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Redistricting affects campaign finance reporting, too

Candidates who’ve been redistricted out of their old districts have more to worry about than whether they’ll run again, and how they can meet the new constituents: they’ve also got to comply with campaign finance regulations.

The state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board says some candidates may have to make adjustments and transfer campaign funds from one registered committee to another.

So the board created a Redistricting Bulletin [PDF] to help candidates maneuver through the tricky and somewhat arcane legal paths.

For example:

My legislative district number changed; do I need to amend my committee registration?

Yes.  The registration for a principal campaign committee includes the senate or house district number.  In addition, many candidates have incorporated the district number into the committee’s name; “Citizens to Elect John Doe in 34B” for instance. The committee’s legislative district designation and, if appropriate, the committee name will require amendment if the legislative district number has changed.   

May a candidate transfer the funds from an existing principal campaign committee to a new campaign committee for another office?  

Yes, but there are some restrictions. If the candidate is the same for both committees there is no limit to the amount of money that may be transferred from a house committee to a senate committee (or vise versa). However, the transfer of money may not occur until after the legislative session is over.  The candidate may have both a house committee and a senate committee registered at the same time. But after the money is moved the contributing committee must be terminated within twelve months of the date the funds were transferred.  

If a candidate decides not to run for election in 2012 and wishes to close out their committee how may the funds in the committee be disbursed?

There are a number of ways that committee funds may be used if the committee is being terminated.

  • The committee may contribute to another state level candidate, but the committee must wait until after the legislative session is over before making the contribution.  There is a financial penalty for making a contribution to another candidate during a legislative session. The contribution to another state candidate is counted against the maximum political party limit of the candidate receiving the contribution. The most that a state senate or state house candidate may accept during 2012 from all political party units and terminating candidate committees combined is $5,000.
  •   The committee may contribute in any amount to the House or Senate Caucus, but a terminating committee must wait until after the legislative session is over before making the contribution.  There is a financial penalty for a terminating committee that makes a contribution to a legislative caucus during session.
  •  The committee may contribute to any party unit other than a legislative caucus at any time and in any amount. 
  •  The committee may not contribute to a federal candidate committee or a local office committee at any time.
  • A terminating committee may use funds to contribute in any amount to a 501(c) (3) charity. 

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