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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

CHAPTER 10A. CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

Table of Sections
Section Headnote
GENERAL PROVISIONS; DUTIES OF BOARD
10A.01 DEFINITIONS.
10A.02 CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD.
10A.022 VIOLATIONS AND ENFORCEMENT.
10A.025 FILING REQUIREMENTS.
10A.027 INFORMATION ON WEBSITE.
LOBBYIST AND PRINCIPAL REPORTS
10A.03 LOBBYIST REGISTRATION.
10A.04 LOBBYIST REPORTS.
10A.05 LOBBYIST REPORT.
10A.06 CONTINGENT FEES PROHIBITED.
10A.065 Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
PUBLIC OFFICIALS
10A.07 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.
10A.071 CERTAIN GIFTS BY LOBBYISTS AND PRINCIPALS PROHIBITED.
10A.08 REPRESENTATION DISCLOSURE.
10A.09 STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST.
10A.10 [Renumbered 10A.025, subd 2]
CAMPAIGN FINANCE; ORGANIZATION AND REPORTING
10A.105 PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE.
10A.11 ORGANIZATION OF COMMITTEES AND PARTY UNITS.
10A.12 POLITICAL FUNDS.
10A.121 INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE AND BALLOT QUESTION POLITICAL COMMITTEES AND FUNDS.
10A.13 ACCOUNTS THAT MUST BE KEPT.
10A.14 REGISTRATION.
10A.15 CONTRIBUTIONS.
10A.155 REIMBURSEMENT OF AUTOMOBILE USE.
10A.16 EARMARKING CONTRIBUTIONS PROHIBITED.
10A.17 EXPENDITURES.
10A.173 NONCAMPAIGN DISBURSEMENTS.
10A.175 COORDINATED AND NONCOORDINATED EXPENDITURES; DEFINITIONS.
10A.176 COORDINATED EXPENDITURES.
10A.177 NONCOORDINATED EXPENDITURES.
10A.179 EXPENDITURES AND NONCAMPAIGN DISBURSEMENTS; GENERAL PROVISIONS.
10A.18 TIME FOR RENDERING BILLS, CHARGES, OR CLAIMS; PENALTY.
10A.19 [Renumbered 10A.105]
10A.20 CAMPAIGN REPORTS.
10A.21 [Repealed, 1997 c 202 art 2 s 64]
10A.22 Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
10A.23 [Renumbered 10A.025, subd 4]
10A.24 [Repealed, 2013 c 138 art 1 s 55]
10A.241 TRANSFER OF DEBTS.
10A.242 [Repealed, 2013 c 138 art 1 s 55]
10A.243 TERMINATION OF REGISTRATION.
10A.244 VOLUNTARY INACTIVE STATUS; POLITICAL FUNDS.
10A.245 ADMINISTRATIVE TERMINATION OF INACTIVE COMMITTEES AND FUNDS.
10A.246 UNPAID DEBT UPON TERMINATION.
EXPENDITURE LIMITS
10A.25 SPENDING LIMITS.
10A.255 ADJUSTMENT BY CONSUMER PRICE INDEX.
10A.257 CARRYFORWARD.
10A.26 [Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109]
10A.265 [Renumbered 10A.37]
CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
10A.27 CONTRIBUTION LIMITS.
10A.271 SALE OF GOODS AND SERVICES FOR FUND-RAISING PURPOSES.
10A.273 CONTRIBUTIONS AND SOLICITATIONS DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
10A.275 MULTICANDIDATE POLITICAL PARTY EXPENDITURES.
EXPENDITURES AND CONTRIBUTIONS; PENALTIES
10A.28 PENALTY FOR EXCEEDING LIMITS.
10A.29 CIRCUMVENTION PROHIBITED.
PUBLIC SUBSIDY PROGRAM
10A.30 STATE ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT.
10A.31 DESIGNATION OF INCOME TAX PAYMENTS.
10A.315 SPECIAL ELECTION SUBSIDY.
10A.316 [Never effective]
10A.32 Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect
10A.321 ESTIMATES OF MINIMUM AMOUNTS TO BE RECEIVED.
10A.322 SPENDING LIMIT AGREEMENTS.
10A.323 AFFIDAVIT OF CONTRIBUTIONS.
10A.324 RETURN OF PUBLIC SUBSIDY.
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]
MISCELLANEOUS
10A.34 REMEDIES.
10A.35 COMMERCIAL USE OF INFORMATION PROHIBITED.
10A.36 REPRISALS PROHIBITED; PENALTY.
10A.37 FREEDOM TO ASSOCIATE AND COMMUNICATE.
10A.38 CAPTIONING OF CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENTS.
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]

GENERAL PROVISIONS; DUTIES OF BOARD

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 20.

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 $250, except for actual and reasonable expenses, in any month as a director, officer, owner, member, partner, employer or employee, or whose securities the individual holds worth more than $10,000 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. 7c.Ballot question political committee.

"Ballot question political committee" means a political committee that makes only expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1.

Subd. 7d.Ballot question political fund.

"Ballot question political fund" means a political fund that makes only expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1.

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 $750, or has given implicit or explicit consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $750, for the purpose of bringing about the individual's nomination or election. A candidate remains a candidate until the candidate's principal campaign committee is dissolved as provided in section 10A.243.

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. An allocation by an association of general treasury money to be used for activities that must be or are reported through the association's political fund is considered to be a contribution for the purposes of disclosure required by this chapter.

(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. The depositories of a political committee or political fund include any depository in which the committee or fund has a savings, checking, or similar account, or purchases a money market certificate or certificate of deposit.

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 15 days after the special election is held. For a regular election, the period from January 1 of the year prior to an election year through December 31 of the election year is the "election segment" of the election cycle. Each other two-year segment of an election cycle is a "nonelection segment" of the election cycle. An election cycle that consists of two calendar years has only an election segment. The election segment of a special election cycle includes the entire special election cycle.

Subd. 16a.Expressly advocating.

"Expressly advocating" means that a communication clearly identifies a candidate and uses words or phrases of express advocacy.

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. 17c.General treasury money.

"General treasury money" means money that an association other than a principal campaign committee, party unit, or political committee accumulates through membership dues and fees, donations to the association for its general purposes, and income from the operation of a business. General treasury money does not include money collected to influence the nomination or election of candidates or to promote or defeat a ballot question.

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.

(a) "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 as provided in section 10A.173, subdivision 1;

(7) payment for food and beverages consumed by a candidate or volunteers while they are engaged in campaign activities;

(8) payment for food or a beverage consumed while attending a reception or meeting directly related to legislative duties;

(9) payment of expenses incurred by elected or appointed leaders of a legislative caucus in carrying out their leadership responsibilities;

(10) payment by a principal campaign committee of the candidate's expenses for serving in public office, other than for personal uses;

(11) costs of child care for the candidate's children when campaigning;

(12) fees paid to attend a campaign school;

(13) costs of a postelection party during the election year when a candidate's name will no longer appear on a ballot or the general election is concluded, whichever occurs first;

(14) interest on loans paid by a principal campaign committee on outstanding loans;

(15) filing fees;

(16) post-general election holiday or seasonal cards, thank-you notes, or advertisements in the news media mailed or published prior to the end of the election cycle;

(17) the cost of campaign material purchased to replace defective campaign material, if the defective material is destroyed without being used;

(18) contributions to a party unit;

(19) payments for funeral gifts or memorials;

(20) the cost of a magnet less than six inches in diameter containing legislator contact information and distributed to constituents;

(21) costs associated with a candidate attending a political party state or national convention in this state;

(22) other purchases or payments specified in board rules or advisory opinions as being for any purpose other than to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question;

(23) costs paid to a third party for processing contributions made by a credit card, debit card, or electronic check;

(24) a contribution to a fund established to support a candidate's participation in a recount of ballots affecting that candidate's election;

(25) costs paid by a candidate's principal campaign committee for a single reception given in honor of the candidate's retirement from public office after the filing period for affidavits of candidacy for that office has closed;

(26) a donation from a terminating principal campaign committee to the state general fund; and

(27) a donation from a terminating principal campaign committee to a county obligated to incur special election expenses due to that candidate's resignation from state office.

(b) The board must determine whether an activity involves a noncampaign disbursement within the meaning of this subdivision.

(c) 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. 26a.Person.

"Person" means an individual, an association, a political subdivision, or a public higher education system.

Subd. 27.Political committee.

"Political committee" means an association whose major purpose is to influence the nomination or election of one or more candidates 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 one or more candidates or to promote or defeat a ballot question. The term political fund as used in this chapter may also refer to the association acting through its political fund.

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. 32a.Prima facie determination.

A prima facie determination is a determination that a complaint filed under section 10A.022, subdivision 3, is sufficient to allege a violation of this chapter or of those sections of chapter 211B listed in section 10A.022, subdivision 3.

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, director of the Legislative Budget Office, chief clerk of the house of representatives, revisor of statutes, or researcher, legislative analyst, fiscal analyst, or attorney in the Office of Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis, House Research, or the House Fiscal Analysis Department;

(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;

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

(24) citizen member of the Clean Water Council established in section 114D.30;

(25) member or chief executive of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority established in section 473J.07;

(26) district court judge, appeals court judge, or supreme court justice;

(27) county commissioner;

(28) member of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission; or

(29) member of the Destination Medical Center Corporation established in section 469.41.

Subd. 35a.Securities.

(a) "Securities" means any stock, share, bond, warrant, option, pledge, note, mortgage, annuity, debenture, lease, or commercial paper in any corporation, partnership, trust, or other association.

(b) Securities do not include deposits in a savings account; certificates of deposit; money market certificates; treasury bills; treasury bonds; treasury notes; dividends from securities; shares in a mutual fund; shares in an exchange traded fund; or the underlying holdings owned by an annuity or in a defined benefit pension plan. For beneficiaries of a blind trust, securities do not include the underlying assets owned by the blind trust.

Subd. 35b.Services for a constituent or constituent services.

"Services for a constituent" or "constituent services" means services performed or provided by an incumbent legislator or constitutional officer for the benefit of one or more residents of the official's district, but does not include gifts, congratulatory advertisements, or charitable contributions.

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 is not an ex officio member of the board. 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.

(i) The board shall only vote on a matter before the board at a meeting if:

(1) the matter was placed on an agenda distributed to all members of the board at least seven days before the meeting; and

(2) background or other relevant information to the matter was distributed to all members of the board by the executive director or other staff at least seven days before the meeting.

By majority consent of all members of the board, the board may vote on a matter at a meeting that does not satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

Subd. 9.

[Renumbered 10A.022, subdivision 1]

Subd. 10.

(a) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 2]

(b) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 2]

(c) [Renumbered subd 13, para (b)]

Subd. 11.

(a) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 3]

(b) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 8]

(c) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 4]

(d) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 5, para (a)]

(e) [Renumbered 10A.022, subd 7]

Subd 11a.

[Renumbered 10A.022, subd 5, para (b)]

Subd. 11b.Data privacy related to electronic reporting system.

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

Subd. 12.Advisory opinions.

(a) The board may issue and publish advisory opinions on the requirements of this chapter and of those sections listed in section 10A.022, subdivision 3, based upon real or hypothetical situations. An application for an advisory opinion may be made only by a person who is subject to this chapter and who wishes to use the opinion to guide the person'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.

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

(b) In addition to the notice required under chapter 14, the board shall notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees or subcommittees in the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over elections within seven calendar days of taking the following actions:

(1) publication of a notice of intent to adopt rules or a notice of hearing;

(2) publication of proposed rules in the State Register;

(3) issuance of a statement of need and reasonableness; or

(4) adoption of final rules.

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. Fees and penalties.

(a) Upon written request, certified pursuant to section 10A.025, subdivision 2, the board must waive that portion of a late filing fee or a civil penalty imposed for the late filing of a report or statement under this chapter for which the requester demonstrates good cause for the late filing or submission.

(b) The board must deposit all fees and civil penalties collected under this chapter into the general fund in the state treasury.

10A.022 VIOLATIONS AND ENFORCEMENT.

Subdivision 1.Documents; inspection.

The executive director must inspect all material filed with the board as promptly as necessary to comply with this chapter, with other provisions of law requiring the filing of a document with the board, and with other provisions of law under the board's jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision 3. The executive director must immediately notify an individual 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 or has failed to comply with this chapter or other provisions under the board's jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision 3.

Subd. 2.Audits and investigations.

(a) Within limits of available resources, the board must make audits and investigations with respect to the requirements of this chapter. A final audit report completed under this chapter must contain the name of the primary board employee responsible for conducting the audit. The board may impose statutory civil penalties and issue orders for compliance with respect to the requirements of this chapter and provisions under the board's jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision 3. In all matters relating to its official duties, the board has the power to require testimony under oath, to permit written statements to be given under oath, and 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.

(b) The board shall issue rules, using the expedited rulemaking process in section 14.389, setting forth procedures to be followed for all audits and investigations conducted by the board under this chapter and other provisions under the board's jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision 3. The rules regarding the board's investigative procedure shall set forth:

(1) the process for the board initiating and overseeing an investigation;

(2) when summary proceedings may be available;

(3) dedication of staff resources in taking witness testimony and conducting discovery;

(4) parties' rights and opportunities to be heard by the board; and

(5) board hearings and disposition of complaints, audits, and investigations.

Subd. 3.Investigation authority; complaint process.

(a) The board may investigate any alleged or potential violation of this chapter. The board may also investigate an alleged or potential violation of section 211B.04, 211B.12, or 211B.15 by or related to a candidate, treasurer, principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit, as those terms are defined in this chapter. The board may only investigate an alleged violation if the board:

(1) receives a written complaint alleging a violation;

(2) discovers a potential violation as a result of an audit conducted by the board; or

(3) discovers a potential violation as a result of a staff review.

(b) When the board investigates the allegations made in a written complaint and the investigation reveals other potential violations that were not included in the complaint, the board may investigate the potential violations not alleged in the complaint only after making a determination under paragraph (d) that probable cause exists to believe a violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred.

(c) Upon receipt of a written complaint filed with the board, the board chair or another board member designated by the chair shall promptly make a determination as to whether the complaint alleges a prima facie violation. If a determination is made that the complaint does not allege a prima facie violation, the complaint shall be dismissed without prejudice and the complainant and the subject of the complaint must be promptly notified of the reasons the complaint did not allege a prima facie violation. The notice to the subject of the complaint must include a copy of the complaint. If the complainant files a revised complaint regarding the same facts and the same subject, the prima facie determination must be completed by a board member other than the member who made the initial determination and who does not support the same political party as the member who made the initial determination. The chair may order that the prima facie determination for any complaint be made by the full board and must order that the prima facie determination for a complaint being submitted for the third time be made by the full board.

(d) If a determination is made that the complaint alleges a prima facie violation, the board shall, within 45 days of the prima facie determination, make findings and conclusions as to whether probable cause exists to believe the alleged violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred. Any party filing a complaint and any party against whom a complaint is filed must be given an opportunity to be heard by the board prior to the board's determination as to whether probable cause exists to believe a violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred.

(e) Upon a determination by the board that probable cause exists to believe a violation that warrants a formal investigation has occurred, the board must undertake an investigation under subdivision 2 and must issue an order at the conclusion of the investigation, except that if the complaint alleges a violation of section 10A.25 or 10A.27, the board must either enter a conciliation agreement or make public findings and conclusions as to whether a violation has occurred and must issue an order within 60 days after the probable cause determination has been made. Prior to making findings and conclusions in an investigation, the board must offer the subject of the complaint an opportunity to answer the allegations of the complaint in writing and to appear before the board to address the matter. The deadline for action on a written complaint may be extended by majority vote of the board.

Subd. 3a.Matter under staff review resolved by conciliation agreement.

(a) A matter under staff review that is resolved by conciliation agreement must be presented to the board for approval at a meeting closed to the public. The respondent must be given an opportunity to be heard by the board before the board makes a determination regarding the agreement.

(b) The executive director must send notice of the meeting under paragraph (a) to the respondent. The notice must be sent no later than the time that the agreement is provided to the board and must include a copy of the agreement. The notice must include the date of the meeting at which the board will consider the matter and a statement that the respondent has the opportunity to be heard by the board before the board's determination regarding the agreement.

(c) A conciliation agreement to resolve a matter under staff review is final only after the board approves the agreement.

(d) If the board does not approve a conciliation agreement to resolve a matter under staff review, the board must lay the matter over until its next meeting and:

(1) provide guidance and direct the executive director to continue the staff review; or

(2) direct the executive director to prepare the matter for resolution by the board without an agreement pursuant to subdivision 3d.

(e) If an agreement proposed under this subdivision is not approved by the board, any admissions by the respondent and any remedial steps taken or agreed to by the respondent are not evidence of a violation in any subsequent proceeding.

Subd. 3b.Matter under staff review resolved; no violation.

The executive director must close a matter under staff review when the staff review establishes that no violation of campaign finance laws has occurred. The executive director must report the closure of the matter to the board at a meeting closed to the public and must send notice of the closure to the respondent.

Subd. 3c.Matter under staff review resolved without formal investigation.

(a) A matter under staff review that is resolved without a formal investigation under subdivision 3d must be submitted to the board for approval at a meeting closed to the public. The respondent must be given an opportunity to be heard by the board before the board makes a determination regarding the staff review.

(b) The executive director must send notice of the meeting under paragraph (a) to the respondent. The notice must be sent no later than the time when the written document resolving the matter is provided to the board and must include a copy of the written document resolving the matter. The notice must include the date of the meeting at which the board will consider the matter and a statement that the respondent has the opportunity to be heard by the board before the board's determination regarding the resolution of staff review.

(c) A written document concluding a matter under staff review without formal investigation is final only after the board approves the document.

(d) If the board does not approve the written document resolving a matter under staff review without a formal investigation, the board must:

(1) provide guidance and direct the executive director to continue the staff review;

(2) initiate a formal investigation of the matter; or

(3) direct the executive director to prepare the matter for resolution by the board under subdivision 3d.

(e) If a written document resolving a staff review without a formal investigation under this subdivision is not approved by the board, any admissions by the respondent and any remedial steps taken or agreed to by the respondent are not evidence of a violation in any subsequent proceeding.

Subd. 3d.Submission to board.

(a) The executive director must submit the following matters to the board for a determination under this subdivision:

(1) a matter under staff review that is not resolved under subdivision 3a, 3b, or 3c; and

(2) any other matter that the board is to consider for the authorization of a formal investigation, other than a matter arising from a filed complaint.

The submission must be in writing, must describe the potential violation involved, and must include any supporting information. The submission must explain the actions undertaken in any summary proceedings and any points of disagreement preventing resolution of the matter. The respondent must be given an opportunity to be heard by the board before the board makes a determination regarding the submission.

(b) The executive director must send notice of the submission made under paragraph (a) to the respondent. The notice must be sent no later than the time the submission is provided to the board and must include a copy of the submission. The notice must include the date of the meeting at which the board will consider the matter and a statement that the respondent has the opportunity to be heard by the board before the board's determination regarding the submission.

Subd. 4.Notice.

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 that a violation has occurred without notifying the individual or association of the nature of the allegations and affording an opportunity to answer those allegations. After the board has sent notice of the investigation to the individual or association, the individual or association must preserve evidence related to the investigation.

Subd. 5.Data privacy.

(a) A hearing before the board or action of the board concerning a complaint or investigation other than findings, conclusions, and orders or a conciliation agreement is confidential. Until the board makes a public finding 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.

(b) If, after making a public finding 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. 6.Board audits; data classification.

All data related to an audit, including the existence of the audit, are confidential. A member, employee, or agent of the board must not disclose information obtained by the member, employee, or agent concerning the audit except as required to carry out the audit or take action in the matter. Upon completion of the audit, the board's final audit report is public. The final audit report must contain the name of the individual subject to the audit, a description of any audit findings, a description of any responses provided by the individual who was subject to the audit, and a description of the manner in which any findings were resolved.

Subd. 7.Final disposition; prosecution.

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

Subd. 8.Recovery of funds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (d), clause (3), if the candidate of a principal campaign committee is the person who used the association's money for illegal purposes, or if the association or political fund whose money was misused is no longer registered with the board, any money remaining after the payments specified in paragraph (d), clauses (1) and (2), must be transferred to the general account of the state elections campaign account.

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

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

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) 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.

(b) A document filed by facsimile transmission or electronic filing system has the same force and effect as filing an original paper document.

(c) In order to provide a secure environment for the submission of electronic files, the board must require that a filer use a personal identification code when submitting an electronic file. The board may also request the filer to provide a valid e-mail address in order to receive confirmation and verification messages from the board.

(d) After an electronic file is processed by the board, the information contained in the electronic file becomes the property of the state subject to the terms of the Data Practices Act under chapter 13.

(e) In the case of a filing by facsimile transmission, the filer must retain the original of the filed document and a record of the date and time of the transmission. If an electronic filing system is used to submit an electronic file to the board, the filer must retain as documentation the database and information on which the electronic submission of data is based. The database and records are subject to audit as provided in this chapter.

(f) Within five days of a request by the board, any person filing a document by facsimile transmission or electronic filing system shall refile the document by one of the other filing methods provided in Minnesota Rules, part 4501.0500, subpart 1.

(g) Technical problems that prevent the successful submission of a facsimile transmission or electronic file do not relieve the filer of the responsibility of meeting the requirements of this chapter. An audit trail that demonstrates that the facsimile transmission or electronic file was successfully submitted in a timely fashion may be used by the board to waive late filing fees.

Subd. 1b.Completion of filing.

A filing with the board is complete upon:

(1) receipt in the board office of the document being filed, bearing the original signature of the person responsible for filing the document;

(2) receipt of a facsimile transmission of the document, subject to subdivision 1a;

(3) the postmark date of a first class or certified mailing of the document being filed, properly addressed to the board at its current address; or

(4) the successful submission of an electronic file to the board.

Subd. 2.Penalty for false statements.

(a) 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.

(b) An individual shall not sign and certify to be true a report or statement knowing it contains false information or knowing it omits required information.

(c) An individual shall not knowingly provide false or incomplete information to a treasurer with the intent that the treasurer will rely on that information in signing and certifying to be true a report or statement.

(d) A person who violates paragraph (b) or (c) is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000. A violation of paragraph (b) or (c) is a gross misdemeanor.

(e) The board may impose an additional civil penalty of up to $3,000 on the principal campaign committee or candidate, party unit, political committee, or association that has a political fund that is affiliated with an individual who violated paragraph (b) or (c).

Subd. 3.Record keeping; penalty.

(a) A person required to file a report or statement or who has accepted record-keeping responsibility for the filer 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.

(b) The board may impose a civil penalty of up to $3,000 on a person who knowingly violates this subdivision. The board may impose a separate civil penalty of up to $3,000 on the principal campaign committee or candidate, party unit, political committee, or association that has a political fund that is affiliated with an individual who violated this subdivision.

(c) A knowing violation of this subdivision is 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 subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000. A willful violation of this subdivision is a gross misdemeanor.

The board must send a written notice 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 $25 per day up to $1,000 starting on the 11th day after the notice was sent. The board may send an additional notice by certified mail to an individual who fails to file a report within ten business days after the first notice was sent by the board. The certified notice must state that if the individual does not file the requested report within ten business days after the certified notice was sent, 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 ten business days after the certified notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Subd. 5.Reconciliation information; penalty.

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

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

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

10A.027 INFORMATION ON WEBSITE.

The board must not post on its website 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

LOBBYIST AND PRINCIPAL REPORTS

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

If a lobbyist fails to file a registration form by the date that the form was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000, starting on the day after the form was due. The board must send notice by certified mail to a lobbyist who fails to file a form within ten business days after the form was due 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 certified mail 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 website.

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 by the date 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. 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) Except as provided in paragraph (d), 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) Except as provided in paragraph (d), 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.

(d) A principal that must report spending to influence administrative action in cases of rate setting, power plant and powerline siting, and granting of certificates of need under section 216B.243 must report those amounts as provided in this subdivision, except that they must be reported separately and not included in the totals required under paragraphs (b) and (c).

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]

Subd. 9.Reporting by multiple lobbyists representing the same entity.

Clauses (1) to (6) apply when a single individual, association, political subdivision, or public higher education system is represented by more than one lobbyist.

(1) The entity must appoint one designated lobbyist to report lobbyist disbursements made by the entity. The designated lobbyist must indicate that status on the periodic reports of lobbyist disbursements.

(2) A reporting lobbyist may consent to report on behalf of one or more other lobbyists for the same entity, in which case, the other lobbyists are persons whose activities the reporting lobbyist must disclose and are subject to the disclosure requirements of subdivision 3. Lobbyist disbursement reports filed by a reporting lobbyist must include the names and registration numbers of the other lobbyists whose activities are included in the report.

(3) Lobbyists whose activities are accounted for by a reporting lobbyist are not required to file lobbyist disbursement reports.

(4) A lobbyist whose lobbying disbursements are provided to the board through a reporting lobbyist must supply all relevant information on disbursements to the reporting lobbyist no later than five days before the prescribed filing date.

(5) The reporting periods and due dates for a reporting lobbyist are those provided in subdivision 2. The late filing provisions in subdivision 5 apply to reports required by this subdivision.

(6) The reporting lobbyist must indicate the names and registration numbers of any lobbyists who did not provide their lobbying disbursements for inclusion in a report. The late filing provisions in subdivision 5 apply to lobbyists who fail to report information to the reporting lobbyist.

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]

PUBLIC OFFICIALS

10A.07 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

Subdivision 1.Disclosure of potential conflicts.

(a) 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.

(b) For purposes of this section, "financial interest" means any ownership or control in an asset that has the potential to produce a monetary return.

Subd. 2.Required actions.

(a) 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.

(b) If there is no immediate superior, the official must abstain, if possible, by assigning the matter to a subordinate for disposition or requesting the appointing authority to designate another to determine the matter. The official shall not chair a meeting, participate in any vote, or offer any motion or discussion on the matter giving rise to the potential conflict of interest.

(c) 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.

(d) If an 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.

Subd. 4.Exception; judges.

Notwithstanding subdivisions 1 and 2, a public official who is a district court judge, an appeals court judge, or a supreme court justice is not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

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, or a local official of a metropolitan governmental unit.

(d) "Plaque" means a decorative item with an inscription recognizing an individual for an accomplishment.

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 if:

(i) the reception, meal, or meeting is held 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; or

(ii) the recipient is a member or employee of the legislature and an invitation to attend the reception, meal, or meeting was provided to all members of the legislature at least five days prior to the date of the event.

(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.

Subdivision 1.Disclosure required.

(a) 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 public official's initial appearance at a hearing. If the public official fails to disclose the participation by the date that the disclosure was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000, starting on the day after the disclosure was due. The board must send notice by certified mail to a public official who fails to disclose the participation within ten business days after the disclosure was due that the public official may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to disclose the participation. A public official who fails to disclose the participation within seven days after the certified mail notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

(b) A public official required to disclose representation under this section shall provide the following information: name, address, and office held; name and address of each client represented at the hearing; the name of the individual, board, commission, or agency conducting the hearing and the date and location of the initial appearance at the hearing; and a general description of the subject or subjects on which the public official represented the client in the hearing.

Subd. 2.Exception; judges.

Notwithstanding subdivision 1, a public official who is a district court judge, an appeals court judge, or a supreme court justice is not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

Subd. 3.Definitions.

(a) For purposes of this section, the definitions have the meanings given.

(b) "Fee" means any compensation or other consideration for services performed or for future services.

(c) "Initial appearance at a hearing" means the first appearance by a public official representing a client for a fee at a hearing on a single subject. Subsequent appearances at continuations of the same hearing are not initial appearances.

10A.09 STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST.

Subdivision 1.Time for filing.

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 60 days of assuming office as a district court judge, appeals court judge, supreme court justice, or county commissioner;

(3) within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot for an elective state constitutional or legislative office or an elective local office in a metropolitan governmental unit other than county commissioner;

(4) 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

(5) 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. 1a.Exception; retired judges.

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

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; general requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(6) a listing of the principal business or professional activity category of each business from which the individual receives more than $250 in any month as an employee, if the individual has an ownership interest of 25 percent or more in the business;

(7) a listing of each principal business or professional activity category from which the individual received compensation of more than $2,500 in the past 12 months as an independent contractor; and

(8) a listing of the full name of each security with a value of more than $10,000 owned in part or in full by the individual, at any time during the reporting period.

(b) The business or professional categories for purposes of paragraph (a), clauses (6) and (7), must be the general topic headings used by the federal Internal Revenue Service for purposes of reporting self-employment income on Schedule C. This paragraph does not require an individual to report any specific code number from that schedule. Any additional principal business or professional activity category may only be adopted if the category is enacted by law.

(c) For the purpose of an original statement of economic interest, "compensation in any month" includes only compensation received in the calendar month immediately preceding the date of appointment as a public official or filing as a candidate.

(d) For the purpose of calculating the amount of compensation received from any single source in a single month, the amount shall include the total amount received from the source during the month, whether or not the amount covers compensation for more than one month.

(e) For the purpose of determining the value of an individual's interest in real property, the value of the property is the market value shown on the property tax statement.

(f) For the purpose of an original statement of economic interest, the individual shall disclose only those real properties owned on the date of appointment as a public official or filing as a candidate.

(g) For the purpose of this section, "date of appointment" means the effective date of appointment to a position.

(h) For the purpose of this section, "accepting employment as a public official" means the effective date of the appointment to the position, as stated in the appointing authority's notice to the board.

Subd. 6.Annual statement.

(a) Each individual who is required to file a statement of economic interest must also file an annual statement by the last Monday in January of each year that the individual remains in office. The annual statement must cover the period through December 31 of the year prior to the year when the statement is due. The annual statement must include the amount of each honorarium in excess of $50 received since the previous statement and the name and address of the source of the honorarium. The board must maintain each annual statement of economic interest submitted by an officeholder in the same file with the statement submitted as a candidate.

(b) For the purpose of annual statements of economic interest to be filed, "compensation in any month" includes compensation and honoraria received in any month between the end of the period covered in the preceding statement of economic interest and the end of the current period.

(c) An individual must file the annual statement of economic interest required by this subdivision to cover the period for which the individual served as a public official even though at the time the statement was filed, the individual is no longer holding that office as a public official.

(d) For the purpose of an annual statement of economic interest, the individual shall disclose any real property owned at any time between the end of the period covered by the preceding statement of economic interest and through the last day of the month preceding the current filing or the last day of employment, if the individual is no longer a public official.

Subd. 6a.Place of filing.

A public official required to file a statement under this section must file it with the board. 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. If an official position is defined as both a public official and as a local official of a metropolitan governmental unit under this chapter, the official must file the statement with the board.

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.

[Repealed, 2014 c 309 s 25]

Subd. 9.Waivers.

Upon written request and for good cause shown, the board may waive the requirement that an official disclose the address of real property that constitutes a secondary residence of the official.

Subd. 10.

[Renumbered 10A.022, subd 6]

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

CAMPAIGN FINANCE; ORGANIZATION AND REPORTING

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 $750 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 for contributions and approved expenditures.

An association other than a political committee or party unit may not contribute more than $750 in aggregate in any calendar year to candidates, political committees, or party units or make approved expenditures of more than $750 in aggregate in any calendar year unless the contribution or expenditure is made through a political fund.

Subd. 1a.When required for independent expenditures or ballot questions.

An association other than a political committee that makes only independent expenditures or expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question must do so through an independent expenditure or ballot question political fund if the independent expenditures aggregate more than $1,500 in a calendar year or if the expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question aggregate more than $5,000 in a calendar year, or by contributing to an existing independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or 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 an association's political fund may not be commingled with other funds or with the personal funds of an officer or member of the association or the fund. It is not commingling for an association that uses only its own general treasury money to make expenditures and disbursements permitted under section 10A.121, subdivision 1, directly from the depository used for its general treasury money. An association that accepts more than $1,500 in contributions to influence the nomination or election of candidates or more than $5,000 in contributions to promote or defeat a ballot question must establish a separate depository for those contributions.

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 $200 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 AND BALLOT QUESTION POLITICAL COMMITTEES AND FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.Permitted disbursements.

An independent expenditure political committee or fund, or a ballot question political committee or fund, may:

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

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

(3) make contributions to independent expenditure or ballot question political committees or funds;

(4) make independent expenditures;

(5) make expenditures to promote or defeat ballot questions;

(6) return a contribution to its source;

(7) for a political fund, record bookkeeping entries transferring the association's general treasury money allocated for political purposes back to the general treasury of the association; and

(8) for a political fund, return general treasury money transferred to a separate depository to the general depository of the association.

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.

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.

(a) The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must register with the board by filing a registration statement. The registration statement must be filed by the earliest of the following dates:

(1) no later than 14 days after the committee, fund, or party unit has made a contribution, received contributions, or made expenditures in excess of $750;

(2) no later than the next report of receipts and expenditures filing date applicable to the committee, fund, or party unit if the committee, fund, or party unit reached the threshold in clause (1) before the end of the reporting period covered by that report; or

(3) 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.

(b) This subdivision does not apply to ballot question or independent expenditure political committees or funds, which are subject to subdivision 1a.

Subd. 1a.Independent expenditure or ballot question political committees and funds; first registration; reporting.

The treasurer of an independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund must register with the board by filing a registration statement. The registration must be filed by the earliest of the following dates:

(1) no later than 14 calendar days after the committee or the association registering the political fund has:

(i) received aggregate contributions for independent expenditures of more than $1,500 in a calendar year;

(ii) received aggregate contributions for expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question of more than $5,000 in a calendar year;

(iii) made aggregate independent expenditures of more than $1,500 in a calendar year; or

(iv) made aggregate expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question of more than $5,000 in a calendar year;

(2) no later than the next report of receipts and expenditures filing date applicable to the independent expenditure or ballot question committee or fund if the committee or fund reached the threshold in clause (1) before the end of the reporting period covered by that report; or

(3) 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, and it has met one of the requirements of clause (1).

Subd. 2.Form.

The statement of organization must include:

(1) the name, address, and website address if the registrant maintains a website, 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 by the date that the statement was due, the board may impose a late filing fee of $25 per day, not to exceed $1,000, starting on the day after the 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 account.

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. 2a.Time of receipt.

(a) A monetary contribution not made through electronic means is received for reporting and contribution limit purposes when the contribution is physically received by the treasurer, the candidate, or a committee, fund, or party unit worker.

(b) A contribution delivered through the United States mail is received on the date the mail is collected from the delivery point by the treasurer or candidate, or by a committee, fund, or party unit worker.

(c) A monetary contribution made through electronic means is received on the date that the contributor makes the contribution to the contribution processor for the following purposes:

(1) the registration requirements in section 10A.14;

(2) the reporting requirements in section 10A.20;

(3) the requirements related to contributions during the legislative session in section 10A.273; and

(4) the affidavit of contributions requirement in section 10A.323.

(d) A monetary contribution made through electronic means is received for purposes of the deposit requirements in subdivision 3 on the date that the treasurer or candidate, or the committee, fund, or party unit worker has access to the funds under the terms of the agreement with the contribution processor.

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 90 days after deposit. A contribution deposited and not returned within 90 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.

Subd. 6.Contributions from Hennepin County registered associations.

In lieu of registration with the board, an association registered with the Hennepin County filing officer under sections 383B.041 to 383B.058 that makes contributions of more than $200 to a committee or fund in a calendar year may notify the recipient committee of its registration with Hennepin County, including its registration number, and instruct the recipient committee to include the notice when the recipient committee discloses receipt of the contribution.

Subd. 7.Electronic contribution processors.

An organization that provides contribution processing and delivery services, when acting in the ordinary course of business by collecting and disbursing contributions to a committee or fund that was designated by the contributor, is not required to register under section 10A.14 or report under section 10A.20.

10A.155 REIMBURSEMENT OF AUTOMOBILE USE.

(a) Automobile use provided to a committee by an individual who will be reimbursed may be valued at the standard mileage rate set by the Internal Revenue Service for business miles. Alternatively, the value of the automobile may be calculated as the actual cost of fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance directly related to the use of the automobile. An automobile provided by an association must be valued at the fair market value for renting an equivalent automobile.

(b) When a committee reimburses mileage expenses, the committee must obtain a mileage log documenting the reimbursable expenses. For each trip, the log must include:

(1) the date of the trip;

(2) the purpose of the trip;

(3) the distance traveled during the trip; and

(4) if the mileage is not being paid at the standard mileage rate set by the Internal Revenue Service for business miles, the actual cost of fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance directly related to the use of the automobile.

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 subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000. Knowingly accepting any earmarked contribution is a gross misdemeanor.

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 and broadcast 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 substantially the form provided in section 211B.04, subdivision 2. The statement must be on the front page of all written communications and at the end of all broadcast communications 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.173 NONCAMPAIGN DISBURSEMENTS.

Subdivision 1.Services for a constituent.

(a) The cost of services for a constituent performed from the beginning of the term of office to adjournment sine die of the legislature in the election year for the office held are noncampaign disbursements. Half of the cost of services for a constituent performed from adjournment sine die to 60 days after adjournment sine die are noncampaign disbursements.

(b) During the periods provided in paragraph (a), a candidate's committee may claim the following expenses as a noncampaign disbursement for services for a constituent under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (6):

(1) the cost of a charter bus to transport constituents to an educational day held at the State Capitol during a legislative session;

(2) the cost of hiring an intern that is directly attributable to the intern's provision of services for constituents;

(3) the cost of congratulatory letters sent to the office holder's constituents that include information about government services available to the recipient or how the recipient can register to vote;

(4) the cost of food or beverages consumed by a constituent during a meeting with the office holder, in compliance with section 211B.13;

(5) the cost of food and beverages consumed by the candidate or volunteers when the candidate or volunteers are distributing communications that qualify as services to a constituent; and

(6) the cost of printing and distributing a review of legislative action and issues to the office holder's constituents if the distribution occurs prior to the sine die adjournment of the legislature.

If the review of legislative action described in clause (6) is distributed after the legislature adjourns sine die, the printing and distribution costs must be prorated between noncampaign disbursements and campaign expenditures as described in paragraph (a), even if the printing occurred prior to adjournment.

(c) A communication prepared as a service for a constituent must include the disclaimer required by section 211B.04 when the communication is disseminated after adjournment sine die of the legislature in the election year for the office held.

Subd. 2.Food and beverages while campaigning.

A candidate's committee may not claim the cost of food and beverages consumed by the candidate and volunteers when the candidate and volunteers are campaigning outside of the candidate's district, unless the committee intends to terminate and complies with section 10A.27, subdivision 9, paragraph (b), as noncampaign disbursements under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (7).

Subd. 3.Food and beverages; legislative duties.

(a) A candidate's committee may claim the expense of food and beverages consumed by other legislators or legislative staff at a reception or meeting as a noncampaign disbursement under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (8).

(b) Except as provided by paragraph (a), a candidate's committee may not claim the expense of food and beverages consumed by individuals other than the legislator at a reception or meeting as a noncampaign disbursement under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (8).

Subd. 4.Expenses for serving in public office.

(a) A candidate's committee may claim the following expenses as noncampaign disbursements for expenses for serving in public office under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (10):

(1) the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenses necessary to attend meetings and conferences when the reason that the candidate attends the event is to assist the candidate in performing the duties of the office held and the candidate would not attend the event if the candidate were not an office holder;

(2) the cost of traveling to the State Capitol for scheduled legislative committee meetings and regular and special legislative sessions when those costs are not reimbursed by another source; and

(3) the cost of meals for legislative staff while the staff member is engaged in performing legislative work for the candidate.

(b) A candidate's committee may not claim the following expenses as noncampaign disbursements for expenses for serving in public office under section 10A.01, subdivision 26, clause (10):

(1) the cost of membership fees and dues necessary to belong to organizations located in the office holder's district;

(2) costs incurred for transportation, lodging, and other expenses for trips taken outside of the office holder's district for the purpose of relationship building; and

(3) costs incurred for transportation, lodging, and other expenses by an individual accompanying an office holder on a trip unless the office holder is a person with a disability, as defined in section 363A.03, subdivision 12, and the accompanying individual is providing services that are made necessary by the disability.

Clause (3) does not require a committee to allocate a travel expense between an office holder and an individual accompanying the office holder on a trip when the presence of the accompanying individual does not increase the amount of the expense.

History:

2018 c 119 s 21

10A.175 COORDINATED AND NONCOORDINATED EXPENDITURES; DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Scope.

The definitions in subdivisions 2 to 6 apply to sections 10A.175 to 10A.177.

Subd. 2.Agent.

"Agent" means a person serving during an election segment as a candidate's chairperson, deputy chairperson, treasurer, deputy treasurer, or any other person whose actions are coordinated.

Subd. 3.Candidate.

"Candidate" means a candidate as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 10, the candidate's principal campaign committee, or the candidate's agent.

Subd. 4.Consulting services.

"Consulting services" means the following services involving campaign strategy: polling, communications planning and design, advertising, and messaging. Consulting services does not mean printing or mailing campaign material, legal services that do not involve campaign strategy, accounting services, or costs for the use of a medium for communications purposes.

Subd. 5.Coordinated.

"Coordinated" means 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. A coordinated expenditure is an approved expenditure under section 10A.01, subdivision 4.

Subd. 6.Spender.

"Spender" means an individual, an association, a political committee, a political fund, an independent expenditure political committee, an independent expenditure political fund, or a party unit.

History:

2018 c 119 s 22

10A.176 COORDINATED EXPENDITURES.

Subdivision 1.Scope.

An expenditure described in this section that expressly advocates for the election of the candidate or the defeat of the candidate's opponent is a coordinated expenditure and is not independent under section 10A.01, subdivision 18.

Subd. 2.Fund-raising.

(a) An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made on or after January 1 of the year the office will appear on the ballot by a spender for which the candidate, on or after January 1 of the year the office will appear on the ballot, has engaged in fund-raising of money that is not general treasury money, as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 17c, of the spender.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, candidate fund-raising includes:

(1) soliciting or collecting money for or to the spender that is not general treasury money; and

(2) appearing for the spender as a speaker at an event raising money that is not general treasury money.

(c) This subdivision does not apply to a candidate's fund-raising on behalf of a party unit.

Subd. 3.Relationship with spender.

An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made on or after January 1 of the year the office will appear on the ballot by a spender that:

(1) is not a party unit; and

(2) is an association, political committee, political fund, independent expenditure political committee, or independent expenditure political fund, in which the candidate was a chairperson, deputy chairperson, treasurer, or deputy treasurer on or after January 1 of the year the office will appear on the ballot.

Subd. 4.Consulting services.

(a) An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made during an election segment for consulting services from a consultant who has also provided consulting services to the candidate or the candidate's opponent during that same election segment.

(b) This subdivision does not apply when the following conditions are met:

(1) the consultant assigns separate personnel to the spender and the candidate;

(2) the consultant has a written policy that describes the measures that the consultant has taken to prohibit the flow of information between the personnel providing services to the spender and the personnel providing services to the candidate;

(3) the written policy has been distributed to all personnel and clients covered by the policy, including the candidate and the spender;

(4) the consultant has implemented the measures described in the written policy; and

(5) no information has been shared between the spender and the personnel that provided services to the spender and the candidate and the personnel providing services to the candidate.

Subd. 5.Receiving information not publicly available.

An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made after the spender receives from the candidate information that is not publicly available regarding the candidate's campaign plans, strategy, or needs.

Subd. 6.Spender-provided information.

An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made when:

(1) the spender provides information to the candidate regarding the expenditure's contents, intended audience, timing, location or mode, volume, or frequency; and

(2) the information is provided to the candidate before the expenditure is communicated to the public.

Subd. 7.Candidate's participation.

An expenditure is a coordinated expenditure if the expenditure is made with the candidate's participation in the following:

(1) any of the processes required for the creation and development of the expenditure, including budgeting decisions, media design, acquisition of graphics and text, production, and distribution of the final product; or

(2) any decision regarding the content, timing, location, intended audience, volume of distribution, or frequency of the expenditure.

History:

2018 c 119 s 23

10A.177 NONCOORDINATED EXPENDITURES.

Any of the following actions, taken alone, do not establish that an expenditure made by the spender is coordinated with the candidate:

(1) a candidate asks a spender not to make any expenditure to support the candidate or oppose the candidate's opponent;

(2) a candidate provides to a spender names of potential donors, as long as the spender does not state or suggest to the candidate that funds received from use of the donor list will be used for independent expenditures to benefit the candidate;

(3) an expenditure uses a photograph, video, or audio recording obtained from a publicly available source or public event;

(4) an expenditure uses information obtained from a biography, position paper, press release, or similar material about the candidate from a publicly available source or public event;

(5) the spender contributes to the candidate, makes an in-kind donation to the candidate, or endorses the candidate;

(6) an expenditure includes a hyperlink to the candidate's website or social media page;

(7) an expenditure appears in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication;

(8) the spender discusses the candidate's position on a legislative or policy matter with the candidate. This paragraph includes the sending, completion, and return of a survey conducted by the spender to determine whether to endorse the candidate; or

(9) the spender invites the candidate to appear before the spender's members, employees, or shareholders, including the candidate's participation in the event, unless the event promotes the election of the candidate or the defeat of the candidate's opponent, or the candidate requests or accepts campaign contributions at the event.

History:

2018 c 119 s 24

10A.179 EXPENDITURES AND NONCAMPAIGN DISBURSEMENTS; GENERAL PROVISIONS.

Subdivision 1.Reimbursements.

(a) When a committee reimburses an individual or association for an expenditure or a noncampaign disbursement, the reimbursement is not required to be itemized on a report of receipts and expenditures unless the total reimbursements and payments made by the committee during the year to that individual or association exceed $200.

(b) When a committee reimburses an individual or association for an expenditure or noncampaign disbursement that requires itemization on a report of receipts and expenditures and chooses under section 10A.20, subdivision 13, to report the expenditure or noncampaign disbursement as a reimbursement to a third party, the committee must disclose the following information on the report:

(1) the name and address of the individual or association to which reimbursement was made;

(2) the name and address of the vendor supplying the good or service for which reimbursement was made;

(3) the date of the expenditure or noncampaign disbursement for which reimbursement was made;

(4) the date of the reimbursement;

(5) a description of the specific good or service purchased; and

(6) if the reimbursement was for a noncampaign disbursement, the specific noncampaign disbursement category in section 10A.01, subdivision 26, that is applicable to the good or service for which reimbursement was made.

Subd. 2.Allocating ongoing expenses.

When an ongoing expense has both a campaign purpose and a purpose listed as a noncampaign disbursement in section 10A.01, subdivision 26, the committee must allocate the cost of the expense between the two purposes according to the proportion of actual use for each purpose.

History:

2018 c 119 s 25

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.

(a) The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must begin to file the reports required by this section for the first year it receives contributions or makes expenditures that require it to register under section 10A.14 and must continue to file until the committee, fund, or party unit is terminated.

(b) If, on or before the last date included in a reporting period, a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit received contributions or made expenditures that would require it to register under section 10A.14, the political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must both register with the board under section 10A.14 and report under this section by the date that the report for that reporting period is due.

(c) 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.

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.

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.

[Repealed, 2015 c 73 s 27]

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 (f).

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

(c) In each general election year, a political committee, a political fund, a state party committee, and a party unit established by all or a part of the party organization within a house of the legislature must file reports on the following schedule:

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

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

(3) a pre-primary-election report due 15 days before a primary election;

(4) a pre-general-election report due 42 days before the general election; and

(5) a pre-general-election report due ten days before a general election.

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

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

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

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

(3) a pre-primary-election report due 15 days before a primary election;

(4) a pre-general-election report due 42 days before the general election;

(5) a pre-general-election report due ten days before a general election; and

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

(f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) to (e):

(1) the principal campaign committee of a candidate who did not file for office is not required to file the report due June 14, the report due 15 days before the primary election, or the report due seven days before a special primary election; and

(2) the principal campaign committee of a candidate whose name will not be on the general election ballot is not required to file the report due 42 days before the general election, the report due ten days before a general election, or the report due seven days before a special general election.

Subd. 3.Contents of report.

(a) The report required by this section must include each of the items listed in paragraphs (b) to (q) that are applicable to the filer. The board shall prescribe forms based on filer type indicating which of those items must be included on the filer's report.

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

(c) The report must disclose the name, address, employer, or occupation if self-employed, and registration number if registered with the board, of each individual or association that has made one or more contributions to the reporting entity, including the purchase of tickets for a fund-raising effort, that in aggregate within the year exceed $200 for legislative or statewide candidates or more than $500 for ballot questions, together with the amount and date of each contribution, and the aggregate amount of contributions within the year from each source so disclosed. A donation in kind must be disclosed at its fair market value. An approved expenditure must be listed as a donation in kind. A donation in kind is considered consumed in the reporting period in which it is received. The names of contributors must be listed in alphabetical order. Contributions from the same contributor must be listed under the same name. When a contribution received from a contributor in a reporting period is added to previously reported unitemized contributions from the same contributor and the aggregate exceeds the disclosure threshold of this paragraph, the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, of the contributor must then be listed on the report.

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

(e) The report must disclose each loan made or received by the reporting entity within the year in aggregate in excess of $200, continuously reported until repaid or forgiven, together with the name, address, occupation, principal place of business, if any, and registration number if registered with the board of the lender and any endorser and the date and amount of the loan. If a loan made to the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven or is repaid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a contribution for the year in which the loan was made.

(f) The report must disclose each receipt over $200 during the reporting period not otherwise listed under paragraphs (c) to (e).

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

(h) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each individual or association to whom aggregate expenditures, approved expenditures, independent expenditures, and ballot question expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the reporting entity within the year in excess of $200, together with the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure, including an explanation of how the expenditure was used, and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf the expenditure was made, identification of the ballot question that the expenditure was intended to promote or defeat and an indication of whether the expenditure was to promote or to defeat the ballot question, and in the case of independent expenditures made in opposition to a candidate, the candidate's name, address, and office sought. A reporting entity making an expenditure on behalf of more than one candidate for state or legislative office must allocate the expenditure among the candidates on a reasonable cost basis and report the allocation for each candidate.

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

(j) The report must disclose the amount and nature of an advance of credit incurred by the reporting entity, continuously reported until paid or forgiven. If an advance of credit incurred by the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven by the creditor or paid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a donation in kind for the year in which the advance of credit was made.

(k) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which contributions have been made that aggregate in excess of $200 within the year and the amount and date of each contribution.

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

(m) The report must disclose the name, address, and registration number if registered with the board of each individual or association to whom noncampaign disbursements have been made that aggregate in excess of $200 within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity and the amount, date, and purpose of each noncampaign disbursement, including an explanation of how the expenditure was used.

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

(o) The report must disclose the name and address of a nonprofit corporation that provides administrative assistance to a political committee or political fund as authorized by section 211B.15, subdivision 17, the type of administrative assistance provided, and the aggregate fair market value of each type of assistance provided to the political committee or political fund during the reporting period.

(p) Legislative, statewide, and judicial candidates, party units, and political committees and funds must itemize contributions that in aggregate within the year exceed $200 for legislative or statewide candidates or more than $500 for ballot questions on reports submitted to the board. The itemization must include the date on which the contribution was received, the individual or association that provided the contribution, and the address of the contributor. Additionally, the itemization for a donation in kind must provide a description of the item or service received. Contributions that are less than the itemization amount must be reported as an aggregate total.

(q) Legislative, statewide, and judicial candidates, party units, political committees and funds, and committees to promote or defeat a ballot question must itemize expenditures and noncampaign disbursements that in aggregate exceed $200 in a calendar year on reports submitted to the board. The itemization must include the date on which the committee made or became obligated to make the expenditure or disbursement, the name and address of the vendor that provided the service or item purchased, and a description of the service or item purchased, including an explanation of how the expenditure was used. Expenditures and noncampaign disbursements must be listed on the report alphabetically by vendor.

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 January 1 to December 31 of the reporting year.

Subd. 5.Pre-election reports.

(a) Any loan, contribution, or contributions:

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

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

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

(4) to the principal campaign committee of a candidate for constitutional office or for the legislature totaling more than 50 percent of the election segment contribution limit for the office,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subd. 6.Report when no committee.

(a) A candidate who does not designate and cause to be formed a principal campaign committee and who makes campaign expenditures in aggregate in excess of $750 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 by the dates on which reports by principal campaign committees must be filed.

(b) An individual who makes independent expenditures that aggregate more than $1,500 in a calendar year or expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot question that aggregate more than $5,000 in a calendar year must file with the board a report containing the information required by subdivision 3. A report required by this subdivision must be filed by the date on which the next report by political committees and political funds must be 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 principal campaign committee, party unit, or political committee 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. 7a.Activity of political fund.

An association is not required to file any statement or report for a reporting period when the association accepted no contributions into the association's political fund and made no expenditures from its political fund since the last date included in its most recent filed report. If the association maintains a separate checking account for its political fund, the receipt of interest on the proceeds of that account and the payment of fees to maintain that account do not constitute activity that requires the filing of a report for an otherwise inactive political fund.

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, 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 general election, 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.

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 [Repealed, 2013 c 138 art 1 s 55]

10A.241 TRANSFER OF DEBTS.

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 is a contribution to the principal campaign committee from which the debt was transferred under this section.

10A.242 [Repealed, 2013 c 138 art 1 s 55]

10A.243 TERMINATION OF REGISTRATION.

Subdivision 1.Termination report.

A political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit may terminate its registration with the board after it has disposed of all its assets in excess of $100 by filing a final report of receipts and expenditures. The final report must be identified as a termination report and must include all financial transactions that occurred after the last date included on the most recent report filed with the board. The termination report may be filed at any time after the asset threshold in this section is reached.

Subd. 2.Asset disposition.

"Assets" include credit balances at vendors, prepaid postage and postage stamps, as well as physical assets. Assets must be disposed of at their fair market value. Assets of a political fund that consist of, or were acquired using, only the general treasury money of the fund's supporting association remain the property of the association upon termination of the association's political fund registration and are not subject to the disposal requirements of this section.

10A.244 VOLUNTARY INACTIVE STATUS; POLITICAL FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.Election of voluntary inactive status.

An association that has a political fund registered under this chapter may elect to have the fund placed on voluntary inactive status if the following conditions are met:

(1) the association makes a written request for inactive status;

(2) the association has filed all periodic reports required by this chapter and has received no contributions into its political fund and made no expenditures or disbursements through its political fund since the last date included on the association's most recent report; and

(3) the association has satisfied all obligations to the state for late filing fees and civil penalties imposed by the board or the board has waived this requirement.

Subd. 2.Effect of voluntary inactive status.

After an association has complied with the requirements of subdivision 1:

(1) the board must notify the association that its political fund has been placed in voluntary inactive status and of the terms of this section;

(2) the board must stop sending the association reports, forms, and notices of report due dates that are periodically sent to entities registered with the board;

(3) the association is not required to file periodic disclosure reports for its political fund as otherwise required under this chapter;

(4) the association may not accept contributions into its political fund and may not make expenditures, contributions, or disbursements through its political fund; and

(5) if the association maintains a separate depository account for its political fund, it may continue to pay bank service charges and receive interest paid on that account while its political fund is in inactive status.

Subd. 3.Resumption of active status or termination.

(a) An association that has placed its political fund in voluntary inactive status may resume active status upon written notice to the board.

(b) A political fund placed in voluntary inactive status must resume active status within 14 days of the date that it has accepted contributions or made expenditures, contributions, or disbursements that aggregate more than $750 since the political fund was placed on inactive status. If, after meeting this threshold, the association does not notify the board that its fund has resumed active status, the board may place the association's political fund in active status and notify the association of the change in status.

(c) An association that has placed its political fund in voluntary inactive status may terminate the registration of the fund without returning it to active status.

Subd. 4.Penalty for financial activity while in voluntary inactive status.

If an association fails to notify the board of its political fund's resumption of active status under subdivision 3, the board may impose a civil penalty of $50 per day, not to exceed $1,000 commencing on the 15th calendar day after the fund resumed active status.

10A.245 ADMINISTRATIVE TERMINATION OF INACTIVE COMMITTEES AND FUNDS.

Subdivision 1.Inactivity defined.

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

(1) six years after the last election in which the individual for whom the committee exists was a candidate for the office sought or held at the time the principal campaign committee registered with the board; or

(2) six years after the last day on which the individual for whom the committee exists served in an elective office subject to this chapter.

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

(c) A political fund that has elected voluntary inactive status under section 10A.244 becomes inactive within the meaning of this section when four years have elapsed during which the political fund was continuously in voluntary inactive status.

Subd. 2.Termination by board.

The board may terminate the registration of a principal campaign committee, party unit, political committee, or political fund found to be inactive under this section 60 days after sending written notice of inactivity by certified mail to the affected association at the last address on record with the board for that association. Within 60 days after the board sends notice under this section, the affected association must dispose of its assets as provided in this subdivision. The assets of the principal campaign committee, party unit, or political committee must be used for the purposes authorized by this chapter or section 211B.12 or must be liquidated and deposited in the general account of the state elections campaign account. The assets of an association's political fund that were derived from the association's general treasury money revert to the association's general treasury. Assets of a political fund that resulted from contributions to the political fund must be used for the purposes authorized by this chapter or section 211B.12 or must be liquidated and deposited in the general account of the state elections campaign account.

10A.246 UNPAID DEBT UPON TERMINATION.

Termination of a registration with the board does not affect the liability, if any, of the association or its candidates, officers, or other individuals for obligations incurred in the name of the association or its political fund.

EXPENDITURE LIMITS

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 segment of an election cycle, 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, $3,817,700 in the election segment and $1,636,200 in the nonelection segment;

(2) for attorney general, $654,600 in the election segment and $218,300 in the nonelection segment;

(3) for secretary of state and state auditor, separately, $436,400 in the election segment and $109,200 in the nonelection segment;

(4) for state senator, $94,700 in the election segment and $32,800 in a nonelection segment;

(5) for state representative, $65,500 in the election segment.

(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 has not previously held the same office, whose name has not previously been on the primary or general election ballot for that office, and who has not in the past ten years raised or spent more than $750 in a run 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. Candidates who qualify for first-time candidate status receive a ten percent increase in the campaign expenditure limit in all segments of the applicable election cycle. In the case of a legislative candidate, the office is that of a member of the house of representatives or senate without regard to any specific district.

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 segment of an election cycle, the amount of expenditures from all of the candidate's principal campaign committees for statewide office for that segment of the election cycle 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 this chapter, 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. If the principal campaign committee of a candidate makes a contribution to an independent expenditure committee or independent expenditure fund on or after January 1 of the year the candidate's office will appear on the ballot, the independent expenditure committee or independent expenditure fund must not make an independent expenditure for that candidate.

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.

[Repealed, 2013 c 138 art 1 s 55]

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 election segment 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 election cycle 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 on its website 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 25 percent of the election cycle 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 account 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]

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

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, political fund, or association not registered with the board in excess of the following:

(1) to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor running together, $4,000 in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $2,000 in the nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(2) to a candidate for attorney general, $2,500 in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $1,500 in the nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(3) to a candidate for secretary of state or state auditor, $2,000 in the election segment of an election cycle and $1,000 in the nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(4) to a candidate for state senator, $1,000 in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $1,000 in a nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(5) to a candidate for state representative, $1,000 in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought; and

(6) to a candidate for judicial office, $2,500 in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $2,500 in a nonelection segment of the election cycle.

(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, an association that has a political fund, or an association not registered with the board 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 account.

(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 signs an agreement under section 10A.322 may not contribute to the candidate's own campaign during a segment of an election cycle more than five times the candidate's contribution limit for that segment 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 association not registered with the board if the contribution will cause the aggregate contributions from those types of contributors during an election cycle segment to exceed an amount equal to 20 percent of the election cycle segment expenditure limits for the office sought by the candidate, provided that the 20 percent limit must be rounded to the nearest $100.

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 $200 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.

(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 $200 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 $200.

(d) This subdivision does not apply:

(1) when a national political party contributes money to its state committee; or

(2) to purchases by candidates for federal office of tickets to events or space rental at events held by party units in this state (i) if the geographical area represented by the party unit includes any part of the geographical area of the office that the federal candidate is seeking and (ii) the purchase price is not more than that paid by other attendees or renters of similar spaces.

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 or ballot question political committee or fund without complying with subdivision 13.

Subd. 15.Contributions or use of general treasury money.

(a) An association may, if not prohibited by other law, contribute its general treasury money to an independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund, including its own independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund, without complying with subdivision 13.

(b) 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 more than $5,000 in aggregate to independent expenditure political committees or funds during the calendar year or has contributed more than $5,000 in aggregate to ballot question 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 person that paid the association dues or fees, or made donations to the association that, in total, aggregate more than $5,000 of the contribution from the association to the independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund. The statement must also include the total amount of the contribution attributable to persons not subject to itemization under this section. The statement must be certified as true by an officer of the donor association.

(c) To determine the amount of membership dues or fees, or donations made by a person to an association and attributable to the association's contribution to the independent expenditure or ballot question 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 (d), identify the specific individuals or associations whose dues, fees, or contributions are included in the contribution to the independent expenditure political committee or fund.

(d) 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 (c), 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.

(e) After a portion of the general treasury money received by an association from a person has been designated as the source of a contribution to an independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund, that portion of the association's general treasury money received from that person may not be designated as the source of any other contribution to an independent expenditure or ballot question political committee or fund.

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. 16a. Contributions to governor and lieutenant governor; merger.

(a) Prior to the merger of separate principal campaign committees for governor and lieutenant governor, each committee may accept contributions up to the limits set forth in section 10A.27, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), for governor and lieutenant governor running together.

(b) After the merger of the committees, contributions to either committee from a single source must be aggregated in determining whether the contribution limit for the joint committee has been reached or exceeded. If the limit has been exceeded, contributions must be returned as provided in paragraph (c).

(c) Funds transferred to the joint committee for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor that result in aggregate contributions in excess of the applicable limits may be returned to the contributor within 90 days of the transfer of funds to the joint committee.

Subd. 16b.Special election contribution limits.

Election segment contribution limits set forth in this section apply to a special election cycle.

Subd. 16c.Contribution limits apply independently.

Contribution limits apply independently for election segments, nonelection segments, and special election cycles.

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.271 SALE OF GOODS AND SERVICES FOR FUND-RAISING PURPOSES.

Subdivision 1.Notice to contributors.

A political committee, political fund, political party unit, or principal campaign committee that raises funds through the sale of goods or services must disclose to potential customers that the proceeds from the purchase are a political contribution and to whom the contribution is made. The notice may be provided verbally at the time of purchase, or through the prominent display of a sign providing the notice in immediate proximity to the point of sale at the location where the goods or services are sold.

Subd. 2.Exception.

This section does not apply to goods or services sold at fund-raising events that require the purchase of a ticket to attend or at events where the main purpose is to conduct fund-raising.

Subd. 3.Penalty.

A political committee, political fund, political party unit, or principal campaign committee that knowingly violates this section is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

History:

2018 c 119 s 29

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 an association not registered with the board during a regular session of the legislature.

(b) A registered lobbyist, political committee, political fund, or an association not registered with the board 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, a "regular session" starts at 12:00 a.m., on the first day of each annual session and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of each annual session. For purposes of this section, regular session does not include a special session or the interim between the two annual sessions of a biennium.

Subd. 4.Civil penalty.

A candidate, political committee, party unit, political fund, an association not registered with the board, or a 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 may 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]

EXPENDITURES AND CONTRIBUTIONS; PENALTIES

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 where 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 a public finding in the matter. The board may use section 10A.34 to recover fees and penalties or to seek an injunction.

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.

PUBLIC SUBSIDY PROGRAM

10A.30 STATE ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT.

Subdivision 1.Establishment.

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

Subd. 2.Separate account.

Within the state elections campaign 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.

Subd. 3.Special elections account.

An account is established in the special revenue fund of the state known as the "state special elections campaign 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 account. 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 account, less three percent, are appropriated from the general fund, must be transferred and credited to the appropriate account in the state elections campaign account, 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 account.

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 one week before the state primary 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.

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. 7b.Failure to repay.

A candidate who fails to repay money required by the agreement cannot be paid additional public subsidy funds during the current or future election cycles until the entirety of the unexpended funds and any associated collection fees are either repaid to the board or discharged by court action.

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 for transfer to the state special elections campaign account for distribution by the board as set forth in this section.

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 account 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 account. 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.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.

(e) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b) and (d), if a vacancy occurs that will be filled by means of a special election called under section 204B.13, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), a candidate may sign and submit a spending limit agreement not later than eight calendar days after the general election.

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.

(a) 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.

(b) The willful issuance of an official refund receipt form or a facsimile of one to any of the candidate's contributors by a candidate or treasurer of a candidate who did not sign an agreement under this section is subject to a civil penalty of up to $3,000 imposed by the board.

(c) The willful issuance of an official refund receipt form or a facsimile to an individual not eligible to claim a refund under section 290.06, subdivision 23, is subject to a civil penalty of up to $3,000 imposed by the board.

(d) A violation of paragraph (b) or (c) is a misdemeanor.

10A.323 AFFIDAVIT OF CONTRIBUTIONS.

(a) 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:

(1) between January 1 of the previous year and the cutoff date for transactions included in the report of receipts and expenditures due before the primary election, accumulate contributions from individuals eligible to vote in this state in at least the amount indicated for the office sought, counting only the first $50 received from each contributor, excluding in-kind contributions:

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

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

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

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

(v) candidates for the house of representatives, $1,500;

(2) file an affidavit with the board stating that the principal campaign committee has complied with this paragraph. The affidavit must state the total amount of contributions that have been received from individuals eligible to vote in this state, excluding:

(i) the portion of any contribution in excess of $50;

(ii) any in-kind contribution; and

(iii) any contribution for which the name and address of the contributor is not known and recorded; and

(3) submit the affidavit required by this section to the board in writing by the deadline for reporting of receipts and expenditures before a primary under section 10A.20, subdivision 4.

(b) A candidate for a vacancy to be filled at a special election for which the filing period does not coincide with the filing period for the general election must accumulate the contributions specified in paragraph (a) and must submit the affidavit required by this section to the board within five days after the close of the filing period for the special election for which the candidate filed.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), a candidate for a vacancy to be filled at a special election called under section 204B.13, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), must accumulate the contributions specified in paragraph (a) and must submit the affidavit required by this section to the board within 12 calendar days after the general election.

(d) A candidate or the candidate's treasurer must be able to electronically file the affidavit required under this section in the same manner as other reports required by this chapter. The board must not require the candidate or candidate's treasurer to notarize the affidavit of contribution.

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 account 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]

MISCELLANEOUS

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.

Subd. 4.Penalty for violations of chapter 211B under board's jurisdiction.

If a civil penalty is not specified in a section of chapter 211B brought under the board's jurisdiction by section 10A.022, subdivision 3, the board may impose a civil penalty of up to $3,000.

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 website must include closed captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, unless the candidate has posted on the website 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 website 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]