ASSEMBLY, No. 3009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 7, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  AMY H. HANDLIN

District 13 (Monmouth)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires candidates keep detailed records of how campaign funds are spent for the ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the keeping of records of expenditures by candidates for public office, and amending P.L.1993, c.65.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 17 of P.L.1993, c.65 (C.19:44A-11.2) is amended to read as follows:

     17.  a. All contributions received by a candidate, candidate committee, a joint candidates committee or a legislative leadership committee shall be used only for the following purposes:

     (1)   the payment of campaign expenses;

     (2)   contributions to any charitable organization described in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended or modified, or nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, except any charitable organization of which the candidate or a member of the candidate's immediate family is a paid officer, director or employee or receives compensation for goods or services provided to the organization;

     (3)   transmittal to another candidate, candidate committee, or joint candidates committee, or to a political committee, continuing political committee, legislative leadership committee or political party committee, for the lawful use by such other candidate or committee;

     (4)   the payment of the overhead and administrative expenses related to the operation of the candidate committee or joint candidates committee of a candidate or a legislative leadership committee;

     (5)   the pro rata repayment of contributors; or

     (6)   the payment of ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office.

     As used in this subsection, "campaign expenses" means any expense incurred or expenditure made by a candidate, candidate committee, joint candidates committee or legislative leadership committee for the purpose of paying for or leasing items or services used in connection with an election campaign, other than those items or services which may reasonably be considered to be for the personal use of the candidate, any person associated with the candidate or any of the members of a legislative leadership committee; and "member of the candidate's immediate family" means the candidate's spouse, child, parent, or sibling, and the child, parent, or sibling of the candidate's spouse.

     b.    No contribution received by a candidate or by the candidate committee or joint candidates committee of a candidate may be used for the payment of the expenses arising from the furnishing, staffing or operation of an office used in connection with that person's official duties as an elected public official.

     c.     Any funds remaining in the campaign depository of a candidate's candidate committee or joint candidates committee upon the death of the candidate shall be used only for one or more of the purposes established in subsection a. of this section by the committee's organizational treasurer or deputy treasurer or whoever has control of the depository upon the death of the candidate.

     d.    Each candidate, committee or joint candidates committee that makes an expenditure, directly or indirectly, of campaign contributions to pay the cost of ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office, including but not limited to meals, meetings and other similar events, shall keep detailed records that: (1) include the name and mailing address of each person who attended each such event; (2) provide the time, date and location where the event was held; (3) describe the items that were purchased or leased as part of the event; and (4) explain why the event is considered by the candidate to be an ordinary and necessary expense of holding public office.  Such records shall not be included with the campaign reports required to be filed with the commission pursuant to P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-1 et seq.), but shall instead be made readily available to the commission if or when it asks that the record be produced as part of any investigation it may be conducting.  While in the possession of an elected official, any record required to be kept pursuant to this section shall not be a government record, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1), and shall not be available for public inspection, copying or the purchase of copies.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.202, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on January 1 following the day of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     The purpose of this bill is to require candidates to keep detailed records of how they spend campaign funds for the ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office.

     Specifically, the bill requires each candidate, committee or joint candidates committee that makes an expenditure, directly or indirectly, of campaign contributions to pay the cost of ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office, including but not limited to meals, meetings and other similar events, must keep detailed records that: 1) include the name and mailing address of each person who attended each such event; 2) provide the time, date and location where the event was held; 3) describe the items that were purchased or leased as part of the event; and 4) explain why the event is considered by the candidate to be an ordinary and necessary expense of holding public office.  Such records would not be included with the campaign reports required to be filed with the commission pursuant to P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-1 et seq.), but shall instead be made readily available to the commission if or when it asks that the record be produced as part of any investigation it may be conducting.  While in the possession of an elected official, any record required to be kept by this bill would not be a government record, as defined in current law, and would not be available for public inspection, copying or the purchase of copies.