CAMPAIGN FINANCE
Summary of Bills
80th Legislative Session



HB 89 – General-Purpose Political Committees

Adds Election Code § 254.164

HB 89 applies to general-purpose political committees, including county executive committees.  The bill provides that the Commission may not impose a civil penalty on a general-purpose political committee for a reporting violation if the committee did not exceed certain contribution or expenditure thresholds during a particular reporting period.  Specifically, the Commission may not impose a civil penalty for a reporting violation if the report in question shows that the general-purpose political committee:  1) did not accept political contributions totaling $3,000 or more, 2) did not accept political contributions from a single person totaling $1,000 or more, or 3) did not make or authorize political expenditures totaling $3,000 or more during the reporting period covered by the report or during either of the two reporting periods preceding the report.   Effective 09/01/07



HB 1381 – Pre-Election Reports

Amends Election Code § 254.064(b) through (e); § 254.124(b) through (e); § 254.154(b) through (e); § 254.157(a)

HB 1381 applies to candidates and political committees (including those that file with local filing authorities).  The bill changes the filing requirement for pre-election reports required to be filed with the Commission and with local filing authorities.  The bill requires that a report due 30 days before an election and a report due 8 days before an election (including a runoff election) must be received by the appropriate filing authority no later than the report due date.  For a general-purpose political committee that files monthly reports, a report covering the month preceding an election in which the committee is involved must be received by the appropriate filing authority no later than the report due date.  In other words, these pre-election reports are no longer considered timely filed if they are mailed by the due date, but rather must be received by the due date.  Effective 09/01/07



HB 2195 – Filing Deadline

Amends Election Code § 254.037; § 254.038(c); Government Code § 302.015(b); § 305.010
Adds Government Code § 571.0645

HB 2195 applies to all reports filed electronically with the Commission.  The bill changes the deadline for filing an electronic report from 5 p.m. to midnight on the day the report is due. Effective 09/01/07



HB 2492 – Corporate Restrictions

Amends Election Code § 253.091

HB 2492 adds certain types of corporations organized under the Texas Business Organizations Code to the list of corporations subject to campaign finance restrictions.  The bill makes this non-substantive update to reflect the recent codification and reorganization of state corporate laws.  Effective 09/01/07



HB 2589 – Corrected Reports

Adds Government Code § 571.0771(c)
Amends Government Code § 571.0771(a) and (b)
Repeals Government Code § 571.0771(b-1) and (b-2)

HB 2589 applies to all reports filed with the Commission.  It provides that a statement, registration, or report (other than a report due 8 days before an election or a special report near election) is not considered late for purposes of a civil penalty if the filer files an affidavit of good faith and a corrected or amended statement, registration, or report not later than 14 business days after the filer learns of the error or omission.  The bill provides that a report due 8 days before an election is not considered late if the Commission determines the report as originally filed substantially complies with the applicable law and the filer files an affidavit of good faith and a corrected report not later than 14 business days after the filer learns of the error or omission.  The bill states that these provisions do not apply to a special report near an election.  The bill provides that the Commission may still impose a penalty on corrected reports covered by the bill through the sworn complaint process and through the audit process.  Effective 09/01/07



HB 3066 – Use of Political Contributions

Adds Election Code § 253.038(a-1)
Amends Election Code § 253.038

HB 3066 applies to candidates, officeholders, and specific-purpose committees for supporting, opposing, or assisting the candidates or officeholders.  It prohibits a candidate, officeholder, or specific-purpose committee from using political contributions to rent or purchase real property from a person related to the candidate or officeholder within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.  The individuals within the second degree of consanguinity include the candidate/officeholder’s children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings.  Individuals within the second degree of affinity include the candidate/officeholder’s spouse, parents-in-law, children-in-law, and the spouse’s grandparents, siblings, and grandchildren.

The bill also prohibits a candidate, officeholder, or specific-purpose committee from using political contributions to rent or purchase real property from a business in which the candidate, officeholder, or qualifying relative has a participating interest of more than 10%, holds a position on the governing body, or serves as an officer.   Effective 09/01/07



SB 64 – General-Purpose Political Committees

Adds Election Code § 254.039(a-1) and (a-2)
Amends Election Code § 254.039(a) and (b); § 254.042

SB 64 applies to general-purpose political committees, including county executive committees.  The bill requires a general-purpose political committee to file a special report near election (formerly telegram report) if the committee accepts political contributions from a person that in the aggregate exceed $5,000 during the reporting period.  (Currently these committees are required to file a special report near election if the committee makes direct expenditures exceeding certain thresholds.)  The bill extends the reporting period during which a special report near election is required to end at noon on the day before the election, rather than the second day before the election.  A committee must file a required special report near election no later than the first business day after the date the contribution is accepted or the expenditure is made.  The bill also provides that a late special report near election is subject to an automatic civil penalty.   Effective 09/01/07

 

Last Revision: July 23, 2007

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