Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session



Chapter 366

S.P. 411 - L.D. 1100

An Act To Preserve Government Documents

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §1011,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 571, §8, is further amended to read:

§ 1011.  Application

This subchapter applies to candidates for all state and county offices and all candidates for municipal office as defined in Title 30-A, section 2502, subsection 1 and to campaigns for their nomination and election.

Candidates for municipal office as defined in Title 30-A, section 2502, subsection 1 and referenda as defined in Title 30-A, section 2502, subsection 2 are governed by this subchapter, with the following provisions:

1 Role of the municipal clerk; commission.   For candidates for municipal office, the municipal clerk is responsible for any duty assigned to the commission in this subchapter related to the registration of candidates, receipt of reports and distribution of information or forms, unless otherwise provided. Notwithstanding any other deadline set forth in this chapter, candidates must file their reports by the close of business on the filing deadline established for the office of the municipal clerk. The commission retains the sole authority to prescribe the content of all reporting forms.
2 Exemptions.   Exemptions for municipal candidates from the reporting requirements of this subchapter are governed by this subsection.
A At the time a municipal candidate registers under section 1013-A, the candidate may notify the municipal clerk in writing that the candidate will not accept contributions, make expenditures or incur financial obligations associated with that person's candidacy. A candidate who provides this written notice is not required to appoint a treasurer or to meet the filing requirements of this section as long as the candidate complies with the commitment.
B The notice provided to the municipal clerk in paragraph A may be revoked. A written revocation must be presented to the municipal clerk before the candidate may accept contributions, make expenditures or incur obligations associated with that person's candidacy. A candidate who has filed a notice with the municipal clerk under paragraph A and accepts contributions, makes expenditures or incurs obligations associated with that person's candidacy prior to filing a revocation may be assessed a penalty of $10 for each business day that the revocation is late, up to a maximum of $500. This penalty may be imposed in addition to the penalties assessed under other sections of this Title.

Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §1013-A, sub-§1, ¶A,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 642, §9 and affected by §14, is further amended to read:

A. No later than 10 days after becoming a candidate and before accepting contributions, making expenditures or incurring obligations, a candidate for state or , county or municipal office or a candidate for municipal office who has not filed a written notice in accordance with section 1011, subsection 2, paragraph A shall appoint a treasurer. The candidate may serve as treasurer, except that a candidate certified in accordance with section 1125 may not serve as treasurer. The candidate may have only one treasurer, who is responsible for the filing of campaign finance reports under this chapter. A candidate shall register the candidate's name and address and the name and address of the treasurer appointed under this section no later than 10 days after the appointment of the treasurer. A candidate may accept contributions personally or make or authorize expenditures personally, as long as the candidate reports all contributions and expenditures to the treasurer. The treasurer shall make a consolidated report of all income and expenditures and provide this report to the commission.

(1) A candidate may appoint a deputy treasurer to act in the absence of the treasurer. The deputy treasurer, when acting in the absence of the treasurer, has the same powers and responsibilities as the treasurer. A candidate certified in accordance with section 1125 may not serve as deputy treasurer. When a treasurer dies or resigns, the deputy treasurer may not assume the position of treasurer unless the candidate appoints the deputy treasurer to the position of treasurer. The candidate shall report the name and address of the deputy treasurer to the commission no later than 10 days after the deputy treasurer has been appointed.

Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §1017, sub-§3-A,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 642, §10, is further amended to read:

3-A. Other candidates.   A treasurer of a candidate for state or , county or municipal office other than the office of Governor shall file reports with the commission and municipal candidates shall file reports with the municipal clerk as follows. Once the first required report has been filed, each subsequent report must cover the period from the end date of the prior report filed.
A. In any calendar year in which an election for the candidate's particular office is not scheduled, when any candidate or candidate's political committee has received contributions in excess of $500 or made or authorized expenditures in excess of $500, reports must be filed no later than 11:59 p.m. on July 15th of that year and January 15th of the following calendar year. These reports must include all contributions made to and all expenditures made or authorized by or on behalf of the candidate or the treasurer of the candidate as of the end of the preceding month, except those covered by a previous report.
B. Reports must be filed no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 11th day before the date on which an election is held and must be complete as of the 14th day before that date. If a report was not filed under paragraph A, the report required under this paragraph must cover all contributions and expenditures through the 14th day before the election.
C. Contributions aggregating $1,000 or more from any one contributor or single expenditures of $1,000 or more made after the 14th day before any election and more than 24 hours before 11:59 p.m. on the day of any election must be reported within 24 hours of those contributions or expenditures.
D. Reports must be filed no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 42nd day after the date on which an election is held and must be complete for the filing period as of the 35th day after that date.
D-1. Reports must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the 42nd day before the date on which a general election is held and must be complete as of the 49th day before that date.
E. Unless further reports will be filed in relation to a later election in the same calendar year, the disposition of any surplus or deficit in excess of $100 shown in the reports described in paragraph D must be reported as provided by this paragraph. The treasurer of a candidate with a surplus or deficit in excess of $100 shall file reports semiannually with the commission within 15 days following the end of the 2nd and 4th quarters of the State's fiscal year, complete as of the last day of the quarter, until the surplus is disposed of or the deficit is liquidated. The first report under this paragraph is not required until the 15th day of the period beginning at least 90 days from the date of the election. The reports will be considered timely if filed electronically or in person with the commission on that date or postmarked on that date. The reports must set forth any contributions for the purpose of liquidating the deficit, in the same manner as contributions are set forth in other reports required in this section.
F. Reports with respect to a candidate who seeks nomination by petition must be filed on the same dates that reports must be filed by a candidate for the same office who seeks that nomination by primary election.

Sec. 4. 21-A MRSA §1017-A, sub-§8,  as enacted by PL 1995, c. 483, §10, is amended to read:

8. Municipal elections.   When a party committee makes contributions or expenditures on behalf of a candidate for municipal office subject to in a town or city that has chosen to be governed by this subchapter, it shall file a copy of the reports required by this section with the clerk in that candidate's municipality.

Sec. 5. 21-A MRSA §1019-B, sub-§3,  as enacted by PL 2003, c. 448, §3, is amended to read:

3. Report required; content; rules.   A person, party committee, political committee or political action committee that makes independent expenditures aggregating in excess of $100 during any one candidate's election shall file a report with the commission. In the case of a municipal election in a town or city that has chosen to be governed by this subchapter, a copy of the same information must be filed with the municipal clerk.
A.  A report required by this subsection must be filed with the commission according to a reporting schedule that the commission shall establish by rule that takes into consideration existing campaign finance reporting requirements and matching fund provisions under chapter 14. Rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
B.  A report required by this subsection must contain an itemized account of each contribution or expenditure aggregating in excess of $100 in any one candidate's election, the date and purpose of each contribution or expenditure and the name of each payee or creditor. The report must state whether the contribution or expenditure is in support of or in opposition to the candidate and must include, under penalty of perjury, as provided in Title 17-A, section 451, a statement under oath or affirmation whether the contribution or expenditure is made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, the candidate or an authorized committee or agent of the candidate.
C.  A report required by this subsection must be on a form prescribed and prepared by the commission. A person filing this report may use additional pages if necessary, but the pages must be the same size as the pages of the form.

Sec. 6. 21-A MRSA §1020-A, sub-§3,  as amended by PL 1995, c. 625, Pt. B, §5, is further amended to read:

3. Municipal campaign finance reports.   Municipal campaign finance reports must be filed, subject to all the provisions of this subchapter, with the municipal clerk in a town or city that has chosen to be governed by this subchapter on forms prescribed by the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The municipal clerk shall send any notice of lateness required by subsection 6 and shall notify the commission of any late reports subject to a penalty.

Sec. 7. 21-A MRSA §1056-B, first ¶,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 477, §4, is further amended to read:

Any person not defined as a political action committee who solicits and receives contributions or makes expenditures, other than by contribution to a political action committee, aggregating in excess of $5,000 for the purpose of initiating, promoting, defeating or influencing in any way a ballot question must file a report with the commission. In the case of a municipal election, a copy of the same information must be filed with the clerk of that municipality. Within 7 days of receiving contributions or making expenditures that exceed $5,000, the person shall register with the commission as a ballot question committee. For the purposes of this section, expenditures include paid staff time spent for the purpose of influencing in any way a ballot question. The commission must prescribe forms for the registration, and the forms must include specification of a treasurer for the committee, any other principal officers and all individuals who are the primary fund-raisers and decision makers for the committee.

Sec. 8. 21-A MRSA §1058,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 477, §5, is further amended to read:

§ 1058.  Reports; qualifications for filing

A political action committee that is required to register with the commission shall file a report on its activities in that campaign with the commission on forms as prescribed by the commission. A political action committee organized in this State required under this section to file a report shall file the report for each filing period under section 1059. A political action committee organized outside this State shall file with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices of this State a copy of the report that the political action committee is required to file in the state in which the political action committee is organized. The political action committee shall file the copy only if it has expended funds or received contributions or made expenditures in this State. The copy of the report must be filed in accordance with the schedule of filing in the state where it is organized. If contributions or expenditures are made relating to a municipal office or referendum in a municipality subject to this subchapter, the report must be filed with the clerk in the subject municipality commission.

Sec. 9. 21-A MRSA §1059, first ¶,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 571, §9, is further amended to read:

Committees required to register under section 1053 shall file reports in compliance with this section. All reports must be filed by 11:59 p.m. on the filing deadline, except that reports submitted to a municipal clerk in a town or city that has chosen to be governed by this subchapter must be filed by the close of business on the filing deadline.

Sec. 10. 30-A MRSA §2502,  as amended by PL 1999, c. 645, §15, is further amended to read:

§ 2502.  Campaign reports in municipal elections

1. Reports by candidates.   A candidate for municipal office of a town or city with a population of 15,000 or more is governed by Title 21-A, sections 1001 to 1020-A , except that notices of appointment of a treasurer and campaign reports must be filed with the municipal clerk instead of and must register and file campaign reports with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. A town or city with a population of less than 15,000 may choose to be governed by Title 21-A, sections 1001 to 1020-A by vote of its legislative body at least 90 days before an election for office. A candidate in a town or city with a population of less than 15,000 that has adopted those provisions must register and file campaign finance reports with the municipal clerk instead of the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. A town or city that votes to adopt those provisions may revoke that decision, but it must do so at least 90 days before an election subject to those sections.
A Notwithstanding Title 17-A, section 4-A, a candidate who fails to file a notice or report as required by this section is guilty of a Class E crime and may be punished by a fine of $5 for every day the candidate is in default or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.
2. Municipal referenda campaigns.   Municipal referenda campaigns in towns or cities with a population of 15,000 or more are governed by Title 21-A, chapter 13, subchapter IV 4. The registrations and reports of political action committees and ballot question committees must be filed with the municipal clerk Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. A town or city with a population of less than 15,000 may choose to be governed by Title 21-A, chapter 13, subchapter IV 4 by vote of its legislative body at least 90 days before a referendum election. The registrations and reports of political action committees and ballot question committees in a town or city that has adopted those provisions must be filed with the municipal clerk instead of the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. A town or city that votes to adopt those provisions may revoke that decision, but it must do so at least 90 days before an election subject to that subchapter.
3 Preservation and destruction of records.   A town or city with a population of less than 15,000 that has adopted the provisions of Title 21-A, chapter 13 pursuant to this section must keep the campaign reports for at least 8 years.

Sec. 11. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.

ETHICS AND ELECTION PRACTICES, COMMISSION ON GOVERNMENTAL

Governmental Ethics and Election Practices - Commission on 0414

Initiative: Provides one-time funding for programming changes to the electronic filing system.

OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS 2009-10 2010-11
All Other
$24,800 $0
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OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS TOTAL $24,800 $0

Governmental Ethics and Election Practices - Commission on 0414

Initiative: Increases the number of months worked for one Planning and Research Assistant position from 9 to 11 months.

OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS 2009-10 2010-11
All Other
$8,325 $0
inline graphic sline.gif inline graphic sline.gif
OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS TOTAL $8,325 $0

ETHICS AND ELECTION PRACTICES, COMMISSION ON GOVERNMENTAL
DEPARTMENT TOTALS 2009-10 2010-11
OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS
$33,125 $0
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DEPARTMENT TOTAL - ALL FUNDS $33,125 $0

Sec. 12. Effective date. This Act takes effect August 1, 2011.

Effective August 1, 2011.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333