SENATE BILL NO. 788

December 09, 2021, Introduced by Senators RUNESTAD, WOZNIAK, DALEY and THEIS and referred to the Committee on Elections.

A bill to amend 1976 PA 388, entitled

"Michigan campaign finance act,"

by amending sections 3, 11, 12, 21, and 24 (MCL 169.203, 169.211, 169.212, 169.221, and 169.224), sections 3 and 11 as amended by 2017 PA 119 and sections 12, 21, and 24 as amended by 2019 PA 93, and by adding section 21b.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 3. (1) "Candidate" means an individual who meets 1 or more of the following criteria:

(a) Files a fee, an affidavit of incumbency, or a nominating petition for an elective office.

(b) Is nominated as a candidate for elective office by a political party caucus or convention and whose nomination is certified to the appropriate filing official.

(c) Receives a contribution, makes an expenditure, or gives consent for another person to receive a contribution or make an expenditure with a view to bringing about the individual's nomination or election to an elective office, whether or not the specific elective office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known at the time the contribution is received or the expenditure is made.

(d) Is an officeholder who is the subject of a recall vote.candidate.

(e) Holds an elective office, unless the officeholder is constitutionally or legally barred from seeking reelection or fails to file for reelection to that office by the applicable filing deadline. An individual described in this subdivision is considered to be a candidate for reelection to that same office for the purposes of this act only.

For purposes of sections 61 to 71, "candidate" only means, in a primary election, a candidate for the office of governor and, in a general election, a candidate for the office of governor or lieutenant governor. However, the candidates for the office of governor and lieutenant governor of the same political party in a general election are considered as 1 candidate.

(2) "Candidate committee" means the committee designated in a candidate's filed statement of organization as that individual's candidate committee. A candidate committee must be under the control and direction of the candidate named in the same statement of organization. Notwithstanding subsection (4), an individual, except for a recall candidate, shall form a candidate committee under section 21 if the individual becomes a candidate under subsection (1).

(3) "Closing date" means the date through which a campaign statement is required to be complete.

(4) "Committee" means a person that receives contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of the voters for or against the nomination or election of a candidate, the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question, or the qualification of a new political party, if contributions received total $500.00 or more in a calendar year or expenditures made total $500.00 or more in a calendar year. Except as restricted or prohibited by this act or other state or federal law, a committee may also make other lawful disbursements. An individual, other than a candidate, does not constitute a committee. A person, other than a committee registered under this act, making an expenditure to a ballot question committee or an independent expenditure committee, shall is not, for that reason, be considered a committee or be required to file a report for the purposes of this act unless the person solicits or receives contributions for the purpose of making an expenditure to that ballot question committee or independent expenditure committee.

Sec. 11. (1) "Payroll deduction plan" means any system in which an employer deducts any amount of money from the wages, earnings, or compensation of an employee.

(2) "Person" means a business, individual, proprietorship, limited liability company, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, business trust, labor organization, company, corporation, association, committee, or any other organization or group of persons acting jointly.

(3) "Political committee" means a committee that is not a candidate committee, recall committee, political party committee, house or senate political party caucus committee, independent committee, independent expenditure committee, or ballot question committee.

(4) "Political merchandise" means goods such as bumper stickers, pins, hats, beverages, literature, or other items sold by a person at a fund raiser or to the general public for publicity or for the purpose of raising funds to be used in supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination for or election to an elective office, in supporting or opposing the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question, or in supporting or opposing the qualification of a new political party.

(5) "Political party" means a political party that has a right under law to have the names of its candidates listed on the ballot in a general election.

(6) "Political party committee" means a state central, district, or county committee of a political party or a party attempting to qualify as a new political party under section 685 of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.685, that is a committee. Each state central committee shall designate the official party county and district committees. There must not be more than 1 officially designated political party committee per county and per congressional district.

(7) "Public body" means 1 or more of the following:

(a) A state agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority, or other body in the executive branch of state government.

(b) The legislature or an agency, board, commission, or council in the legislative branch of state government.

(c) A county, city, township, village, intercounty, intercity, or regional governing body; a council, school district, special district, or municipal corporation; or a board, department, commission, or council or an agency of a board, department, commission, or council.

(d) Any other body that is created by state or local authority or is primarily funded by or through state or local authority, if the body exercises governmental or proprietary authority or performs a governmental or proprietary function.

Sec. 12. (1) "Qualifying contribution" means a contribution of money made by a written instrument, credit card, or debit card by an individual to the candidate committee of a candidate for the office of governor that is $100.00 or less and made after April 1 of the year preceding a year in which a governor is to be elected. Not more than $100.00 of an individual's total aggregate contribution may be used as a qualifying contribution in a calendar year. Qualifying contribution does not include a subscription, loan, advance, deposit of money, in-kind contribution or expenditure, or anything else of value except as prescribed in this act. Qualifying contribution does not include a contribution by an individual who resides outside of this state. For purposes of this subsection, an individual is considered to reside in this state if he or she is considered a resident of this state under the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.1 to 168.992.

(2) "Recall candidate" means an officeholder for whom a recall petition has been determined to be sufficient under section 963 of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.963.

(3) "Recall committee" means the committee designated in a recall candidate's filed statement of organization as that individual's recall committee.

(4) (2) "Senate political party caucus committee" means an independent committee established by a political party caucus of the state senate under section 24a.

(5) (3) "State elective office" means a statewide elective office or the office of state legislator.

(6) (4) "Statewide elective office" means the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or attorney general, justice of the supreme court, member of the state board of education, regent of the University of Michigan, member of the board of trustees of Michigan State University, or member of the board of governors of Wayne State University.

Sec. 21. (1) A candidate, except for a recall candidate, within 10 days after becoming a candidate, shall form a candidate committee. An individual who is a candidate for more than 1 office shall form a candidate committee for each office for which the individual is a candidate, if at least 1 of the offices is a state elective office. A candidate shall not form more than 1 candidate committee for each office for which the individual is a candidate.

(2) A candidate committee must have a treasurer who is a qualified elector of this state. A candidate may appoint himself or herself as the candidate committee treasurer.

(3) A committee other than a candidate committee or a recall committee must have a treasurer who is a qualified elector of this state if the committee conducts business through an office or other facility located in this state.

(4) If a committee is not required to have as its treasurer an individual who is a qualified elector of this state, the committee may have as its treasurer an individual who is a resident of another state. A committee with a nonresident treasurer shall file, with its statement of organization, an irrevocable written stipulation, signed by the treasurer, agreeing that legal process affecting the committee, served on the secretary of state or an agent designated by the secretary of state, has the same effect as if personally served on the committee. This appointment remains in force as long as any liability of the committee remains outstanding within this state.

(5) If the secretary of state or designated agent of the secretary of state is served with legal process under subsection (4), the secretary of state shall promptly notify the committee's treasurer by certified mail at the last known address of the committee shown on the committee's statement of organization.

(6) Except as provided by law, a candidate committee or a committee described in subsection (3) shall have 1 account in a financial institution in this state as an official depository to deposit all contributions received by the committee in the form of or which are converted to money, checks, or other negotiable instruments and to make all expenditures. The committee shall designate that financial institution as its official depository. The establishment of an account in a financial institution is not required until the committee receives a contribution or makes an expenditure. Candidate committees shall only use secondary depositories to deposit contributions and promptly transfer the deposits to the committee's official depository, or to deposit the proceeds of a joint fund-raiser under section 44(4) and transfer each committee's share of any receipts from the joint fund-raiser. A committee described in subsection (3) shall only use secondary depositories for any of the following:

(a) To deposit contributions and promptly transfer the deposits to the committee's official depository.

(b) To deposit the proceeds of a joint fund-raiser under section 44(4) and transfer each committee's share of any receipts from the joint fund-raiser.

(c) To deposit, divide, and transfer contributions that are aggregated with dues or other payments.

(7) Except as provided by law, a committee described in subsection (4) shall have 1 account in a financial institution as its official depository to deposit all contributions received by the committee in the form of or which are converted to money, checks, or other negotiable instruments and to make all expenditures. The committee shall designate that financial institution as its official depository. The establishment of an account in a financial institution is not required until the committee receives a contribution or makes an expenditure. A committee described in subsection (4) shall only use secondary depositories for any of the following:

(a) To deposit contributions and promptly transfer the deposits to the committee's official depository.

(b) To deposit the proceeds of a joint fund-raiser under section 44(4) and transfer each committee's share of any receipts from the joint fund-raiser.

(c) To deposit, divide, and transfer contributions that are aggregated with dues or other payments.

(8) A committee shall not accept a contribution or make an expenditure if that committee does not have a treasurer. When the office of treasurer in a candidate committee is vacant, the candidate is the treasurer until the candidate appoints a new treasurer.

(9) A committee shall not make an expenditure without the authorization of the treasurer or the treasurer's designee. The contributions received or expenditures made by a candidate or an agent of a candidate are considered received or made by the candidate committee.

(10) Contributions received by an individual acting in behalf of a committee must be reported promptly to the committee's treasurer not later than 5 days before the closing date of any campaign statement required to be filed by the committee, and must be reported to the committee treasurer immediately if the contribution is received less than 5 days before the closing date.

(11) A contribution is considered received by a committee when it is received by the committee treasurer or a designated agent of the committee treasurer although the contribution may not be deposited in the official depository by the reporting deadline.

(12) Contributions received by a committee must not be commingled with other funds of an agent of the committee or of any other person. Contributions are not considered to be commingled if that contribution is either of the following:

(a) A contribution received by a person for transmission to a separate segregated fund as described in section 55(7).

(b) A contribution made by 1 or more persons through a person if all of the following are met:

(i) The individual contribution or aggregated contribution is accompanied by or logically associated with all information required under section 26 for each individual contributor.

(ii) The person making the contribution is the original source of the contribution.

(iii) The contribution is not obtained through use of coercion or physical force, as a condition of employment or membership, or by using or threatening to use job discrimination or financial reprisals.

(iv) Only the person making the contribution exercises any control over the making of, or the amount or recipient of, the contribution.

(v) The contribution is not otherwise prohibited by this act.

(13) A person that violates this section is subject to a civil fine of not more than $1,000.00.

Sec. 21b. (1) A recall candidate, within 10 days after becoming a recall candidate, shall form a recall committee. A recall candidate shall not form more than 1 recall committee.

(2) A recall committee must have a treasurer who is a qualified elector of this state. A candidate may appoint himself or herself as the recall committee treasurer.

(3) Except as provided by law, a recall committee shall have 1 account in a financial institution in this state as an official depository to deposit all contributions received by the recall committee in the form of or that are converted to money, checks, or other negotiable instruments and to make all expenditures. The recall committee shall designate that financial institution as its official depository. The establishment of an account in a financial institution is not required until the recall committee receives a contribution or makes an expenditure.

(4) A recall committee shall not accept a contribution or make an expenditure if that recall committee does not have a treasurer. When the office of treasurer in a recall committee is vacant, the recall candidate is the treasurer until the recall candidate appoints a new treasurer.

(5) A recall committee shall not make an expenditure without the authorization of the treasurer or the treasurer's designee. The contributions received or expenditures made by a recall candidate or an agent of a recall candidate are considered received or made by the recall committee.

(6) Contributions received by an individual acting in behalf of a recall committee must be reported promptly to the recall committee's treasurer not later than 5 days before the closing date of any campaign statement required to be filed by the recall committee, and must be reported to the recall committee treasurer immediately if the contribution is received less than 5 days before the closing date.

(7) A contribution is considered received by a recall committee when it is received by the recall committee treasurer or a designated agent of the recall committee treasurer although the contribution may not be deposited in the official depository by the reporting deadline.

(8) Contributions received by a recall committee must not be commingled with other funds of an agent of the recall committee or of any other person.

(9) The recall committee must be terminated within 30 days after the results of the recall election have been certified. Notwithstanding section 45, all unexpended funds in the recall committee must be returned to donors.

(10) A person that violates this section is subject to a civil fine of not more than $1,000.00.

Sec. 24. (1) A committee shall file a statement of organization with the filing officials designated in section 36 to receive the committee's campaign statements. A committee shall file a statement of organization within 10 days after the committee is formed. A filing official shall maintain a statement of organization filed by a committee until 5 years after the official date of the committee's dissolution. A person who fails to file a statement of organization required by this subsection shall pay a late filing fee of $10.00 for each business day the statement remains not filed in violation of this subsection. The late filing fee must not exceed $300.00. A person who violates this subsection by failing to file for more than 30 days after a statement of organization is required to be filed is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

(2) The statement of organization required to be filed under subsection (1) must include the following information:

(a) The name, street address, and if available, the electronic mail email address and telephone number of the committee, and the electronic mail email address of the candidate. If a committee is a candidate committee or recall committee, the committee name must include the first and last name of the candidate. A committee address may be the home address of the candidate or treasurer of the committee.

(b) The name, street address, and if available, the electronic mail email address and telephone number of the treasurer or other individual designated as responsible for the committee's record keeping, report preparation, or report filing.

(c) The name and address of the financial institution in which the official committee depository is or is intended to be located, and the name and address of each financial institution in which a secondary depository is or is intended to be located.

(d) The full name of the office being sought by, including district number or jurisdiction, and the county residence of each candidate supported or opposed by the committee.

(e) A brief statement identifying the substance of each ballot question supported or opposed by the committee. If the ballot question supported or opposed by the committee is a local ballot question, the committee shall identify the county in which the greatest number of registered voters eligible to vote on the ballot question reside.

(f) Identification of the committee as a candidate committee, recall committee, political party committee, independent committee, independent expenditure committee, political committee, or ballot question committee if it is identifiable as such a committee.

(3) An independent committee or political committee shall include in the name of the committee the name of the person or persons that sponsor the committee, if any, or with whom the committee is affiliated. A person, other than an individual or a committee, sponsors or is affiliated with an independent committee or political committee if that person establishes, directs, controls, or financially supports the administration of the committee. For the purposes of this subsection, a person does not financially support the administration of a committee by merely making a contribution to the committee.

(4) If any of the information required in a statement of organization is changed, the committee shall file an amendment when the next campaign statement is required to be filed.

(5) When filing a statement of organization, a committee, other than an independent committee, a political committee, or a political party committee, may indicate in a written statement signed by the treasurer of the committee that the committee does not expect for each election to receive an amount in excess of $1,000.00 or expend an amount in excess of $1,000.00. The treasurer of a committee of an incumbent judge or supreme court justice is considered to have made the statement required under this subsection following appointment or election of that judge or justice and is not required to file a written statement under this subsection indicating that the committee does not expect for each election to receive or expend an amount in excess of $1,000.00.

(6) When filing a statement of organization, an independent committee, an independent expenditure committee, a political committee, or a political party committee may indicate in a written statement signed by the treasurer of the committee that the committee does not expect in a calendar year to receive or expend an amount in excess of $1,000.00.

(7) Upon the dissolution of a committee, the committee shall file a statement indicating dissolution with the filing officials with whom the committee's statement of organization was filed. Dissolution of a committee must be accomplished pursuant to rules promulgated by the secretary of state under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

(8) A candidate committee that files a written statement under subsection (5) or that is considered to have made a statement under subsection (5) is not required to file a dissolution statement under subsection (7) if the committee failed to receive or expend an amount in excess of $1,000.00 and 1 of the following applies:

(a) The candidate was defeated in an election and has no outstanding campaign debts or assets.

(b) The candidate vacates an elective office and has no outstanding campaign debts or assets.

(9) A political committee organized for the purpose of making independent expenditures formed before December 31, 2019 is considered an independent expenditure committee. The secretary of state may amend the statement of organization for any committee affected by this subsection.