-raising effort on behalf of three or more candidates; or

(5) expenditures for party committee staff services that benefit three or more candidates.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

10A.28 PENALTY FOR EXCEEDING LIMITS.

Subdivision 1.Exceeding expenditure limits.

A candidate subject to the expenditure limits in section 10A.25 who permits the candidate's principal campaign committee to make expenditures or permits approved expenditures to be made on the candidate's behalf in excess of the limits imposed by section 10A.25, as adjusted by section 10A.255, is subject to a civil penalty up to four times the amount by which the expenditures exceeded the limit.

Subd. 2.Exceeding contribution limits.

The following are subject to a civil penalty of up to four times the amount by which a contribution exceeds the applicable limits:

(1) a lobbyist, political committee, or political fund that makes a contribution in excess of the limits imposed by section 10A.27, subdivisions 1 and 8;

(2) a principal campaign committee that makes a contribution in excess of the limits imposed by section 10A.27, subdivision 2;

(3) a political party unit that makes a contribution in excess of the limits imposed by section 10A.27, subdivisions 2 and 8; or

(4) a candidate who permits the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept contributions in excess of the limits imposed by section 10A.27.

Subd. 3.Conciliation agreement.

If the board finds that there is reason to believe that excess expenditures have been made or excess contributions accepted contrary to subdivision 1 or 2, the board must make every effort for a period of at least 14 days after its finding to correct the matter by informal methods of conference and conciliation and to enter a conciliation agreement with the person involved. A conciliation agreement under this subdivision is a matter of public record. Unless violated, a conciliation agreement is a bar to any civil proceeding under subdivision 4.

Subd. 4.Civil action.

If the board is unable after a reasonable time to correct by informal methods a matter that constitutes probable cause 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 of probable cause in the matter. After 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.

10A.29 CIRCUMVENTION PROHIBITED.

An individual or association that attempts to circumvent this chapter by redirecting a contribution through, or making a contribution on behalf of, another individual or association is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.

10A.30 STATE ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN FUND.

Subdivision 1.Establishment.

An account is established in the special revenue fund of the state known as the "state elections campaign fund."

Subd. 2.Separate account.

Within the state elections campaign fund account there must be maintained a separate political party account for the state committee and the candidates of each political party and a general account.

10A.31 DESIGNATION OF INCOME TAX PAYMENTS.

Subdivision 1.Designation.

An individual resident of this state who files an income tax return or a renter and homeowner property tax refund return with the commissioner of revenue may designate on their original return that $5 be paid from the general fund of the state into the state elections campaign fund. If a husband and wife file a joint return, each spouse may designate that $5 be paid. No individual is allowed to designate $5 more than once in any year. The taxpayer may designate that the amount be paid into the account of a political party or into the general account.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 39]

Subd. 3.Form.

The commissioner of revenue must provide on the first page of the income tax form and the renter and homeowner property tax refund return a space for the individual to indicate a wish to pay $5 ($10 if filing a joint return) from the general fund of the state to finance election campaigns. The form must also contain language prepared by the commissioner that permits the individual to direct the state to pay the $5 (or $10 if filing a joint return) to: (1) one of the major political parties; (2) any minor political party that qualifies under subdivision 3a; or (3) all qualifying candidates as provided by subdivision 7. The renter and homeowner property tax refund return must include instructions that the individual filing the return may designate $5 on the return only if the individual has not designated $5 on the income tax return.

Subd. 3a.Qualification of political parties.

(a) A major political party qualifies for inclusion on the income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3 if it qualifies as a major political party by July 1 of the taxable year.

(b) A minor political party qualifies for inclusion on the income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3 if it qualifies as a minor party statewide by July 1 of the taxable year.

(c) The secretary of state shall notify each major and minor political party by the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year of the conditions necessary for the party to participate in income tax form and property tax refund return programs.

(d) The secretary of state shall notify each political party, the commissioner of revenue, and the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board by July 1 of each year and following certification of the results of each general election of the political parties that qualify for inclusion on the income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3.

Subd. 4.Appropriation.

(a) The amounts designated by individuals for the state elections campaign fund, less three percent, are appropriated from the general fund, must be transferred and credited to the appropriate account in the state elections campaign fund, and are annually appropriated for distribution as set forth in subdivisions 5, 5a, 6, and 7. The remaining three percent must be kept in the general fund for administrative costs.

(b) In addition to the amounts in paragraph (a), $1,020,000 for each general election is appropriated from the general fund for transfer to the general account of the state elections campaign fund.

Subd. 5.Allocation.

(a) General account. In each calendar year the money in the general account must be allocated to candidates as follows:

(1) 21 percent for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor together;

(2) 4.2 percent for the office of attorney general;

(3) 2.4 percent each for the offices of secretary of state and state auditor;

(4) in each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a four-year term, 23-1/3 percent for the office of state senator, and 46-2/3 percent for the office of state representative; and

(5) in each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a two-year term, 35 percent each for the offices of state senator and state representative.

(b) Party account. In each calendar year the money in each party account must be allocated as follows:

(1) 14 percent for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor together;

(2) 2.8 percent for the office of attorney general;

(3) 1.6 percent each for the offices of secretary of state and state auditor;

(4) in each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a four-year term, 23-1/3 percent for the office of state senator, and 46-2/3 percent for the office of state representative;

(5) in each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a two-year term, 35 percent each for the offices of state senator and state representative; and

(6) ten percent or $50,000, whichever is less, for the state committee of a political party; one-third of any amount in excess of that allocated to the state committee of a political party under this clause must be allocated to the office of state senator and two-thirds must be allocated to the office of state representative under clause (4).

Money allocated to each state committee under clause (6) must be deposited in a separate account and must be spent for only those items enumerated in section 10A.275. Money allocated to a state committee under clause (6) must be paid to the committee by the board as it is received in the account on a monthly basis, with payment on the 15th day of the calendar month following the month in which the returns were processed by the Department of Revenue, provided that these distributions would be equal to 90 percent of the amount of money indicated in the Department of Revenue's weekly unedited reports of income tax returns and property tax refund returns processed in the month, as notified by the Department of Revenue to the board. The amounts paid to each state committee are subject to biennial adjustment and settlement at the time of each certification required of the commissioner of revenue under subdivisions 7 and 10. If the total amount of payments received by a state committee for the period reflected on a certification by the Department of Revenue is different from the amount that should have been received during the period according to the certification, each subsequent monthly payment must be increased or decreased to the fullest extent possible until the amount of the overpayment is recovered or the underpayment is distributed.

Subd. 5a.Party account for legislative candidates.

To ensure that money will be returned to the counties from which it was collected and to ensure that the distribution of money rationally relates to the support for particular parties or for particular candidates within legislative districts, money from the party accounts for legislative candidates must be distributed as provided in this subdivision.

Each candidate for the state senate and state house of representatives whose name is to appear on the ballot in the general election must receive money from the candidate's party account allocated to candidates for the state senate or state house of representatives, whichever applies, according to the following formula:

For each county within the candidate's district, the candidate's share of the dollars designated by taxpayers who resided in that county and credited to the candidate's party account and allocated to that office must be:

(1) the sum of the votes cast in the last general election in that part of the county in the candidate's district for all candidates of that candidate's party whose names appeared on the ballot statewide and for the state senate and state house of representatives, divided by

(2) the sum of the votes cast in the entire county in the last general election for all candidates of that candidate's party whose names appeared on the ballot statewide and for the state senate and state house of representatives, multiplied by

(3) the amount in the candidate's party account designated by taxpayers who resided in that county and allocated to that office.

The sum of all the county shares calculated in the formula above is the candidate's share of the candidate's party account.

In a year in which an election for the state senate occurs, with respect to votes for candidates for the state senate only, "last general election" means the last general election in which an election for the state senate occurred.

For a party under whose name no candidate's name appeared on the ballot statewide in the last general election, amounts in the party's account must be allocated based on (i) the number of people voting in the last general election in that part of the county in the candidate's district, divided by (ii) the number of the people voting in the entire county in the last general election, multiplied by (iii) the amount in the candidate's party account designated by taxpayers who resided in that county and allocated to that office.

In the first general election after the legislature is redistricted, "the candidate's district" means the newly drawn district and voting data from the last general election must be applied to the area encompassing the newly drawn district, notwithstanding that the area was in a different district in the last general election.

If in a district there was no candidate of a party for the state senate or state house of representatives in the last general election, or if a candidate for the state senate or state house of representatives was unopposed, the vote for that office for that party is the average vote of all the remaining candidates of that party in each county of that district whose votes are included in the sums in clauses (1) and (2). The average vote must be added to the sums in clauses (1) and (2) before the calculation is made for all districts in the county.

Subd. 6.Distribution of party accounts.

As soon as the board has obtained from the secretary of state the results of the primary election, but no later than one week after certification by the State Canvassing Board of the results of the primary, the board must distribute the available money in each party account, as certified by the commissioner of revenue one week before the state primary, to the candidates of that party who have signed a spending limit agreement under section 10A.322 and filed the affidavit of contributions required by section 10A.323, who were opposed in either the primary election or the general election, and whose names are to appear on the ballot in the general election, according to the allocations set forth in subdivisions 5 and 5a. The public subsidy from the party account may not be paid in an amount greater than the expenditure limit of the candidate or the expenditure limit that would have applied to the candidate if the candidate had not been freed from expenditure limits under section 10A.25, subdivision 10.

Subd. 6a.Party account money not distributed.

Money from a party account not distributed to candidates for state senator or representative in any election year must be returned to the general fund of the state, except that the subsidy from the party account an unopposed candidate would otherwise have been eligible to receive must be paid to the state committee of the candidate's political party to be deposited in a special account under subdivision 5, paragraph (b), clause (6), and used for only those items permitted under section 10A.275. Money from a party account not distributed to candidates for other offices in an election year must be returned to the party account for reallocation to candidates as provided in subdivision 5, paragraph (b), in the following year.

Subd. 7.Distribution of general account.

(a) As soon as the board has obtained the results of the primary election from the secretary of state, but no later than one week after certification of the primary results by the State Canvassing Board, the board must distribute the available money in the general account, as certified by the commissioner of revenue on September 1 and according to allocations set forth in subdivision 5, in equal amounts to all candidates of a major political party whose names are to appear on the ballot in the general election and who:

(1) have signed a spending limit agreement under section 10A.322;

(2) have filed the affidavit of contributions required by section 10A.323; and

(3) were opposed in either the primary election or the general election.

(b) The public subsidy under this subdivision may not be paid in an amount that would cause the sum of the public subsidy paid from the party account plus the public subsidy paid from the general account to exceed 50 percent of the expenditure limit for the candidate or 50 percent of the expenditure limit that would have applied to the candidate if the candidate had not been freed from expenditure limits under section 10A.25, subdivision 10. Money from the general account not paid to a candidate because of the 50 percent limit must be distributed equally among all other qualifying candidates for the same office until all have reached the 50 percent limit or the balance in the general account is exhausted.

(c) A candidate must expend or become obligated to expend at least an amount equal to 50 percent of the money distributed by the board under this subdivision no later than the end of the final reporting period preceding the general election. Otherwise, the candidate must repay to the board the difference between the amount the candidate spent or became obligated to spend by the deadline and the amount distributed to the candidate under this subdivision. The candidate must make the repayment no later than six months following the general election. The candidate must reimburse the board for all reasonable costs, including litigation costs, incurred in collecting any amount due.

If the board determines that a candidate has failed to repay money as required by this paragraph, the board may not distribute any additional money to the candidate until the entirety of the repayment has been made.

Subd. 7a.Withholding of public subsidy.

If a candidate who is eligible for payment of public subsidy under this section has not filed the report of receipts and expenditures required under section 10A.20 before a primary election, any public subsidy for which that candidate is eligible must be withheld by the board until the candidate complies with the filing requirements of section 10A.20 and the board has sufficient time to review or audit the report. If a candidate who is eligible for public subsidy does not file the report due before the primary election under section 10A.20 by the date that the report of receipts and expenditures filed before the general election is due, that candidate shall not be paid public subsidy for that election.

Subd. 8.

[Repealed, 1993 c 318 art 2 s 51]

Subd. 9.

[Repealed, 1993 c 318 art 2 s 51]

Subd. 10.December distribution.

In the event that on the date of either certification by the commissioner of revenue as provided in subdivision 6 or 7, less than 98 percent of the tax returns have been processed, the commissioner of revenue must certify to the board by December 1 the amount accumulated in each account since the previous certification. By December 15, the board must distribute to each candidate according to the allocations in subdivisions 5 and 5a the amounts to which the candidates are entitled.

Subd. 10a.Form of distribution.

A distribution to a candidate must be in the form of a check made "payable to the campaign fund of ......(name of candidate)......."

Subd. 10b.Remainder.

Money accumulated after the final certification must be kept in the respective accounts for distribution in the next general election year.

Subd. 11.Write-in candidate.

For the purposes of this section, a write-in candidate is a candidate only upon complying with sections 10A.322 and 10A.323.

Subd. 12.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 39]

10A.315 SPECIAL ELECTION SUBSIDY.

(a) Each eligible candidate for a legislative office in a special election must be paid a public subsidy equal to the sum of:

(1) the party account money at the last general election for the candidate's party for the office the candidate is seeking; and

(2) the general account money paid to a candidate for the same office at the last general election.

(b) A candidate who wishes to receive this public subsidy must submit a signed agreement under section 10A.322 to the board and must meet the contribution requirements of section 10A.323. The special election subsidy must be distributed in the same manner as money in the party and general accounts is distributed to legislative candidates in a general election.

(c) The amount necessary to make the payments required by this section is appropriated from the general fund to the board.

10A.316 [Never effective]

10A.32

Subdivision 1.

[Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]

Subd. 3a.

[Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]

Subd. 3b.

[Repealed, 1988 c 686 art 1 s 83; 1988 c 707 s 5]

Subd. 4.

[Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]

10A.321 ESTIMATES OF MINIMUM AMOUNTS TO BE RECEIVED.

Subdivision 1.Calculation and certification of estimates.

The commissioner of revenue must calculate and certify to the board one week before the first day for filing for office in each election year an estimate of the total amount in the state general account of the state elections campaign fund and the amount of money each candidate who qualifies, as provided in section 10A.31, subdivisions 6 and 7, may receive from the candidate's party account in the state elections campaign fund. This estimate must be based upon the allocations and formulas in section 10A.31, subdivisions 5 and 5a, any necessary vote totals provided by the secretary of state to apply the formulas in section 10A.31, subdivisions 5 and 5a, and the amount of money expected to be available after 100 percent of the tax returns have been processed.

Subd. 2.Publication, certification, and notification procedures.

Before the first day of filing for office, the board must publish and forward to all filing officers the estimates calculated and certified under subdivision 1 along with a copy of section 10A.25, subdivision 10. Within one week after the last day for filing for office, the secretary of state must certify to the board the name, address, office sought, and party affiliation of each candidate who has filed with that office an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot. The auditor of each county must certify to the board the same information for each candidate who has filed with that county an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot. Within two weeks after the last day for filing for office, the board must notify all candidates of their estimated minimum amount. The board must include with the notice a form for the agreement provided in section 10A.322 along with a copy of section 10A.25, subdivision 10.

10A.322 SPENDING LIMIT AGREEMENTS.

Subdivision 1.Agreement by candidate.

(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.31, subdivision 7, paragraph (c); 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.

Subd. 2.How long agreement is effective.

The agreement, insofar as it relates to the expenditure limits in section 10A.25, as adjusted by section 10A.255, and the contribution limit in section 10A.27, subdivision 10, remains effective for candidates until the dissolution of the principal campaign committee of the candidate or the end of the first election cycle completed after the agreement was filed, whichever occurs first.

Subd. 3.

[Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 42]

Subd. 4.Refund receipt forms; penalty.

The board must make available to a political party on request and to any candidate for whom an agreement under this section is effective, a supply of official refund receipt forms that state in boldface type that (1) a contributor who is given a receipt form is eligible to claim a refund as provided in section 290.06, subdivision 23, and (2) if the contribution is to a candidate, that the candidate has signed an agreement to limit campaign expenditures as provided in this section. The forms must provide duplicate copies of the receipt to be attached to the contributor's claim. A candidate who does not sign an agreement under this section and who willfully issues an official refund receipt form or a facsimile of one to any of the candidate's contributors is guilty of a misdemeanor.

10A.323 AFFIDAVIT OF CONTRIBUTIONS.

In addition to the requirements of section 10A.322, to be eligible to receive a public subsidy under section 10A.31 a candidate or the candidate's treasurer must file an affidavit with the board stating that 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 the candidate has accumulated contributions from persons 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:

(1) candidates for governor and lieutenant governor running together, $35,000;

(2) candidates for attorney general, $15,000;

(3) candidates for secretary of state and state auditor, separately, $6,000;

(4) candidates for the senate, $3,000; and

(5) candidates for the house of representatives, $1,500.

The affidavit must state the total amount of contributions that have been received from persons eligible to vote in this state, disregarding the portion of any contribution in excess of $50.

The candidate or the candidate's treasurer must 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.

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 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.

10A.324 RETURN OF PUBLIC SUBSIDY.

Subdivision 1.When return required.

A candidate must return all or a portion of the public subsidy received from the state elections campaign fund or the public subsidy received under section 10A.315, under the circumstances in this section or section 10A.257, subdivision 1.

To the extent that the amount of public subsidy received exceeds the aggregate of: (1) actual expenditures made by the principal campaign committee of the candidate; and (2) approved expenditures made on behalf of the candidate, the treasurer of the candidate's principal campaign committee must return an amount equal to the difference to the board. The cost of postage that was not used during an election cycle and payments that created credit balances at vendors at the close of an election cycle are not considered expenditures for purposes of determining the amount to be returned. Expenditures in excess of the candidate's spending limit do not count in determining aggregate expenditures under this paragraph.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 3.How return determined.

Whether or not a candidate is required under subdivision 1 to return all or a portion of the public subsidy must be determined from the report required to be filed with the board by that candidate by January 31 of the year following an election. An amount required to be returned must be submitted in the form of a check or money order and must accompany the report filed with the board. The board must deposit the check or money order in the state treasury for credit to the general fund. The amount returned must not exceed the amount of public subsidy received by the candidate.

Subd. 4.

[Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

Subd. 5.

[Repealed, 1996 c 459 s 5]

10A.325 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.33 [Repealed, 1990 c 608 art 3 s 32]
10A.335 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

10A.34 REMEDIES.

Subdivision 1.Personal liability.

A person charged with a duty under this chapter is personally liable for the penalty for failing to discharge it.

Subd. 1a.Recovering fees and penalties.

The board may bring an action in the district court in Ramsey County to recover a fee, late filing fee, or penalty imposed under this chapter. Money recovered must be deposited in the general fund of the state.

Subd. 2.Injunction.

The board or a county attorney may seek an injunction in the district court to enforce this chapter.

Subd. 3.Not a crime.

Unless otherwise provided, a violation of this chapter is not a crime.

10A.35 COMMERCIAL USE OF INFORMATION PROHIBITED.

Information copied from reports and statements filed with the board, other than reports and statements filed by lobbyists and lobbyist principals, may not be sold or used by an individual or association for a commercial purpose. Purposes related to elections, political activities, or law enforcement are not commercial purposes. An individual or association who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000. An individual who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

10A.36 REPRISALS PROHIBITED; PENALTY.

An individual or association must not engage in economic reprisals or threaten loss of employment or physical coercion against an individual or association because of that individual's or association's political contributions or political activity. This subdivision does not apply to compensation for employment or loss of employment if the political affiliation or viewpoint of the employee is a bona fide occupational qualification of the employment. An individual or association that violates this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

10A.37 FREEDOM TO ASSOCIATE AND COMMUNICATE.

Nothing in this chapter may be construed to abridge the right of an association to communicate with its members.

10A.38 CAPTIONING OF CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENTS.

(a) This section applies to a campaign advertisement by a candidate who is governed by an agreement under section 10A.322.

(b) "Campaign advertisement" means a professionally produced visual or audio recording of two minutes or less produced by the candidate for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate.

(c) A campaign advertisement that is disseminated as an advertisement by broadcast or cable television must include closed captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, unless the candidate has filed with the board before the advertisement is disseminated a statement setting forth the reasons for not doing so. A campaign advertisement that is disseminated as an advertisement to the public on the candidate's Web site must include closed captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, unless the candidate has posted on the Web site a transcript of the spoken content of the advertisement or the candidate has filed with the board before the advertisement is disseminated a statement setting forth the reasons for not doing so. A campaign advertisement must not be disseminated as an advertisement by radio unless the candidate has posted on the candidate's Web site a transcript of the spoken content of the advertisement or the candidate has filed with the board before the advertisement is disseminated a statement setting forth the reasons for not doing so.

History:

2008 c 295 s 8

10A.40 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.41 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.42 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.43 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.44 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.45 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.46 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.47 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.48 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.49 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.50 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]
10A.51 [Repealed, 1999 c 220 s 51]

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569