Report Title:

Campaign Finance and Elections Reform

Description:

Improves the campaign spending laws. Incorporates federal campaign spending provisions that facilitate enforcement and limit contributions; raises voluntary expenditure limits and increases the amounts that can be matched by the Hawaii election campaign fund; and extends the prohibition against electioneering within 200 feet of a polling place to include election officials or election observers who use information obtained at a polling place in the course of their duties, for partisan purposes.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1278

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

 

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

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that reforms are needed to reduce candidates' reliance upon large contributions and excessive campaign expenditures and restore the public's confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.

Accordingly, this Act amends Hawaii's campaign spending laws to incorporate provisions of federal campaign spending law to:

(1) Establish a professional and appropriately compensated campaign spending commission;

(2) Adopt federal contribution limits;

(3) Prohibit contributions by government contractors;

(4) Prohibit expenditures for personal use;

(5) Prohibit fundraising in buildings being used for state or county purposes; and

(6) Prohibit the use of currency to encourage turnout on election day.

The public matching funds program is also amended to encourage the adoption of voluntary expenditure limits and support a wider range of candidates. Voluntary expenditure limits are raised to more realistic levels and the maximum amount that can be matched by the Hawaii election campaign fund has been raised.

Finally, this Act improves confidence in the elections process by extending the prohibition against electioneering within two hundred feet of a polling place, to include election officials or election observers that use any information obtained at a polling place in the course of their duties, for partisan purposes.

SECTION 2. Part XII, subpart B of chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"11-    Prohibition of fundraising on state or county property. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with an election in a room, building, or other facility used in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the state or a county.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to any government facility which is available for use as a rental or with a reservation to nongovernmental organizations. These government facilities may be used by any candidate or committee for fundraising activities pursuant to the same terms and conditions which would otherwise apply to nongovernmental organizations.

(c) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than three years, or both.

11- Use of currency to promote election day turnout prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any political committee to provide currency to any individual either directly or through an agent of the committee for purposes of encouraging the individual to appear at a polling place for an election."

SECTION 3. Section 11-132, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The precinct officials shall post in a conspicuous place, prior to the opening of the polls, a map designating an area of two hundred feet from the perimeter of the polling place and its appurtenances. Any person who remains or loiters within an area of two hundred feet from the perimeter of the polling place and its appurtenances for the purpose of campaigning, or any election official or election observer who uses or transmits on the day of the election, for partisan purposes, any information obtained in the course of performing their responsibilities as an election official or election observer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, a polling place and its appurtenances shall include:

(1) The building in which the polling place is located;

(2) Any parking lot adjacent to the building and routinely used for parking at that building;

(3) The routes of access between the building and any parking lot; and

(4) Any route of access between any public thoroughfare (right of way) and the polling place to ensure an open and accessible ingress and egress to and from the polling place for voters."

SECTION 4. Section 11-192, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-192 Campaign spending commission. There is established a campaign spending commission. The commission shall consist of [five] three members [of the general public,] appointed by the [governor] judicial selection commission from [a list of ten] each of three lists of nominees submitted by [the judicial council. The judicial council may solicit applications for the list of nominees through community organizations and advertisements in any newspaper of general circulation.] the three political parties receiving the most votes in the preceding governor's election. Any vacancies in the commission shall be filled by the [governor] judicial selection commission with a member from the list of nominees provided by the party of the commissioner that vacated the seat, or by reappointment of a commissioner whose term has expired, subject to the limit on length of service imposed by section 26-34.

The judicial council shall meet and expeditiously select additional persons [for] from the list of nominees whenever the number of the eligible nominees falls below [five.] three.

Notwithstanding section 26-34, these appointments shall not be subject to senatorial confirmation. The term of the commissioners shall be [four] six years, except that the terms of the initial commissioners shall be two years for [two commissioners, three years for two other commissioners and four] one commissioner, four years for one commissioner, and six years for the chairperson, as determined by the [governor.

The commissioners shall serve without compensation but they shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of their duties. For special purposes, the commission shall temporarily be administratively attached to the office of the lieutenant governor until June 30, 2003.] judicial selection commission. Each member of the commission shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of a departmental deputy director as provided in section 26-53(a) for each day including travel time during which the member is engaged in the actual performance of commission duties. Payment shall be made from the Hawaii election campaign fund."

SECTION 5. Section 11-200, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-200 Campaign contributions; restrictions against transfer. (a) A candidate, campaign treasurer, or candidate's committee shall not receive any contributions or receive or make any transfer of money or anything of value:

(1) For any purpose other than that directly related:

(A) In the case of the candidate, to the candidate's own campaign; or

(B) In the case of a campaign treasurer or candidate's committee, to the campaign of the candidate, question, or issue with which they are directly associated; or

(2) To support the campaigns of candidates other than the candidate for whom the funds were collected or with whom the campaign treasurer or candidate's committee is directly associated; or

(3) To campaign against any other candidate not directly opposing the candidate for whom the funds were collected or with whom the campaign treasurer or candidate's committee is directly associated.

(b) Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, a candidate, campaign treasurer, or candidate's committee, as a contribution:

(1) May purchase from its campaign fund not more than two tickets for each event held by another candidate, committee, or party whether or not the event constitutes a fundraiser as defined in section 11-203;

(2) May use campaign funds for any ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the candidate's duties as a holder of an elected state or county office, as the term is used in section 11-206(c); and

(3) May make contributions from its campaign fund to any community service, educational, youth, recreational, charitable, scientific, or literary organization, provided that in any election cycle, the total amount of all contributions from campaign funds and surplus funds shall be no more than the maximum amount that one person or other entity may contribute to that candidate pursuant to section 11-204(a).

(c) A contribution shall not be converted by any person to personal use. For the purposes of this subsection, a contribution or amount shall be considered to be converted to personal use if the contribution or amount is used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate's election campaign or individual duties as an officeholder, including:

(1) A home mortgage, rent, or utility payment;

(2) A noncampaign-related clothing purchase;

(3) A noncampaign-related automobile expense;

(4) A country club membership;

(5) A vacation or other noncampaign-related trip;

(6) A household food item;

(7) A tuition payment;

(8) Admission to a sporting event, concert, theater, or other form of entertainment not associated with an election campaign; and

(9) Dues, fees, or other payments to a health club or recreational facility.

[(c)](d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a party from supporting more than one candidate.

[(d)](e) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a candidate for the office of governor or lieutenant governor from supporting a co-candidate in the general election.

[(e)](f) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a candidate from making contributions to the candidate's party so long as that contribution is not earmarked for another candidate."

SECTION 6. Section 11-204, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. by amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) [(1)] No person or any other entity shall make contributions to[:

[(A) A] a candidate seeking nomination or election [to a two-year office or] to the candidate's committee in an aggregate amount greater than $2,000 [during an election period;

(B) A candidate seeking nomination or election to a four-year statewide office or to the candidate's committee in an aggregate amount greater than $6,000 during an election period; and

(C) A candidate seeking nomination or election to a four-year nonstatewide office or to the candidate's committee in an aggregate amount greater than $4,000 during an election period.] for each election.

These limits shall not apply to a loan made to a candidate by a financial institution in the ordinary course of business.

[(2) For purposes of this section, the length of term of an office shall be the usual length of term of the office as unaffected by reapportionment, a special election to fill a vacancy, or any other factor causing the term of the office the candidate is seeking to be less than the usual length of term of that office.]"

2. By amending subsection (h) to read:

"(h) An individual and any general partnership in which the individual is a partner, or an individual and any corporation in which the individual owns a controlling interest, shall be treated as one person. For the purposes of this subsection, an individual owns a controlling interest in a corporation if the person owns more than thirty-three per cent of the stock or financial assets of the corporation."

SECTION 7. Section 11-205.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-205.5 Campaign contributions by state contractors. [(a) Any] No person [making] may make a contribution to any candidate, committee, or political party[, and] who has received, in any calendar year, $50,000 or more through contracts from the State, or county [shall register and report that fact to the commission within thirty days of the date of the contribution or within thirty days of the date of the contract, whichever occurs later; provided that this section shall not apply to a person who has received $50,000 or more through a grant, subsidy, or purchase of service agreement under chapter 42F or 103F.

(b) The commission shall prescribe forms and procedures for the reporting required in subsection (a) which, at a minimum, shall require the following information:

(1) The name and address of the person making the contribution;

(2) The name of the candidate, committee, or political party receiving the contribution;

(3) The amount of money received from the State or county, the dates, and information identifying each contract and describing the service performed or goods provided; and

(4) If an entity is making the contribution, the names and business addresses of the principals, including officers and directors.

(c) The commission shall maintain a list of such reports for public inspection both at the commission's office and through the state FYI electronic bulletin board.]. For the purposes of this section, persons receiving contracts include any person with whom a contractor's contribution would be aggregated pursuant to section 11-204."

SECTION 8. Section 11-207.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) For the purposes of this section:

"Disclosure date" means, for every calendar year, the first date by which a person has made disbursements during that same year of more than $2,000, in the aggregate, for electioneering communications, and the date of any subsequent disbursements by that person for electioneering communications.

"Electioneering communication" means any paid advertising broadcast from a television or radio broadcast station, or published in any periodical or newspaper, or sent by mail at a bulk rate, which refers to a clearly identifiable candidate and is made, or scheduled to be made, either within thirty days prior to a primary or initial special election or within sixty days prior to a general or special election. "Electioneering communication" shall not include communications in a news story or editorial, communications which constitute expenditures required by this chapter to be reported by the disbursing organization, or communications in house bulletins."

SECTION 9. Section 11-208, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Any candidate other than candidates for the board of education or Office of Hawaiian Affairs may voluntarily agree to limit the candidate's campaign expenditures and those of the candidate's committee or committees and the candidate's party in the candidate's behalf by filing an affidavit with the campaign spending commission."

SECTION 10. Section 11-209, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) From January 1 of the year of any primary, special, or general election, the total expenditures for each election for candidates who voluntarily agree to limit their campaign expenditures, inclusive of all expenditures made or authorized by the candidate alone and all campaign treasurers and committees in the candidate's behalf, shall not exceed [the following amounts expressed respectively] $2.50 multiplied by the number of voters in the last preceding general election registered to vote in each respective voting district[:

(1) For the office of governor--$2.50;

(2) For the office of lieutenant governor--$1.40;

(3) For the office of mayor--$2.00;

(4) For the offices of state senator, state representative, county council member, and prosecuting attorney--$1.40; and

(5) For the offices of the board of education and all other offices--20 cents.]; provided that if a

candidate who receives public funds in a primary election is a candidate for the subsequent general election, the candidate's expenditure limit for the general election shall be increased by the difference between the primary election expenditure limit and the candidate's actual expenditures in the primary election."

SECTION 11. Section 11-218, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-218 Candidate funding; amounts available. (a) The maximum amount of public funds available to a candidate [for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, or mayor] in any election shall not exceed [ten] twenty per cent of the total expenditure limit for each election as established for each office [listed in this subsection] pursuant to section 11-209.

[(b) For the office of state senator, state representative, county council member, and prosecuting attorney, the maximum amount of public funds available to a candidate in any election shall be fifteen per cent of the total expenditure limit for each election as established for each office listed in this subsection pursuant to section 11-209.

(c) For the board of education and all other offices, the maximum amount of public funds available to a candidate shall not exceed $100 in any election year.

(d)] (b) Each candidate who qualified for the maximum amount of public funding in any primary or special primary election and who is a candidate for a subsequent general election shall apply with the commission to be qualified to receive the maximum amount of public funds as provided in this section for the respective election. For purposes of this section qualified means meeting the qualifying campaign contribution requirements of section 11-219."

SECTION 12. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 13. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 14. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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