An Act To Clarify the Financial Reporting Responsibilities of Political Action Committees and Ballot Question Committees
Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §1, sub-§3-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §1, sub-§29-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §1052, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 443, Pt. A, §27, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 21-A MRSA §1052-A, as amended by PL 2015, c. 408, §2, is further amended to read:
§ 1052-A. Registration
A political action committee shall register with the commission and amend its registration as required by this section. A registration is not timely filed unless it contains all the information required in this section.
Sec. 5. 21-A MRSA §1053-A, as amended by PL 2011, c. 389, §35, is further amended to read:
§ 1053-A. Municipal elections
Organizations that qualify If an organization qualifies as a political action committees committee under section 1052, subsection 5 or is a ballot question committee required to register under section 1056-B and that receive organization receives contributions or make makes expenditures to influence a municipal campaign in towns or cities with a population of 15,000 or more shall , that organization must register and file reports with the municipal clerk as required by Title 30-A, section 2502. The reports must be filed in accordance with the reporting schedule in section 1059 and must contain the information listed in section 1060. A political action committee registered with the commission and that receives contributions or makes expenditures relating to a municipal election shall file a copy of the report containing such contributions or expenditures with the clerk in the subject municipality. The commission retains the sole authority to prescribe the content of all reporting forms. The commission does not have responsibility to oversee the filing of registrations or campaign finance reports relating to municipal campaigns , except that the commission shall enforce late-filing penalties under section 1020-A, subsection 3 upon the request of a municipal clerk. If a municipal clerk becomes aware of a potential violation of this subchapter that the clerk considers to be substantial, the clerk may refer the matter to the commission for enforcement. The commission may conduct an investigation if the information referred by the municipal clerk shows sufficient grounds for believing that a violation may have occurred. After conducting the investigation, if the commission determines that a violation of this subchapter has occurred, the commission may assess penalties provided in this subchapter.
Sec. 6. 21-A MRSA §1053-B, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §21, is further amended to read:
§ 1053-B. Out-of-state political action committees
An organization that is registered as a political action committee , ballot question committee or political committee with the Federal Election Commission or a jurisdiction outside of this State shall register and file reports with the commission in accordance with this subchapter upon receiving contributions or making expenditures to initiate or influence a campaign in the State in excess of the amounts that would require registration under section 1052-A. The committee is not required to register and file reports if the committee's only financial activity within the State is to make contributions to candidates, party committees, political action committees or ballot question committees registered with the commission or a municipality and the committee has not raised and accepted any contributions during the calendar year to influence a campaign in this State.
Sec. 7. 21-A MRSA §1054, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §22, is further amended to read:
§ 1054. Appointment of treasurer; depository
Any political action committee required to register under section 1052-A must appoint a treasurer before registering with the commission. A registered political action committee shall deposit all funds contributed to or received by the political action committee for the purpose of influencing a campaign in a single account in a financial institution and shall finance all of the political action committee's expenditures to influence the election through the account. If the political action committee was formed by another organization, that other organization may pay its employees for their campaign-related activities on behalf of the political action committee through its own treasury, rather than through the single account established by the political action committee and used for campaign expenditures.
Sec. 8. 21-A MRSA §1054-A, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 334, §23, is amended to read:
§ 1054-A. Duties and liabilities of the treasurer, principal officer and primary decision maker of political action committees
Sec. 9. 21-A MRSA §1054-B, as amended by PL 2019, c. 21, §1, is further amended to read:
§ 1054-B. Payments to Legislators by political action committees
If a Legislator is a principal officer or treasurer of a political action committee or is one of the individuals primarily responsible for raising contributions or making decisions for the political action committee, the political action committee may not compensate the Legislator for services provided to the political action committee. The political action committee may not make payments or distribute, loan, advance, deposit or gift money or anything of value to or compensate a business owned or operated by the Legislator. The political action committee may reimburse the Legislator for expenses incurred in the proper performance of the duties of the Legislator, for purchases made on behalf of the political action committee and for travel expenses associated with volunteering for the political action committee. Allowable reimbursement for expenses does not include payments from the political action committee that are determined by the commission to be for the purpose of personal financial enrichment of the Legislator. The funds of the political action committee may not be commingled with the personal funds of the Legislator or the funds of a business owned or operated by the Legislator.
Sec. 10. 21-A MRSA §1056-A, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 715, §3, is repealed.
Sec. 11. 21-A MRSA §1056-B, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 190, Pt. A, §20, is further amended to read:
Sec. 12. 21-A MRSA §1057, as amended by PL 2015, c. 408, §§4 and 5, is further amended to read:
§ 1057. Records Required records for political action committees
Any political action committee that is required to register under section 1052-A or 1053-B shall keep records as provided in this section for 4 years following the election to which the records pertain.
Sec. 13. 21-A MRSA §1058, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §26, is repealed.
Sec. 14. 21-A MRSA §1060, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2007, c. 443, Pt. A, §36, is further amended to read:
Sec. 15. 21-A MRSA §1060, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 443, Pt. A, §36, is further amended to read:
Sec. 16. 21-A MRSA §1060, sub-§3, as amended by PL 2007, c. 443, Pt. A, §36, is further amended to read:
Sec. 17. 21-A MRSA §1061, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §29, is further amended to read:
§ 1061. Dissolution of committees
Whenever any political action committee determines that it will no longer accept any contributions or make any expenditures, the committee shall file a termination report that includes all financial activity from the end date of the previous reporting period through the date of termination with the commission. The committee shall dispose of any surplus prior to termination. In the termination report, the committee shall report any outstanding loan, debt or obligation in the manner prescribed by the commission.
Sec. 18. 21-A MRSA §1062-A, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §30, is further amended to read:
Sec. 19. 21-A MRSA §1062-A, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2019, c. 323, §25, is further amended to read:
Sec. 20. 21-A MRSA §1062-A, sub-§5, as amended by PL 2013, c. 334, §31, is further amended to read:
Sec. 21. 21-A MRSA §1062-A, sub-§6, as amended by PL 2009, c. 302, §9, is further amended to read:
If a determination is not requested, the preliminary penalty calculated by the commission staff is final. The commission staff shall mail final notice of the penalty to the principal officer and to the treasurer of the political action committee. A detailed summary of all notices must be provided to the commission.
Sec. 22. 21-A MRSA §1062-A, sub-§7, as amended by PL 2007, c. 443, Pt. A, §41, is further amended to read: