1997 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Guice
House Bill 562
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CANDIDATES FOR THE STATE SENATE AND THE MISSISSIPPI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM GIVING OR RECEIVING CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTHS OF A REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE; TO PROHIBIT LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES FROM CONDUCTING FUND RAISERS DURING THE MONTHS OF A REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE; TO PROVIDE THAT CANDIDATES, INCLUDING INCUMBENTS, MAY RECEIVE A TOTAL OF NO MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CONTRIBUTIONS DURING AN ELECTION YEAR AND MAY RECEIVE NO MORE THAN A TOTAL OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CONTRIBUTIONS IN ANY YEAR THAT IS NOT AN ELECTION YEAR; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-807, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE CANDIDATES AND POLITICAL COMMITTEES TO REPORT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES WHICH EXCEED THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-809, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE EVERY PERSON WHO MAKES AN INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE WHICH EXCEEDS THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO FILE A STATEMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-811, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATING THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS TO INCLUDE IMPRISONMENT FOR UP TO ONE YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. A candidate, including an incumbent, for office in the State Senate or the Mississippi House of Representatives shall not give or receive contributions during the months of a regular or special session of the Legislature. A candidate also shall not conduct and shall not allow anyone to conduct on his behalf any fund raiser during the months of a regular or special session of the Legislature.
SECTION 2. A candidate, including an incumbent, for any elected public office may receive no more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) in contributions from a political committee or individual before he qualifies as a candidate for office. Upon qualifying as a candidate, a person may receive no more than a total of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) in contributions for the first and second primary elections and may receive no more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for the general election. The total amount of contributions a candidate may receive during an election year is Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00). The total amount of contributions a candidate may receive during any year that is not an election year is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
SECTION 3. Section 23-15-807, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-807. (a) Each candidate or political committee shall file reports of contributions and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of this section. All candidates or political committees required to report may terminate its obligation to report only upon submitting a final report that it will no longer receive any contributions or make any disbursement and that such candidate or committee has no outstanding debts or obligations. The candidate, treasurer or chief executive officer shall sign each such report.
(b) Candidates who are seeking election, or nomination for election, and political committees that make expenditures for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination for election, or election, of one or more candidates or balloted measures at such election, shall file the following reports:
(i) In any calendar year during which there is a regularly scheduled election, a preelection report, which shall be filed no later than the seventh day before any election in which such candidate or political committee has accepted contributions or made expenditures and which shall be complete as of the tenth day before such election;
(ii) In 1987 and every fourth year thereafter, periodic reports, which shall be filed no later than the tenth day after May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31, and which shall be complete as of the last day of each period; and
(iii) In any calendar years except 1987 and except every fourth year thereafter, a report covering the calendar year which shall be filed no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.
(c) Contents of reports. Each report under this article shall disclose:
(i) For the reporting period and the calendar year, the total amount of all contributions and the total amount of all expenditures of the candidate or reporting committee required to be identified pursuant to item (ii) of this paragraph. Such reports shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate;
(ii) The identification of:
1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period, whose contribution or contributions within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) * * * together with the date and amount of any such contribution;
2. Each person or organization who receives an expenditure or expenditures from the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period when the expenditure or expenditures to such person or organization within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) * * * together with the date and amount of such expenditure.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, a political committee that receives more than fifty percent (50%) of its contributions from persons or political committees domiciled outside of the State of Mississippi shall not be required to identify contributors who are domiciled outside of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 4. Section 23-15-809, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-809. (a) Every person who makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount or value in excess of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) during a calendar year shall file a statement containing the information required under Section 23-15-807. Such statement shall be filed with the appropriate offices as provided for in Section 23-15-805, and such person shall be considered a political committee for the purpose of determining place of filing.
(b) Statements required to be filed by this section shall include:
(i) Information indicating whether the independent expenditure is in support of, or in opposition to, the candidate involved;
(ii) Under penalty of perjury, a certification of whether or not such independent expenditure is made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate; and
(iii) The identification of each person who made a contribution in excess of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) to the person filing such statement which was made for the purpose of furthering an independent expenditure.
SECTION 5. Section 23-15-811, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-811. (a) Any candidate or any other person who shall wilfully and deliberately violate the provisions and prohibitions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding one (1) year.
(b) In addition to the penalties provided in paragraph (a) of this section, any candidate or political committee which is required to file a statement or report which fails to file such statement or report on the date in which it is due may be compelled to file such statement or report by an action in the nature of a mandamus.
(c) No candidate shall be certified as nominated for election or as elected to office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date of certification.
(d) No candidate who is elected to office shall receive any salary or other remuneration for the office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date such salary or remuneration is payable.
(e) In the event that a candidate fails to timely file any report required pursuant to this article but subsequently files a report or reports containing all of the information required to be reported by him as of the date on which the sanctions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section would be applied to him, such candidate shall not be subject to the sanctions of said paragraphs (c) and (d).
SECTION 6. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.