HBA-RBT H.B. 1158 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1158 By: Mowery Elections 3/11/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Chapter 253 of the Election Code places certain restrictions on political campaign contributions and expenditures. Chapter 253 does not set a cap on the maximum amount that a particular individual or group may contribute to a candidate or specific-purpose committee. H.B. 1158 limits the amount of money that an individual or group can contribute to a political candidate, office-holder, or related committee. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 253, Election Code, by adding Subchapter G, as follows: SUBCHAPTER G. CONTRIBUTION LIMITS Sec. 253.201. CONTRIBUTION LIMITS. (a) Prohibits a person from knowingly making or authorizing political contributions to a candidate or officeholder that in the aggregate exceed the limit prescribed by Subsection (b) with respect to an election cycle in which the candidate or officeholder is involved, except as provided by Subsection (d). (b) Provides that the contribution limits are $10,000 for the office of state senator and $5,000 for any other office. (c) Prohibits a person from knowingly accepting a political contribution. Requires a person to refuse a political contribution that is received in violation of Subsection (a). (d) Provides that this section does not apply to a political contribution in connection with a statewide office or the office of member, State Board of Education. (e) Provides that a person who violates this section commits a Class A misdemeanor. (f) Defines "election cycle" and "with respect to an election cycle." Sec. 253.202. CONTRIBUTION TO CERTAIN COMMITTEES CONSIDERED CONTRIBUTION TO CANDIDATE OR OFFICEHOLDER. Provides that for purposes of Section 253.201, a political contribution made to a specific-purpose committee with the intent of supporting a candidate, opposing the candidate's opponent, or assisting the candidate as an officeholder is considered to be a contribution to the candidate or officeholder. Sec. 253.203. CERTAIN DIRECT CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES CONSIDERED CONTRIBUTION TO CANDIDATE. Provides that for purposes of Section 253.201, a direct campaign expenditure is considered to be a campaign contribution to a candidate if it is made with the cooperation or prior consent of, in consultation with, or at the suggestion of the candidate, a specific-purpose committee for supporting the candidate or opposing the candidate's opponent, or a person acting with the candidate's knowledge and consent. Sec. 253.204. NOTICE TO CERTAIN CANDIDATES OR OFFICEHOLDERS OF INTENT TO ACCEPT CONTRIBUTIONS OR MAKE EXPENDITURES. Requires the campaign treasurer of a specific-purpose committee, who intends to accept political contributions or make political expenditures to support a candidate for an office under Section 253.201 or oppose a candidate's opponent or assist a candidate as an officeholder, to deliver written notice of the committee's intent to the candidate or officeholder. Sets forth the required content of the notice and the deadline for the delivery of the notice. Provides that a campaign treasurer who violates this section commits a Class A misdemeanor. Sec. 253.205. NOTICE TO CANDIDATE, OFFICEHOLDER, OR COMMITTEE OF RECEIPT OF CONTRIBUTION. Requires the campaign treasurer of a specific-purpose committee, who receives a political contribution or makes a direct campaign expenditure considered under Section 253.202 or 253.203 to be a contribution to a candidate or officeholder, to deliver written notice of the fact that a contribution was received or an expenditure made within five days to the affected candidate or officeholder. Requires a candidate or officeholder who receives a political contribution covered by Section 253.201 to provide written notice of the receipt of a contribution within five days to the campaign treasurer of each specific-purpose committee that notifies the candidate or officeholder under Section 253.204 that the committee intends to accept political contributions or make political expenditures on the candidate's or officeholder's behalf. Specifies the content of the notice. Provides that a violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor. Sec. 253.206. RETURN OF EXCESS CONTRIBUTION. Requires a person who receives a political contribution which would violate Section 253.201, if it were accepted, to return the contribution to the contributor within 10 days. Provides that a contribution not returned as required by this section is considered to be accepted. SECTION 2. Amends Section 254.034, Election Code, by adding Subsection (f), as follows: (f) Provides that this section applies to a political contribution covered by Subchapter G, Chapter 253, except as provided by Section 253.206. SECTION 3. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 254, Election Code, by adding Section 254.0612, as follows: Sec. 254.0612. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF REPORTS BY CERTAIN CANDIDATES. Sets forth additional requirements which must be included in each report required by Section 253.201 which must be filed by certain candidates. SECTION 4. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 254, Election Code, by adding Section 254.0912, as follows: Sec. 254.0912. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF REPORTS BY CERTAIN OFFICEHOLDERS. Provides that each report filed by specified officeholders required by Section 253.201 must include the contents prescribed by Section 254.0612. SECTION 5. Amends Subchapter E, Chapter 254, Election Code, by adding Section 254.1212, as follows: Sec. 254.1212. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF REPORTS OF CERTAIN COMMITTEES. Provides that each report filed by certain specific-purpose committees required by Section 253.201 must include the contents prescribed by Section 254.0612. SECTION 6. Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 7. Emergency clause.