First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970329.01D DLC
SENATE BILL 97145
STATE OF COLORADO
BY SENATOR Bishop
BUSINESS AFFAIRS & LABOR
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE "FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES ACT".
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Specifies that a person announces an intention to run for office by filing a candidate affidavit. Provides that, as long as a person maintains a registered candidate committee, the person is a candidate for an undesignated office following an election and prior to filing a candidate affidavit.
Excepts from the definition of "contribution" a written loan from a financial institution to a candidate committee that bears interest.
Allows transfers of amounts or contributions between candidate committees of the same candidate that are made upon closure of the transferring or contributing committee.
Allows a candidate to accept voluntary spending limits from the time of filing a candidate affidavit up to 60 days before an election instead of at the time of registering a candidate committee.
Permits candidate committees to use unexpended contributions for voter registration, political education, scholarships, and defraying expenditures related to mailings and similar communications to constituents.
Establishes the date for determining unexpended campaign contributions for use in a subsequent election cycle. Specifies that the provision counting unexpended campaign contributions as contributions from political committees does not apply to a candidate committee with an election cycle commencing prior to the 1996 general election that was not on the November 1996 ballot.
Specifies that candidate committees, political committees, issue committees, and political parties may amend a registration statement, that existing candidate committees are not required to reregister if a candidate affidavit is filed, and that registration of a candidate committee and filing a candidate affidavit are not concurrent requirements.
Provides that a political committee required to register
by April 1, 1997, may accept and make contributions without registering
prior to that date. Adds January 15, 1997, as the effective date
of the "Fair Campaign Practices Act".
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 145103 (1) and (4) (a) (I), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, are amended to read:
145103. Definitions. As used in this article:
(1) "Candidate" means any person who seeks nomination or election to any public office which is to be voted on in this state at any general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election. "Candidate" also includes a judge or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of section 25 of article VI of the state constitution. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office BY FILING A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT TO SECTION 145110 and has received a contribution in support of the candidacy. A person remains a candidate FOR AN UNDESIGNATED OFFICE for purposes of this article FOLLOWING AN ELECTION AND PRIOR TO FILING A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT FOR A PARTICULAR OFFICE as long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate committee.
(4) (a) "Contribution" means:
(I) The payment, loan, pledge, or advance of money or guarantee of a loan made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, or political party; EXCEPT THAT "CONTRIBUTION" DOES NOT INCLUDE A LOAN DESCRIBED IN SECTION 145104 (9).
SECTION 2. 145104 (3), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended to read:
145104. Contribution limits. (3) (a) No state candidate's candidate committee shall accept contributions from, or make contributions to another candidate committee, including any candidate committee or equivalent entity established under federal law.
(b) NOTHING IN PARAGRAPH (a) OF THIS SUBSECTION (3) SHALL PROHIBIT A TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM OR A CONTRIBUTION FROM A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE TO ANOTHER CANDIDATE COMMITTEE OF THE SAME CANDIDATE THAT IS MADE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLOSURE OF THE CANDIDATE COMMITTEE MAKING SUCH A TRANSFER OR CONTRIBUTION.
SECTION 3. 145105 (3) and (4), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, are amended to read:
145105. Voluntary campaign
spending limits. (3) EXCEPT
AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION, each state candidate
who chooses to accept the applicable voluntary spending limit
shall file a statement to that effect with the secretary of state
at the time that the candidate
a candidate committee pursuant to subsection 145108
(3) FILES A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT
TO SECTION 145110 (1). Acceptance of the applicable
voluntary spending limit shall be irrevocable except as set forth
in subsection (4) of this section and shall subject the candidate
to the penalties set forth in section 145113 for exceeding
(4) (a) If a state candidate accepts the applicable spending limit and another candidate for the same office refuses to accept the spending limit, the accepting candidate shall have ten days in which to withdraw acceptance. The accepting candidate shall have this option of withdrawing acceptance after each additional nonaccepting candidate for the same office enters the race.
(b) A STATE CANDIDATE WHO DOES NOT FILE A STATEMENT ACCEPTING THE APPLICABLE SPENDING LIMIT AT THE TIME OF FILING A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT OR WHO WITHDRAWS SUCH ACCEPTANCE AND WHO HAS NOT EXCEEDED THE APPLICABLE SPENDING LIMIT MAY, NO LATER THAN SIXTY DAYS BEFORE THE PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION, FILE SUCH A STATEMENT ACCEPTING THE APPLICABLE SPENDING LIMIT.
SECTION 4. 145106 (1), (2), and (4), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, are amended to read:
145106. Unexpended campaign
contributions. (1) Unexpended
contributions to a candidate committee may be contributed to a
political party subject to the limitation set forth in
SECTION 145104 (4), donated to a charitable organization
recognized by the internal revenue service, returned to the contributors,
or retained by the committee for use by the candidate in a subsequent
campaign pursuant to the restrictions set forth in subsection
(2) of this section. In no event shall contributions to a candidate
committee be used for personal purposes not reasonably related
to supporting the election of the candidate OR TO VOTER REGISTRATION,
POLITICAL EDUCATION, OR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL
SCHOLARSHIPS. A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE MAY USE UNEXPENDED CONTRIBUTIONS
TO DEFRAY REASONABLE AND NECESSARY EXPENSES RELATED TO MAILINGS
AND SIMILAR COMMUNICATIONS TO CONSTITUENTS. THE TERM "POLITICAL
EDUCATION" SHALL INCLUDE OBTAINING INFORMATION FROM, OR PROVIDING
INFORMATION TO, THE ELECTORATE.
(2) (a) Any unexpended campaign contributions retained by a candidate committee for use in a subsequent election cycle shall be counted and reported as contributions from political committees in any subsequent election for purposes of section 145104 (1) no matter how those contributions were originally classified.
(b) (I) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (b), THE AMOUNT OF UNEXPENDED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS RETAINED BY A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE FOR USE IN A SUBSEQUENT ELECTION CYCLE SHALL BE DETERMINED FROM THE AMOUNT SHOWN ON THE CANDIDATE COMMITTEE REPORT FILED THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE ELECTION PURSUANT TO SECTION 145108 (2) (a).
(II) FOR A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE THAT HAD A CANDIDATE ON THE 1996 GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT, THE AMOUNT OF UNEXPENDED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS RETAINED FOR USE IN THE SUBSEQUENT ELECTION CYCLE SHALL BE DETERMINED AS OF JANUARY 15, 1997.
(c) UNEXPENDED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS RETAINED BY A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE SHALL NOT BE COUNTED AND REPORTED AS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM POLITICAL COMMITTEES FOR THE 1998 GENERAL ELECTION FOR THE PARTICULAR OFFICE IF SUCH CANDIDATE COMMITTEE:
(I) HAD AN ELECTION CYCLE COMMENCING PRIOR TO THE 1996 GENERAL ELECTION; AND
(II) DID NOT HAVE A CANDIDATE ON THE BALLOT AT THE 1996 GENERAL ELECTION.
(4) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH (c)
OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, this section shall apply to
unexpended campaign contributions transferred from a political
committee formed prior to the passage of this
ARTICLE to a candidate committee registering after passage of
ARTICLE pursuant to section 145108.
SECTION 5. The introductory portion to 145108 (3) and 145108 (4), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, are amended, and the said 145108 is further amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION, to read:
145108. Disclosure. (3) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION, all candidate committees, political committees, issue committees, and political parties shall register with the secretary of state before accepting or making any contributions. Registration shall include a statement listing:
(3.5) (a) A REGISTERED CANDIDATE COMMITTEE, POLITICAL COMMITTEE, ISSUE COMMITTEE, OR POLITICAL PARTY MAY AMEND ANY ITEM IN THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION WITHOUT REGISTERING A NEW CANDIDATE COMMITTEE, POLITICAL COMMITTEE, ISSUE COMMITTEE, OR POLITICAL PARTY.
(b) NO CANDIDATE HAVING A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE REGISTERED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER A NEW OR SUCCESSOR CANDIDATE COMMITTEE AS A RESULT OF FILING A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT TO SECTION 145110.
(c) NOTHING IN THIS SUBSECTION (3.5) SHALL REQUIRE THE REGISTRATION OF A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE CONCURRENTLY WITH FILING A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT TO SECTION 145110 OR THE FILING OF A CANDIDATE AFFIDAVIT CONCURRENTLY WITH THE REGISTRATION OF A CANDIDATE COMMITTEE.
(4) For purposes of subsection (3) of
this section, a political committee in existence on January 1,
1997, shall register with the secretary of state on or before
April 1, 1997, pursuant to the requirements of this
ARTICLE. ANY SUCH POLITICAL COMMITTEE SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO
REGISTER PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1997, BEFORE ACCEPTING OR MAKING A
CONTRIBUTION AND MAY, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS
SET FORTH IN SECTION 145104, ACCEPT AND MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS
PRIOR TO SUCH REGISTRATION.
SECTION 6. Article 45 of title 1, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
145119. Effective date. THIS ARTICLE WAS APPROVED BY THE VOTERS OF COLORADO AT THE 1996 GENERAL ELECTION. PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 (4) OF ARTICLE V OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION, THIS ARTICLE BECAME EFFECTIVE UPON PROCLAMATION OF THE GOVERNOR DATED JANUARY 15, 1997.
SECTION 7. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.