Bill Text: TX SB1980 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to political contributions and political expenditures made to or by political committees or other persons.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-19 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB1980 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB1980-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Hughes S.B. No. 1980
 
  (Leach, Klick, Israel, Moody, Burrows, et al.)
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to political contributions and political expenditures
  made to or by political committees or other persons.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 251.001, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subdivisions (8) and (12) and adding Subdivision (21) to
  read as follows:
               (8)  "Direct campaign expenditure" means a campaign
  expenditure that does not constitute a campaign contribution by the
  person making the expenditure. A campaign expenditure does not
  constitute a contribution by the person making the expenditure to a
  candidate or officeholder if the expenditure is made without the
  prior consent or approval of the candidate or officeholder on whose
  behalf the expenditure is made.  A campaign expenditure made in
  connection with a measure does not constitute a contribution by the
  person making the expenditure if it is not made as a political
  contribution to a political committee supporting or opposing the
  measure.
               (12)  "Political committee" means two or more [a group
  of] persons acting in concert with [that has as] a principal purpose
  of accepting political contributions or making political
  expenditures.  The term does not include a group composed
  exclusively of two or more individual filers or political
  committees required to file reports under this title who make
  reportable expenditures for a joint activity.
               (21)  "In-kind contribution" means a contribution of
  goods, services, or any other thing of value that is not money, and
  includes an agreement made or other obligation incurred, whether
  legally enforceable or not, to make the contribution. The term does
  not include a direct campaign expenditure.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter A, Chapter 251, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 251.0015 and 251.0016 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 251.0015.  COMMUNICATION WITH CANDIDATE. For purposes
  of Section 251.001(8), communication between a person and a
  candidate, officeholder, or candidate's or officeholder's agent is
  not evidence that the person obtained the candidate's or
  officeholder's consent or approval for a campaign expenditure made
  after the communication by the person on behalf of the candidate or
  officeholder unless the communication establishes that:
               (1)  the expenditure is incurred at the request or
  suggestion of the candidate, officeholder, or candidate's or
  officeholder's agent;
               (2)  the candidate, officeholder, or candidate's or
  officeholder's agent is materially involved in decisions regarding
  the creation, production, or distribution of a campaign
  communication related to the expenditure; or
               (3)  the candidate, officeholder, or candidate's or
  officeholder's agent shares information about the candidate's or
  officeholder's plans or needs that is:
                     (A)  material to the creation, production, or
  distribution of a campaign communication related to the
  expenditure; and
                     (B)  not available to the public.
         Sec. 251.0016.  COMMON VENDOR. A person using the same
  vendor as a candidate, officeholder, or political committee
  established or controlled by a candidate or officeholder is not
  acting in concert with the candidate, officeholder, or committee to
  make a campaign expenditure unless the person makes the expenditure
  using information from the vendor about the campaign plans or needs
  of the candidate, officeholder, or committee that is:
               (1)  material to the expenditure; and
               (2)  not available to the public.
         SECTION 3.  Section 252.003, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  In addition to the information required by Section
  252.002, a campaign treasurer appointment by a general-purpose
  committee must include:
               (1)  the full name, and any acronym of the name that
  will be used in the name of the committee as provided by Subsection
  (d), of each corporation, labor organization, or other association
  or legal entity that directly establishes, administers, or controls
  the committee, if applicable, or the name of each person who
  determines to whom the committee makes contributions or the name of
  each person who determines for what purposes the committee makes
  expenditures;
               (2)  the full name and address of each general-purpose
  committee to whom the committee intends to make political
  contributions; [and]
               (3)  the name of the committee and, if the name is an
  acronym, the words the acronym represents; and
               (4)  before the committee may use a political
  contribution from a corporation or a labor organization to make a
  direct campaign expenditure in connection with a campaign for an
  elective office, an affidavit stating that:
                     (A)  the committee is not established or
  controlled by a candidate or an officeholder; and
                     (B)  the committee will not use any political
  contribution from a corporation or a labor organization to make a
  political contribution to:
                           (i)  a candidate for elective office;
                           (ii)  an officeholder; or
                           (iii)  a political committee that has not
  filed an affidavit under this subdivision or Section
  252.0031(a)(2).
         (a-1)  Filing an affidavit under Subsection (a)(4) does not
  create any additional reporting requirements under Section
  254.261.
         SECTION 4.  Section 252.0031, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (a-1) and (a-2) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the information required by Section
  252.002, a campaign treasurer appointment by a specific-purpose
  committee for supporting or opposing a candidate for an office
  specified by Section 252.005(1) must include:
               (1)  the name of and the office sought by the candidate;
  and
               (2)  before the committee may use a political
  contribution from a corporation or a labor organization to make a
  direct campaign expenditure in connection with a campaign for an
  elective office, an affidavit stating that:
                     (A)  the committee is not established or
  controlled by a candidate or an officeholder; and
                     (B)  the committee will not use any political
  contribution from a corporation or a labor organization to make a
  political contribution to:
                           (i)  a candidate for elective office;
                           (ii)  an officeholder; or
                           (iii)  a political committee that has not
  filed an affidavit under this subdivision or Section 252.003(a)(4).
         (a-1)  If the [that] information required to be provided
  under Subsection (a) changes, the committee shall immediately file
  an amended appointment reflecting the change.
         (a-2)  Filing an affidavit under Subsection (a)(2) does not
  create any additional reporting requirements under Section
  254.261.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter D, Chapter 253, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 253.097 to read as follows:
         Sec. 253.097.  CONTRIBUTION FROM CORPORATION OR LABOR
  ORGANIZATION. A corporation or labor organization may make
  campaign contributions from its own property to a political
  committee that has filed an affidavit with the committee's campaign
  treasurer appointment in accordance with Section 252.003(a)(4) or
  252.0031(a)(2).
         SECTION 6.  Sections 253.100(a) and (e), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A corporation, acting alone or with one or more other
  corporations, may make one or more political expenditures to
  finance the establishment or administration of a general-purpose
  committee.  In addition to any other expenditure that is considered
  permissible under this section, a corporation may make an
  expenditure for the maintenance and operation of a general-purpose
  committee, including an expenditure for:
               (1)  office space maintenance and repairs;
               (2)  telephone and Internet services;
               (3)  office equipment;
               (4)  utilities;
               (5)  general office and meeting supplies;
               (6)  salaries for routine clerical, data entry, and
  administrative assistance necessary for the proper administrative
  operation of the committee;
               (7)  legal and accounting fees for the committee's
  compliance with this title;
               (8)  routine administrative expenses incurred in
  establishing and administering a general-purpose political
  committee;
               (9)  management and supervision of the committee,
  including expenses incurred in holding meetings of the committee's
  governing body to interview candidates and make endorsements
  relating to the committee's support;
               (10)  the recording of committee decisions;
               (11)  expenses incurred in hosting candidate forums in
  which all candidates for a particular office in an election are
  invited to participate on the same terms; [or]
               (12)  expenses incurred in preparing and delivering
  committee contributions; or
               (13)  creation and maintenance of the committee's
  public Internet web pages that do not contain political
  advertising.
         (e)  Subsection (d) does not apply to a corporation or labor
  organization making a campaign contribution to a political
  committee under Section 253.097 or an expenditure to communicate
  with its stockholders or members, as applicable, or with the
  families of its stockholders or members as provided by Section
  253.098.
         SECTION 7.  Section 253.101, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  Subsection (a) does not prohibit a political
  committee from making a political contribution or political
  expenditure wholly or partly from a campaign contribution made by a
  corporation or labor organization to the political committee under
  Section 253.096 or 253.097.
         SECTION 8.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.  
  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.  For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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