BILL SUMMARY for HB07-1074
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS, & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved prepared amendment L.006 (contained in Attac|
Moved prepared amendment L.007 (Attachment D). Th
Moved prepared amendment L.008 (Attachment E). Th
Moved to refer House Bill 07-1074, as amended, to
|Pass Without Objection|
Pass Without Objection
Pass Without Objection
09:24 AM -- House Bill 07-1074
Representative M. Carroll, prime sponsor, provided an overview of House Bill 07-1074, concerning the application of disclosure requirements under Colorado law governing campaign finance to a political organization under federal law. Committee members received a copy of amendment L.006, a strike-below-the-enacting-clause amendment, along with a memorandum prepared by Legislative Council Staff explaining the fiscal impact of amendment L.006 (Attachment A). Committee members also received a packet of materials in support of the bill provided by Representative M. Carroll (Attachment B). Representative Carroll discussed the lack of public disclosure for organizations formed under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, and the amount of money spent by such organizations in the recent round of elections. Representative Carroll also discussed the impact of 527 organizations on elections in Colorado. Representative Carroll explained the improvements to campaign finance law to be realized under House Bill 07-1074, focusing her comments on amendment L.006.
Representative M. Carroll responded to questions regarding the definition of "political organization" in amendment L.006 and the status of money as speech according to jurisprudence. Discussion ensued regarding the constitutionality of campaign spending and contribution limits and the recognition of 527 groups under state campaign finance law.
The following people testified regarding House Bill 07-1074:
09:43 AM -- Mr. Scott Gassler, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Gassler raised objections to the bill based upon free speech grounds, and cited a number of court cases that govern campaign finance. Mr. Gassler discussed restrictions currently placed on 527 organizations. Mr. Gassler then discussed the subject of requiring 527 organizations to disclose their sources of funding. Mr. Gassler clarified the effect of the court rulings he cited. Discussion ensued regarding the possible free speech abridgement of requiring disclosure for campaign contributors. Representative M. Carroll addressed the issues brought up by Mr. Gassler, and distributed a memorandum on the subject of the legal doctrine of vagueness as it pertains to the definition of "political organization" in House Bill 07-1074 (Attachment C). Discussion followed regarding the vagueness doctrine.
09:55 AM -- Ms. Chantell Taylor, representing Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government, testified in favor of House Bill 07-1074. Ms. Taylor explained the mission and activities of her organization. Ms. Taylor discussed the definition of "political organization" in amendment L.006, and reporting requirements for 527 organizations. Ms. Taylor cited statistics for the amount of money spent on recent state election contests by 527 organizations and discussed the need for the bill's disclosure requirements. Ms. Taylor responded to questions regarding her organization's goals in the area of regulating 527 organizations. Discussion ensued regarding a recent court ruling pertaining to the privacy rights of campaign contributors.
Ms. Taylor clarified the tax status of 527 organizations. Discussion ensued regarding the genesis of 527 organizations as a result of campaign finance restrictions already in place, and the effect of House Bill 07-1074 on 527 organizations. Discussion followed regarding the tax status of Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government and the organization's activities in the area of reporting campaign finance violations. Ms. Taylor then discussed the effect of the bill on the frequency of disclosure for donors to political organizations.
10:14 AM -- Mr. Bill Hobbs, representing the Secretary of State, testified in favor of the bill. Mr. Hobbs expressed reservations regarding language in the bill that may lead to future legal challenges, and discussed legal challenges currently pending that question the state's campaign finance laws. Mr. Hobbs responded to questions regarding opinions issued by the Attorney General's office pertaining to campaign finance reporting requirements.
10:19 AM -- Ms. Jenny Flanagan, representing Colorado Common Cause, testified in favor of House Bill 07-1074 and discussed the need for the passage of the bill. Ms. Flanagan also discussed the effect of 527 organizations on political campaigns. Discussion ensued regarding efforts to limit the amount of money spent on political campaigns.
10:23 AM -- Ms. Christine Watson, representing the League of Women Voters, testified in favor of the bill and briefly explained how passage of the bill would further her organization's mission.
10:24 AM -- Ms. Angie Layton, representing Colorado Interfaith Power and Light, testified in favor of House Bill 07-1074 and discussed the need for passage of the bill. Discussion ensued regarding anonymity in the political process.
10:26 AM -- Mr. Ivan Meek, representing the Democracy Technology Project, testified in favor of the bill.
10:27 AM -- Ms. Nancy LaPlaca, representing herself, testified in favor of House Bill 07-1074 and discussed recent activities by 527 organizations in Colorado. Ms. LaPlaca also discussed campaign finance law in other states. Discussion ensued regarding the impact of 527 organizations on political campaigns in Colorado.
Representative Weissmann moved amendments L.006 (included in Attachment A) and L.007 (Attachment D). Discussion ensued regarding the effect of Amendment L.007.
Representative Weissmann moved amendment L.008 (Attachment E). Representative M. Carroll explained the effect of amendment L.008.
Representative M. Carroll provided closing remarks in favor of House Bill 07-1074. Representative Lundberg made brief remarks on the subject of campaign finance in general, and expressed support for the bill. Discussion ensued regarding the issues of free speech and anonymity as they are affected by campaign finance law.
|TIME: || 10:40:12 AM|
|MOTION:||Moved to refer House Bill 07-1074, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole with favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a 9-1-1 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 9 NO: 1 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS