PROPOSED RULES

At its December 14, 2018, meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to propose the following new rules: §§16.12, 18.31, 24.18 and 34.77. The text of the new and amended rules is located below.

The Commission invites public comment on the proposals. A written statement should be emailed to public_comment@ethics.state.tx.us, or mailed or delivered to Seana Willing, Texas Ethics Commission, P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711-2070, or sent by facsimile (FAX) to (512) 463-5777. A person who wants to offer spoken comments to the Commission concerning a proposed rule may do so during the public comment period at the Commission meeting when the Commission considers the proposed rule. Information concerning the time and location of Commission meetings is available at http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tec/meetings.htm.

§16.12.  Facial Review of Total Amount of Political Contributions Maintained.
Text of Proposed Rule

§18.31. Adjustments to Reporting Thresholds.
Text of Proposed Rule

§24.18. Designation of Contribution for Administrative Purposes.
Text of Proposed Rule

§34.77. Disclosure of Registration under Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Text of Proposed Rule


§16.12.  Facial Review of Total Amount of Political Contributions Maintained.
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 16. FACIAL COMPLIANCE REVIEWS AND AUDITS.

§16.12. Facial Review of Total Amount of Political Contributions Maintained.

(a) In this section “expected total political contributions maintained” for a report subject to review is the total amount of political contributions maintained disclosed on the previous report and all monetary political contributions, loans, and credits, less all expenditures from political contributions disclosed on the report that is subject to review, excluding the purchase of investments that can be readily converted to cash.

(b) When there is a difference greater than the threshold set by §20.50(c) between the total amount of political contributions maintained disclosed in a report and the expected total political contributions maintained, the commission may request from the filer the bank statement showing the balance as of the last day of the reporting period for each account in which political contributions are maintained.

(c) Producing the requested bank statements that show the total amount of political contributions was accurately reported in the report that is subject to review is sufficient to end the review of the total amount of political contributions maintained as disclosed in the report.


§18.31. Adjustments to Reporting Thresholdst.
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 18. GENERAL RULES CONCERNING REPORTS.

§18.31. Adjustments to Reporting Thresholds.

(a) Pursuant to section 571.064 of the Government Code, the reporting thresholds are adjusted as follows:

Campaign Finance Reports: Section of Election Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

253.031(b)

The amount of political contributions or political expenditures permitted by a political committee before a campaign treasurer appointment is required

$500

$870

253.031(d)(2)

The amount of political contributions or political expenditures permitted by a county executive party of a political party before a campaign treasurer appointment is required

$25,000

$32,320

254.031(a)(1)

Threshold at which contributor information is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(2)

Threshold at which lender information is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(3)

Threshold at which information on the payee of a political expenditure is required to be reported

$100

$180

254.031(a)(5)

Threshold below which contributor information is not required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(5)

Threshold below which payee information is not required to be reported

$100

$180

254.031(a)(9)

Threshold at which the source of any credit, interest, return of deposit fee from political contributions or asset is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(10)

Threshold at which the proceeds from sale of a political asset is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(11)

Threshold at which any gain from an investment purchased with political contributions is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(12)

Threshold at which any other gain from political contribution is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.0311(b)(1)

Threshold at which contributor information for contributions from non-caucus members is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(2)

Threshold at which lender information is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(3)

Threshold at which payee information for expenditures is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(3)

Threshold below which payee information for expenditures is not required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(4)

Threshold below which contributor and payee information is not required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0312

Threshold at which the best efforts rule requires one to make a written or oral request for contributor information in order to be considered in compliance when contributor information is missing

$500

$680

254.036

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a filer qualifies for the electronic filing exemption, if certain conditions are met

$20,000

$27,140

254.038(a)

Contribution threshold triggering a Special Report Near Election by Certain Candidates and Political Committees during the 9 days before election

$1,000

$1,790

254.039

Contribution threshold triggering Special Report Near Election by GPACs during the 9 days before election

$5,000

$6,090

254.039

Direct Campaign expenditure thresholds triggering Special Report Near Election by GPACs ($1,000 for single candidate or $15,000 for group of candidates) during the 9 days before election

$1,000/$15,000

$1,790/$26,780

254.0611(a)(2)

Threshold at which principal occupation/employer information for contributors to judicial filers is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.0611(a)(3)

Threshold at which the disclosure of an asset purchased with political contributions is required to be reported by judicial filers

$500

$900

254.0612

Threshold at which principal occupation/employer information for contributors to statewide executive and legislative candidates is required to be reported

$500

$900

254.095

Threshold of political contributions or political contributions below which a report is not required for officeholders who do not file with the Commission, unless also a candidate

$500

$900

254.151(6)

Threshold at which the principal occupation for GPAC contributors is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.1541(a)

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a GPAC has a $100 contribution itemization threshold, rather than $50

$20,000

$25,860

254.1541(b)

Contribution reporting threshold for GPACs qualifying under section 254.1541 set to $100

$100

$180

254.156(1)

Threshold at which contributor, lender, and payee information is required for a political contribution, loan, or expenditure, respectively, to an MPAC

$10

$20

254.156(2)

Threshold at which contribution, loan, and expenditure information for MPACs qualifying under section 254.1541 is set to $20

$20

$40

254.181, 254.182, 254.183

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a candidate or SPAC may elect to avoid certain pre-election filing requirements (modified reporting)

$500

$900

254.261

Threshold at which a person making direct campaign expenditures in an election must disclose the expenditures, including payee information

$100

$130



Lobby Registrations and Reports: Section of Government Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

305.003(1)

Threshold of expenditures over which a person must register as a lobbyist

$500, by 1 Tex. Admin. Code §34.41

$780

305.003(2)

Threshold of compensation or reimbursement over which a person must register as a lobbyist

$1,000, by 1 Tex. Admin. Code §34.43

$1,560

305.004(7)

Threshold of expenditures and compensation below which a person lobbying on behalf of political party is excepted from the requirement to register as a lobbyist

$5,000

$8,930

305.005(g)(2)

Threshold of category to report compensation less than $10,000

$10,000

$17,860

305.005(g)(3)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $10,000 but less than $25,000

$25,000

$44,630

305.005(g)(4)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $25,000 but less than $50,000

$50,000

$89,260

305.005(g)(5)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $50,000 but less than $100,000

$100,000

$178,520

305.005(g)(6)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $100,000 but less than $150,000

$150,000

$267,770

305.005(g)(7)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $150,000 but less than $200,000

$200,000

$357,030

305.005(g)(8)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $200,000 but less than $250,000

$250,000

$446,280

305.005(g)(9)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $250,000 but less than $300,000

$300,000

$535,540

305.005(g)(10)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $300,000 but less than $350,000

$350,000

$624,790

305.005(g)(11)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $350,000 but less than $400,000

$400,000

$714,050

305.005(g)(12)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $400,000 but less than $450,000

$450,000

$803,310

305.005(g)(13)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $450,000 but less than $500,000

$500,000

$892,560

305.005(g-1)

Threshold of compensation or reimbursement at which a registrant must report the exact amount

$500,000

$892,560

305.0061(c)(3)

Threshold over which the name of a legislator who is the recipient of a gift, a description of the gift, and amount of the gift is required to be disclosed

$50

$90

305.0061(e-1)

Threshold below which an expenditure for food or beverages is considered a gift and reported as such

$50

$90

305.0063

Threshold of expenditures below which a registrant may file lobby activities reports annually instead of monthly

$1,000

$1,790



Personal Financial Statements: Section of Gov't Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

572.022(a)(1)

Threshold of category to report an amount less than $5,000

less than $5,000

less than $8,930

572.022(a)(2)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $5,000 but less than $10,000

$5,000 to less than $10,000

$8,930 to less than $17,860

572.022(a)(3)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $10,000 but less than $25,000

$10,000 to less than $25,000

$17,860 to less than $44,630

572.022(a)(4)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $25,000 or more

$25,000 or more

$44,630 or more

572.005, 572.023(b)(1)

Threshold to disclose the source and category of amount of retainer received by a business entity in which the filer has a substantial interest; section 572.005 defines substantial interest, in part, as owning over $25,000 of the fair market value of the business entity

$25,000

$44,630

572.023(b)(4)

Threshold over which income from interest, dividends, royalties, and rents is required to be reported

$500

$900

572.023(b)(5)

Threshold over which the identity of each loan guarantor and person to whom filer owes liability on a personal note or lease agreement is required to be reported

$1,000

$1,790

572.023(b)(7)

Threshold of value over which the identity of the source of a gift and a gift description is required to be reported

$250

$450

572.023(b)(8)

Threshold over which the source and amount of income received as beneficiary of a trust asset is required to be reported

$500

$900



Speaker Election and Certain Ceremonial Reports: Section of Government Code

Threshold Type

Current Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

302.014(4)

Expenditure of campaign funds over $10 must be disclosed, including payee's name and address and the purpose

$10

$20

303.005(a)(1) – (10)

Thresholds applicable to contribution and expenditure disclosure requirements for a governor for a day or speaker’s reunion day ceremony report

$50

$90

 

(b) The effective date of this rule is January 1, 2020.


§24.18.   Designation of Contribution for Administrative Purposes..
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.

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

§24.18. Designation of Contribution for Administrative Purposes.

Any of the following will serve to designate a corporate expenditure as restricted to the establishment, administration, maintenance, or operation of a general-purpose committee:

(1) A contemporaneous written instruction that the expenditure is restricted to the administration, maintenance, or operation of the committee accepting the expenditure;

(2) The negotiable instrument conveying the contribution contains language indicating that the entity is a corporation, including but not limited to “Inc.,” “Incorporated,” “Corp.,” or “Corporation;” or

(3) The general-purpose committee accepting the contribution reports the contribution as monetary contribution or monetary support from a corporation or labor organization on the committee’s campaign finance report.


§34.77.  Disclosure of Registration under Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 34. REGULATION OF LOBBYISTS.

Subchapter C. COMPLETING THE REGISTRATION FORM.

§34.77. Disclosure of Registration under Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The registration of any person who has also filed an active registration statement under the Foreign Agen­ts Registration Act of 1938, as amended (22 U.S.C. §611 et seq.), must include the registration number assigned to the registration statement by the United States Attorney General until the registration statement is terminated.

 
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