ADOPTED RULES

House Bill 1606, the Ethics Commission sunset bill, required numerous changes in our rules.  At its November 13, 2003, meeting, the Ethics Commission voted to adopt rules regarding the following topics:

Corrected Reports and Fines
Text of Adopted Rule

Reports by Out-of-State Committees
Text of Adopted Rule

 Reports by Candidates for County Chair
Text of Adopted Rule

Political Advertising
Text of Adopted Rule

Lobby Fees and Conflict of Interest
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is italicized.


Corrected Reports and Fines
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 18.9. Corrected Reports.

(a) A filer may correct a report filed with the commission or a local filing authority at any time

(b) A corrected report must clearly identify how the corrected report is different from the report being corrected.

(c)A report that is corrected is not considered late for purposes of any late fine if:

(1) the original report was filed by the applicable filing deadline

(2) the original report substantially complies with the applicable law;

(3) the corrected report is filed not later than the 14th business day after the date the person learns that the report as originally filed is inaccurate or incomplete; and

(4) the corrected report is complete and accurate.

(d)A filer who files a corrected report must submit an affidavit identifying the information that was corrected.

(e)This section does not apply to a corrected report filed under Section 571.069, Government Code, or a corrected report filed in response to a sworn complaint.

§ 18.11. Substantial Compliance.

For purposes of section 18.9 of this title (relating to Corrected Reports), a report substantially complies with applicable law if it contains only one or more reporting errors that the commission determines in context are minor.

§ 18.13. Fine for a Late Report.

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the fine is $500 for:

(1) a late report required to be filed with the commission under Election Code chapter 254 or 257, Government Code chapter 302, Government Code chapter 305, or Government Code chapter 572; or

(2) a late report filed with the commission under Local Government Code chapter 159, subchapter C.

(b) The fine for a report due eight days before an election is $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late, up to a maximum fine of $10,000

(c) The fine for the first semiannual report under Section 254.063, 254.123, or 254.153, Election Code, that is required to be filed by a candidate or political committee following the primary or general election is $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late, up to a maximum fine of $10,000.

(d) A fine assessed under this chapter is in addition to any other sanction assessed under other law.

Repealed:

§ 18.25. Waiver by Commission.


Reports by Out-of-State Committees
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 20.13. Out-Of-State Committees.

(a) An out-of-state political committee is required to file reports for each reporting period under Subchapter F, Chapter 254, Election Code, in which the out-of-state political committee accepts political contributions or makes political expenditures in connection with a state or local election in Texas.  Section 254.1581, Election Code, applies to a report required to be filed under this section.  An out-of-state political committee that files reports electronically in another jurisdiction may comply with Section 254.1581, Election Code, by sending a letter to the commission within the time prescribed by that section specifying in detail where the electronic report may be found on the website of the agency with which the out-of-state political committee is required to file its reports.  An out-of-state political committee that does not file reports electronically in another jurisdiction may comply with Section 254.1581, Election Code, by sending a copy of the cover sheets of the report and a copy of each page on which the committee reports a contribution or expenditure accepted or made in connection with a state or local election in Texas.

(b) An out-of-state political committee that files an appointment of campaign treasurer with a Texas filing authority is required to file reports under this title.

(c) A political committee must determine if it is an "out-of-state political committee" each time the political committee plans to make a political expenditure in Texas (other than an expenditure in connection with a campaign for a federal office or an expenditure for a federal officeholder).  The determination is made as follows.

(1) Before making the expenditure (other than an expenditure in connection with a campaign for a federal office or an expenditure for a federal officeholder), the committee must calculate its total political expenditures made during the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the planned expenditure.  This total does not include the planned political expenditure triggering the calculation requirement.

(2) If 80% or more of the total political expenditures are in connection with elections not voted on in Texas, the committee is an out-of-state committee.

(3) If less than 80% of the total political expenditures are in connection with elections not voted on in Texas, the committee is no longer an out-of-state committee.

(d) Section 22.7 of this title (relating to Contribution from Out-of-State Committee) contains other provisions regarding requirements applicable to recipients of contributions from out-of-state political committees.

(e) An out-of-state political committee planning an expenditure in connection with a campaign for federal office voted on in Texas is not required to make the determination required under subsection (c) of this section. However, an expenditure in connection with a campaign for federal office voted on in Texas must be included in the calculation set out in subsection (c) of this section for an out-of-state committee making an expenditure in connection with a non-federal campaign voted on in Texas.


Reports by Candidates for County Chair
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 20.579. Candidates for County Chair in Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies to a candidate for election to the office of county chair of a political party with a nominee on the ballot in the most recent gubernatorial general election if the county has a population of 350,000 or more.

(b) The provisions of this subchapter that apply to a candidate for state party chair apply to a candidate for county chair covered by this section, except that a candidate for county chair is not required to file the pre-convention reports that a state party chair is required to file under section 20.577(c) of this title (relating to Reporting Schedule for a Candidate for State Chair).

(c) In addition to the semiannual reports due to be filed with the commission by January 15 and July 15 under section 20.577(b) of this title, a candidate for county chair covered by this section shall file the following two reports with the commission for each primary election.

(1) The first report shall be filed not later than the 30th day before primary election day.  The report covers the period beginning the day the candidate's campaign treasurer appointment is filed or the first day after the period covered by the last report required to be filed under this subchapter, as applicable, and continuing through the 40th day before primary election day.

(2) The second report shall be filed not later than the eighth day before election day.  The report covers the period beginning the 39th day before primary election day and continuing through the 10th day before primary election day.

(d) In addition to other required reports, a candidate for county chair covered by this section who is in a runoff election shall file one report with the commission for the runoff election.  The runoff election report shall be filed not later than the eighth day before runoff election day.  The report covers the period beginning the ninth day before the primary election day and continuing through the tenth day before runoff election day.

(e) Except as provided by Section 254.036(c), Election Code, each report filed with the commission under this section must be filed by computer diskette, modem, or other means of electronic transfer, using computer software provided by the commission or computer software that meets commission specifications for a standard file format.

§ 20.597. Political Committees Supporting or Opposing Candidates for County Chair in Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies to a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate for election to the office of county chair of a political party with a nominee on the ballot in the most recent gubernatorial general election if the county has a population of 350,000 or more.

(b) The provisions of this subchapter that apply to a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate for state party chair apply to a political committee covered by this section, except that a political committee covered by this section is not required to file the pre-convention reports under section 20.595(b) of this title (relating to Reporting Schedule for a Political Committee Supporting or Opposing Candidate for State Chair of a Political Party).

(c) In addition to the semiannual reports due to be filed with the commission by January 15 and July 15, a political committee covered by this section shall file the following two reports with the commission for each primary election.

(1) The first report shall be filed not later than the 30th day before primary election day.  The report covers the period beginning the day the committee's campaign treasurer appointment is filed or the first day after the period covered by the last report required to be filed under this subchapter, as applicable, and continuing through the 40th day before primary election day.

(2) The second report shall be filed not later than the eighth day before election day.  The report covers the period beginning the 39th day before primary election day and continuing through the 10th day before primary election day.

(d) In addition to other required reports, a political committee covered by this section shall file one report with the commission for a runoff election in which the candidate supported or opposed by the committee is involved.  The runoff election report shall be filed not later than the eighth day before runoff election day.  The report covers the period beginning the ninth day before the primary election day and continuing through the tenth day before runoff election day.

(e) Except as provided by Section 254.036(c), Election Code, each report filed with the commission under this section must be filed by computer diskette, modem, or other means of electronic transfer, using computer software provided by the commission or computer software that meets commission specifications for a standard file format.


Political Advertising
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 26.1. Disclosure Statement.

(a) The disclosure statement required by Section 255.001, Election Code, must contain the words "political advertising" or any recognizable abbreviation, and must appear on one line of text or on successive lines of text on the face of the political advertising.

(b) A disclosure statement is not required on political advertising printed on letterhead stationery if the letterhead contains the full name of one of the following:

(1) the person who paid for the political advertising;

(2) the political committee authorizing the political advertising; or

(3) the candidate authorizing the political advertising.

(c) A disclosure statement is not required on campaign buttons, pins, or hats, or on objects whose size makes printing the disclosure impractical.

§ 26.3. Legislative Advertising.

Political advertising as defined by the Election Code, Section 251.001(16) (concerning Definitions), does not constitute legislative advertising under the Government Code, Section 305.027 (concerning Required Disclosure on Legislative Advertising).

§ 26.5. Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

A candidate or political committee that has filed a copy of the Code of Fair Campaign Practices as provided by the Election Code, Chapter 258, may indicate that fact on political advertising by including the following or a substantially similar statement: (Name of the candidate or political committee, as appropriate) subscribes to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

Repealed:

§ 26.3. Required Disclosure on Political Advertising.

§ 26.5. Disclosure Not Required for Certain Campaign Materials.

§ 26.7. Rates for Political Advertising.

§ 26.9. Political Advertising by Political Subdivisions.

§ 26.11. True Source of Communication.

§ 26.13. Misleading Use of Office Title.

§ 26.15. Notice Requirement on Political Advertising Signs.

§ 26.17. Legislative Advertising.

§ 26.19. Code of Fair Campaign Practices.


Lobby Fees and Conflict of Interest Rules
Text of Adopted Rule

Repealed:

§ 34.23. Conflict of Interest Statement Filed with Commission.

§ 34.25. Definition of "Client."

§ 34.62. Temporary Increase in Registration Fees.

(a) Notwithstanding section 34.61 of this title (relating to Registration Fee) or Section 305.005(c), Government Code, the registration fee for a registration covering any part of calendar year 2004 is increased by $200 as authorized by Section 305.0064, Government Code, to generate additional revenue necessary to develop and implement an electronic filing system for lobbyists under that section.  The temporary fees for calendar year 2004 will thus be in the following amounts:

(1) $300 for a registrant who is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4); and

(2) $500 for all other registrants.

(b) This section expires January 1, 2005.

 

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