HB705: Campaign finance; campaign fundraising prohibited during certain periods.

HOUSE BILL NO. 705

Offered January 13, 2016
Prefiled January 11, 2016
A BILL to amend and reenact § 24.2-954 of the Code of Virginia, relating to campaign finance; campaign fundraising prohibited during certain periods.
Patron-- McClellan

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 24.2-954 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 24.2-954. Campaign fundraising; legislative sessions; penalties.

A. No member of the General Assembly or statewide official and no campaign committee of a member of the General Assembly or statewide official shall solicit or accept a contribution for the campaign committee of any member of the General Assembly or statewide official, or for any political committee, from any person or political committee on and after the first day of a regular session of the General Assembly through adjournment sine die of that session.

1. The Governor and his campaign committee shall also be subject to the provisions of this subsection during the three weeks immediately following adjournment sine die of a regular session of the General Assembly.

2. A member of the General Assembly and his campaign committee shall also be subject to the provisions of this subsection during the two weeks immediately preceding and through adjournment sine die of the reconvened session.

B. No person or political committee shall make or promise to make a contribution to (i) a member of the General Assembly or statewide official or his campaign committee on and after the first day of a regular session of the General Assembly through adjournment sine die of that session, (ii) the Governor or his campaign committee during the three weeks immediately following adjournment sine die of a regular session, or (iii) a member of the General Assembly or his campaign committee during the two weeks immediately preceding and through adjournment sine die of the reconvened session.

C. The restrictions of this section shall not apply to a contribution (i) made by a member of the General Assembly or statewide official from his personal funds or (ii) made to the campaign committee of a candidate in a special election.

D. As used in this section:

"Adjournment sine die" means adjournment on the last legislative day of the regular or reconvened session, and such. A regular session does not include the ensuing reconvened session;

"Campaign committee," "contribution," "person," and "political committee" shall be defined as provided in § 24.2-945.1 except that "contribution" shall not include money, services, or things of value in any way provided by a candidate to his own campaign and the payment by the candidate of any primary filing fee;

"Solicit" means request a contribution, orally or in writing, but shall not include a request for support of a candidate or his position on an issue; and

"Statewide official" means the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.

E. Any person who violates, or aids, abets, or participates in the violation of, this section shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to the amount of the prohibited contribution or promised contribution or $500, whichever amount is greater. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall initiate civil proceedings to enforce the civil penalty provided herein. Any civil penalties collected shall be payable to the State Treasurer for deposit to the general fund.