HBA- JEK H.B. 3 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3 By: Gallego Elections 2/25/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The amount of money invested in campaigns is a significant factor in many elections. Texas is now one of only 10 states that does not limit political contributions to candidates for legislative or executive office, including contributions from individuals and political action committees. House Bill 3 limits political contributions to certain candidates or officeholders and sets forth reporting requirements. 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 3 amends the Election Code to set forth contribution limits for candidates for or officeholders of certain offices at: _$25,000 for a statewide office in the executive branch; _$10,000 for the office of state senator; _$5,000 for the office of state representative; or _$10,000 for the office of member, State Board of Education. The bill prohibits a person from knowingly making, authorizing, or accepting a political contribution that exceeds these limits, and sets forth a civil penalty for a violation of these provisions. The bill exempts from these limits a political contribution made by the principal political committee of the state executive committee of a political party (Sec. 253.202). The bill requires a person who receives a political contribution in violation of these provisions to return the contribution to the contributor no later than the 10th day after the date the contribution is received, and provides that a political contribution that is not returned within this period is considered to be accepted (Sec. 253.207). The bill considers a political contribution to a specific-purpose committee for the purpose of supporting a candidate, opposing the candidate's opponent, or assisting the candidate as an officeholder to be a contribution to the candidate or officeholder (Sec. 253.203). The bill also considers a direct campaign expenditure to be a contribution to a candidate if made with the cooperation or prior consent of, in consultation with, or at the suggestion of the candidate, a person acting with the candidate's knowledge and consent, or a specific-purpose committee for supporting the candidate or opposing the candidate's opponent (Sec. 253.204). H.B. 3 requires the campaign treasurer of a specific-purpose committee that receives a political contribution or makes a direct campaign expenditure that is considered to be a contribution to a candidate or officeholder to give written notice of the fact to the affected candidate or officeholder no later than the fifth day after the date the contribution is received or the expenditure is made. In addition, the campaign treasurer of a specific-purpose committee that intends to accept contributions or make expenditures is required to deliver written notice of the committee's intent to the affected candidate or officeholder. The bill sets forth penalties for a campaign treasurer who violates these provisions (Secs. 253.205 and 253.206). H.B. 3 requires a candidate or officeholder who receives a political contribution covered by the bill to deliver written notice of the fact, no later than the fifth day after the date the contribution is received, to the campaign treasurer of each specific-purpose committee that is required to notify the candidate or officeholder of the committee's intent to accept political contributions or make political expenditures. The bill provides that such a notice must include certain information, and sets forth penalties for a person who violates these provisions (Sec. 253.206). H.B. 3 provides that restrictions on contributions during the regular legislative session apply to political contributions covered by this bill (Sec. 254.034). The bill provides that each report by a candidate for an office to which this bill applies, an officeholder to which this bill applies, or a specific-purpose committee for supporting or opposing a candidate for or assisting a holder of an office to which this bill applies must include the information prescribed in the bill regarding political contributions (Secs. 254.0612, 254.0912, and 254.1212). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.