1997 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative McBride
House Bill 875
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-807, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDUCE THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS REQUIRED TO BE REPORTED BY ALL CANDIDATES TO ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-813, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IF A CANDIDATE DOES NOT FILE A REPORT OF THE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY HIM OR HER, A PENALTY SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE CANDIDATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. 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 One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), * * * 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 One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), * * * 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 2. Section 23-15-813, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-813. (a) For hearings held pursuant to this article, the State Board of Election Commissioners shall appoint one or more hearing officers who shall be former chancellors, circuit court judges, judges of the Court of Appeals or justices of the Supreme Court.
(b) The Secretary of State may seek a court order requiring a candidate or a political committee to file such statement or report or a civil penalty may be imposed by a hearing officer as provided in this article, or both.
(c) Upon discovering there is probable cause to believe that a candidate or a political committee required to file has not filed a statement or report complying with applicable provisions of this article within the time specified in this article, the Secretary of State shall obtain from the hearing officer an order setting the time and place of the hearing and shall, by certified mail, send the candidate or political committee notice of the maximum amount of the civil penalty that may be imposed and a copy of the order.
(d) A hearing on whether or not to impose a civil penalty and to consider circumstances in mitigation shall be held on the time and at the place specified in the order.
(e) The candidate or political committee against whom a penalty may be assessed need not appear at a hearing held under this article, but instead may, prior to the date set for the hearing, submit written testimony and other evidence, subject to the penalty for false swearing, for entry in the hearing record.
(f) Upon the finding of the hearing officer that a candidate or a political committee has failed to file any statement or report required by this article, he shall impose a penalty not to exceed an amount equal to One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or ten percent (10%) of the total contributions or total expenditures required to be reported in the statement or report, whichever is greater, for each violation. The hearing officer may also assess the actual costs of the hearing against the candidate or political committee.
(g) After the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue his order, which may be appealed to the circuit court of the county in which the candidate or political committee is domiciled, or to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County in the same manner as provided by law for appeals originating from county courts.
(h) The hearing officer may file the order assessing the penalty, or a certified copy of the order, with the clerk of any circuit court in the state after:
(i) Expiration of the time in which an appeal may be taken; or
(ii) Final determination of the matter on appeal.
(i) The order assessing the penalty shall be enrolled in the judgment roll and may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment.
SECTION 3. The amendments to Sections 23-15-807 and 23-15-813 by House Bill No. _____, 1997 Regular Session, are not applicable to contributions that are made to candidates or political committees before the effective date of House Bill No. ______, 1997 Regular Session or to expenditures made by candidates or political committees before the effective date of House Bill No. _______, 1997 Regular Session.
SECTION 4. 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 5. 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.