The bill makes technical modifications to the 'Fair Campaign Practices Act' (FCPA) to facilitate its administration. Specifically:
- Section 1 of the bill excludes from the definition of 'contribution' in the FCPA the payment of legal fees to advise a candidate on compliance with campaign finance law or regulations or to represent a candidate or candidate committee in any action in which the candidate or candidate committee has been named as a defendant. This section also excludes from the definition of 'expenditure' in the FCPA legal services paid to defend a candidate or candidate committee against any action brought to enforce the campaign finance provisions of the state constitution or the FCPA.
- Sections 2, 4, and 8 modify various existing statutory provisions to reflect distinctions among different types of committees or other entities. Section 4 also allows a disbursement that is not otherwise defined as an expenditure to be reported to the appropriate officer.
- Sections 3 and 4 eliminate unnecessary, overly burdensome, and potentially unconstitutional double reporting of certain campaign contributions.
- Sections 4 and 5 clean up and correct errors that resulted from campaign finance legislation adopted during the 2016 regular session.
- Section 5 also removes certain paper-filing provisions that are rendered obsolete by electronic filing. Further, section 5 permits the secretary of state to give notice of certain campaign finance reporting deficiencies by regular mail if an e-mail address is not known.
- Sections 6 and 7 clarify procedures to be followed in connection with a person's failure to file a candidate affidavit or disclosure statement and the investigation of campaign finance violations. Section 7 also allows the parties in a campaign finance enforcement action in which attorney fees and costs have been awarded to apply to the district court to convert an award of fees and costs into a district court judgment. Section 7 also allows the secretary of state to intervene in any action pending before the administrative courts or the court of appeals that is brought to enforce the campaign finance provisions of the state constitution or the FCPA.
- Section 9 allows the secretary of state discretion in deciding whether to forward to the state controller the collections of past-due debts resulting from campaign finance violations.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)