PROPOSED RULES

At its February 8, 2012, meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to propose the following rules. The Ethics Commission invites public comment on the rules. A written statement should be mailed or delivered to Natalia Luna Ashley, Texas Ethics Commission, P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711-2070, or by facsimile (FAX) to (512) 463-5777. A person who wants to offer spoken comments to the commission concerning the proposed rules may do so at any commission meeting during the public comment period at a commission meeting when the commission considers the proposed rules. Information concerning the time and location of commission meetings is available at http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tec/meetings.htm or by telephoning (512) 463-5800.

Corporations and Certain Associations
Text of Proposed Rule

Contribution on Measure
Text of Proposed Rule

Political Expenditures to Communicate
Text of Proposed Rule

Expenditures for a General-Purpose Committee
Text of Proposed Rule

Administrative Expenditure
Text of Proposed Rule

Payments to Corporation
Text of Proposed Rule

Contribution to a Political Party
Text of Proposed Rule


Chapter 24. RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES APPLICABLE TO CORPORATIONS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS

Corporations and Certain Associations
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

§ 24.1. Corporations and Certain Associations Covered

(a) This chapter applies to:

(1) labor organizations;

(2) corporations that are organized under the Texas Business Corporation Act, the Texas For-Profit Corporation Law, the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act, the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Law, federal law, or the laws of another state or nation; and

[(3) corporations that are organized under the Texas Business Organizations Code but that prior to January 1, 2006, would have organized under the Texas Business Corporations Act or the Texas Non-Profit Corporations Act.]

(3) [(4)] the following associations, whether incorporated or not, which for purposes of this chapter are considered to be corporations covered by this chapter:

(A) banks;

(B) trust companies;

(C) savings and loan associations or companies;

(D) insurance companies;

(E) reciprocal or interinsurance exchanges;

(F) railroad companies;

(G) cemetery companies;

(H) government-regulated cooperatives;

(I) stock companies; and

(J) abstract and title insurance companies.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, members of a corporation that does not have stockholders and members of an association listed in subsection (a)(3) of this section are considered to be stockholders.

(c) This chapter does not apply to a political committee that incorporates for liability purposes only in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, provided that the sole principal purpose of the committee is accepting political contributions and making political expenditures.

(d) A political committee may incorporate to limit its liability by providing in its official incorporation documents that it is a political committee that is incorporating for liability purposes only, and that its only principal purpose is to accept political contributions and make political expenditures.


Contribution on Measure
Text of Proposed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

[§ 24.7. Contribution on Measure]

[(a) A corporation or labor organization may make campaign contributions from its own property in connection with an election on a measure.]

[(b) A contribution authorized by subsection (a) of this section may be made only to a political committee for supporting or opposing measures exclusively.]


Political Expenditures to Communicate
Text of Proposed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

[§ 24.11. Political Expenditures To Communicate with Stockholders, Members, and Families]

[(a) A corporation or labor organization may make one or more direct campaign expenditures from its own property for the purpose of communicating directly with its stockholders or members, as applicable, or with the families of its stockholders or members.]

[(b) An expenditure under this section is not required to be reported.]


Expenditures for a General-Purpose Committee
Text of Proposed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

[§ 24.13. Expenditures for a General-Purpose Committee]

[(a) A corporation, acting alone or with one or more other corporations, may make one or more political expenditures to finance the establishment or administration of a general-purpose committee.]

[(b) A corporation may make political expenditures to finance the solicitation of political contributions to a general-purpose committee assisted under subsection (a) of this section from the stockholders, employees, or families of stockholders or employees of one or more corporations.]

[(c) A labor organization may engage in activity authorized for a corporation by subsections (a) and (b) of this section. For purposes of this section, the members of a labor organization are considered to be corporate stockholders.]

[(d) A political committee assisted by a corporation or labor organization under this section may not make a political contribution or political expenditure in whole or part from money that is known by a member or officer of the political committee to be dues, fees, or other money required as a condition of employment by a corporation or condition of membership in a labor organization.]

[(e) A corporation or labor organization or a political committee assisted by a corporation under this section may not use or threaten to use physical force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal to obtain money or any other thing of value to be used to influence the result of an election or to assist an officeholder.]


Administrative Expenditure
Text of Proposed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

[§ 24.14. Administrative Expenditure]

[An expenditure made by a corporation to deliver a political contribution is an administrative expenditure for purposes of 253.100 of the Election Code and 24.13 of this title (relating to Expenditures for a General-Purpose Committee).]


Payments to Corporation
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

§ 24.15. Payments to a Corporation of the Candidate or Officeholder

(a) If a corporation charges a candidate, officeholder, or specific-purpose committee for supporting or assisting a candidate or officeholder less than fair market value for goods or services in order to comply with section 253.041(b) of the Election Code [§ 32.23(b) of this title (relating to Restrictions on Payments to Certain Businesses)], the discount is not a prohibited corporate contribution.

(b) If the discount is greater than is necessary to comply with section 253.041(b) of the Election Code [ §32.23 of this title (relating to Restrictions on Payments to Certain Businesses)] , the discount is a prohibited corporate contribution if the discount is not otherwise authorized by this chapter.


Contribution to a Political Party
Text of Proposed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

[ § 24.19. Contribution to a Political Party]

[(a) A corporation or labor organization may make a contribution from its own property to a political party to be used as provided by Chapter 20, Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Rules Applicable to a Political Party Accepting Contributions from Corporations or Labor Organizations).]


[(b) A corporation or labor organization may not knowingly make a contribution authorized by subsection (a) of this section during a period that begins on the 60th day before the date of a general election for state and county officers and ends on the day of the election.]

 
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