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PRINTER'S NO. 285
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
290
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY LEACH, FEBRUARY 6, 2017
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, FEBRUARY 6, 2017
AN ACT
Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled
"An act concerning elections, including general, municipal,
special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates,
primary and election expenses and election contests; creating
and defining membership of county boards of elections;
imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners;
imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying,
revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and
repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to
elections," providing for alternative campaign financing
option, administration and requirement; establishing the
Clean Election Fund; providing for terms of participation,
for the power of Department of State to adopt rules and for
study report; imposing duties on the Department of State and
a duty on the Department of Revenue; and imposing penalties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known
as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by adding an
article to read:
ARTICLE XVI-A
CLEAN ELECTIONS
Section 1601-A. Scope of article.
This article relates to clean elections.
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Section 1602-A. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Certified candidate." A candidate running for Governor,
Senator, Representative, Auditor General, Attorney General or
State Treasurer who chooses to participate in this article and
who is certified under section 1605-A(g).
"Contribution." As defined in 4 Pa. Code § 172.1 (relating
to definitions).
"Department." The Department of State of the Commonwealth.
"Fund." The Clean Election Fund established in section 1604-
A(a).
"Immediate family." A person's spouse, parent, grandparent,
child, grandchild, sister, half-sister, brother, half-brother,
stepparent, stepgrandparent, stepchild, stepgrandchild,
stepsister, stepbrother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-
in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, guardian,
former guardian, domestic partner, the half-brother or half-
sister of a person's spouse or the spouse of a person's half-
brother or half-sister.
"Nonparticipating candidate." A candidate running for
Governor, Senator, Representative, Auditor General, Attorney
General or State Treasurer who does not choose to participate in
this article and who is not seeking to be a certified candidate
under section 1605-A(g) .
"Participating candidate." A candidate who is running for
Governor, Senator, Representative, Auditor General, Attorney
General or State Treasurer who is seeking to be a certified
candidate under section 1605-A(g) .
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"Qualifying contribution." A donation:
(1) Of $5 or more in the form of a check or money order
payable to the fund and signed by the contributor in support
of a candidate or made over the Internet in support of a
candidate according to the procedure established by the
department.
(2) Made by a person registered to vote within the
electoral boundaries of the office a candidate is seeking and
whose voter registration has been verified according to
procedures established by the department.
(3) Made during the designated qualifying period.
(4) That the contributor, on forms provided by the
department, acknowledges was made with the contributor's
personal money and in support of the candidate and was not
given in exchange for anything of value and that the
candidate acknowledges was obtained with the candidate's
knowledge and approval and that nothing of value was given in
exchange for the contribution.
"Qualifying period." Any of the following:
(1) For a participating candidate for the office of
Governor, Auditor General, Attorney General or State
Treasurer, the period beginning October 15 immediately
preceding the election year and ending at 5 p.m. on April 1
of the election year.
(2) For a participating candidate for the Senate or
House of Representatives, the period beginning January 1 of
the election year and ending at 5 p.m. on April 20 of that
election year or the next business day following April 20 if
the department is closed on April 20.
"Seed money contribution." A contribution of no more than
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$100 per individual made to a participating candidate, including
the candidate or the candidate's spouse or domestic partner.
Section 1603-A. Alternative campaign financing option,
administration and requirement.
(a) Option.--This article establishes an alternative
campaign financing option available to candidates for Governor,
Senator, Representative, Auditor General, Attorney General and
State Treasurer. The alternative campaign financing option is
available to candidates for elections to be held beginning in
the year 2017.
(b) Administration.--
(1) The department shall administer this article.
(2) The Department of Revenue shall administer the fund.
(3) Participating candidates shall comply with other
applicable election and campaign laws and regulations.
Section 1604-A. Clean Election Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The Clean Election Fund is established
in the State Treasury. The fund shall:
(1) Finance the election campaigns of certified
candidates for Governor, Senator, Representative, Auditor
General, Attorney General and State Treasurer.
(2) Pay administrative and enforcement costs of the
department related to this article.
(b) Interest.--Interest generated by the fund is credited to
the fund.
(c) Determination of fund amount.--If the department
determines that the fund will not have sufficient money to cover
the likely demand for expenditures from the fund in an upcoming
election, the department shall provide a report of its
projections of the balances in the fund to the General Assembly
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and the Governor by January 1. The department may submit
legislation to request additional money or an advance on money
to be transferred.
Section 1605-A. Terms of participation.
(a) Declaration of intent.--A participating candidate shall
file a declaration of intent to seek status as a certified
candidate and to comply with the requirements of this article.
The declaration of intent shall be filed with the department
prior to or during the qualifying period, except as provided in
subsection (q), according to forms and procedures developed by
the department. A participating candidate shall submit a
declaration of intent within five business days of collecting
qualifying contributions under this article. Qualifying
contributions collected before the declaration of intent has
been filed will not be counted toward the eligibility
requirement in subsection (e).
(b) Contribution limits for participating candidates.--
(1) Subsequent to becoming a candidate and prior to
certification, a participating candidate may not accept
contributions, except for seed money contributions and
qualifying contributions. A participating candidate shall
limit the candidate's total seed money contributions to the
following amounts:
(i) $200,000 for a candidate for Governor;
(ii) $25,000 for a candidate for the Senate;
(iii) $10,000 for a candidate for the House of
Representatives;
(iv) $200,000 for a candidate for Auditor General;
(v) $200,000 for a candidate for Attorney General;
or
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(vi) $200,000 for a candidate for State Treasurer.
(2) The department may, by rule, revise the amounts
under paragraph (1) to ensure the effective implementation of
this article.
(c) Seed money restrictions.--To be eligible for
certification, a participating candidate may collect and spend
only seed money contributions subsequent to becoming a candidate
and prior to certification. A participating candidate may not
solicit, accept or collect seed money contributions after
becoming a certified candidate. The following apply:
(1) Goods and services received prior to certification
shall be paid for with seed money contributions, except for
goods and services that are not a contribution. It is a
violation of this article for a participating candidate to
use money from the fund received after certification to pay
for goods and services received prior to certification.
(2) Prior to certification, a participating candidate
may obligate an amount greater than the seed money collected,
but may only receive that portion of goods and services that
has been paid for or will be paid for with seed money. A
participating candidate who accepted contributions or made
expenditures that do not comply with the seed money
restrictions under this article may petition the department
to remain eligible for certification in accordance with
department rules adopted under this article, if the failure
to comply was unintentional and does not constitute a
significant infraction of these restrictions.
(3) Upon requesting certification, a participating
candidate shall file a report of seed money contributions and
expenditures. If the candidate is certified, unspent seed
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money shall be deducted from the amount distributed to the
candidate as provided in subsection (o).
(d) Seed money required for documentation.--
(1) For seed money contributions that a candidate
collects, the candidate shall obtain the contributor's name,
residence address, mailing address, telephone number if
provided by the contributor and other information required
for reporting under this article. For these contributions,
the candidate shall submit to the department during the
qualifying period:
(i) A contribution acknowledgment form, as
determined by the department, to be completed by each
person that contributes seed money, that includes the
name, residence address, mailing address, optional
telephone number and signature of the person making the
seed money contribution acknowledging that the
contribution was made with the person's personal money
and will not be reimbursed by any source.
(ii) A list of the seed money contributions in a
format determined by the department that includes the
name and mailing address of the contributor.
(iii) For seed money contributions received by check
or money order, photocopies of the check or money order.
(iv) For seed money contributions received by debit
or credit card, a bank or merchant account statement that
contains the cardholder's name and that otherwise meets
the requirements specified by the department.
(2) The department may permit the submission of an
online or electronic acknowledgment form as required by
paragraph (1)(i) for seed money contributions made via the
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Internet.
(3) The telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and bank
account and credit card information of contributors that
candidates submit to the department under this subsection are
confidential, except that the department may disclose this
information in a final audit or investigation report or
determination if the information or record is materially
relevant to a finding of fact or violation.
(e) Qualifying contributions.--
(1) A participating candidate shall obtain qualifying
contributions during the qualifying period as follows:
(i) For a candidate for Governor, at least 3,250
verified registered voters of this Commonwealth must
support the candidacy by providing a qualifying
contribution to the candidate.
(ii) For a candidate for the Senate, at least 175
verified registered voters from the candidate's electoral
district must support the candidacy by providing a
qualifying contribution to the candidate.
(iii) For a candidate for the House of
Representatives, at least 60 verified registered voters
from the candidate's electoral district must support the
candidacy by providing a qualifying contribution to the
candidate.
(iv) For a candidate for Auditor General, Attorney
General or State Treasurer, at least 1,000 verified
registered voters of this Commonwealth must support the
candidacy by providing a qualifying contribution to the
candidate.
(2) A payment, gift or anything of value may not be
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given in exchange for a qualifying contribution.
(3) The following shall apply regarding money orders:
(i) A candidate may pay the fee for a money order
that is a qualifying contribution as long as the donor
making the qualifying contribution pays the amount of the
qualifying contribution reflected on the money order.
(ii) Money order fees paid by a participating
candidate shall be paid for with seed money and reported
in accordance with department rules adopted under this
article.
(iii) A money order shall be signed by the
contributor to be a valid qualifying contribution.
(4) The department may establish by routine technical
rule a procedure for a qualifying contribution to be made by
a credit or debit transaction and by electronic funds
transfer over the Internet.
(5) Records containing information provided by
individuals who have made qualifying contributions over the
Internet are confidential, except for:
(i) The name of the individual making the
contribution.
(ii) The date of the contribution.
(iii) The individual's residential address.
(iv) The name and office sought by the candidate in
whose support the contribution was made.
(6) It is a violation of this article for a participating
candidate or an agent of the participating candidate to
misrepresent the purpose of soliciting qualifying
contributions and obtaining the contributor's signed
acknowledgment.
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(f) Filing with the department.--A participating candidate
shall submit qualifying contributions, receipt and
acknowledgment forms, proof of verification of voter
registration and a seed money report to the department during
the qualifying period according to procedures developed by the
department, except as provided under subsection (q).
(g) Certification of candidates.--
(1) Upon receipt of a final submittal of qualifying
contributions by a participating candidate, the department
shall determine whether the candidate has:
(i) Signed and filed a declaration of intent to
participate under this article.
(ii) Submitted the appropriate number of valid
qualifying contributions.
(iii) Qualified as a candidate by petition or other
means.
(iv) Not accepted contributions, except for seed
money contributions, and otherwise complied with seed
money restrictions.
(v) Not run for the same office as a
nonparticipating candidate in a primary election in the
same election year.
(vi) Not been found to have made a material false
statement in a report or other document submitted to the
department.
(vii) Not otherwise substantially violated the
provisions of this article or 4 Pa. Code Ch. 177
(relating to reports by candidates, political committees
and other persons).
(viii) Not failed to pay a civil penalty assessed by
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the department under this act, except that a candidate
has three business days from the date of the request for
certification to pay the outstanding penalty and remain
eligible for certification.
(ix) Otherwise met the requirements for
participation under this article.
(2) The department shall certify a candidate complying
with the requirements of this section as soon as possible
after final submittal of qualifying contributions and other
supporting documents required under subsection (f), but no
later than three business days for a candidate for the Senate
or House of Representatives and five business days for a
candidate for Governor. The department may take additional
time if further investigation is necessary to verify
compliance with this article as long as it notifies the
candidate regarding the anticipated schedule for conclusion
of the investigation.
(3) A certified candidate shall comply with the
requirements of this article after certification and
throughout the primary and general election periods. Failure
to do so is a violation of this article.
(h) Revocation of certification.--
(1) The certification of a participating candidate may
be revoked if the department determines that the candidate or
an agent of the candidate:
(i) did not submit the required number of valid
qualifying contributions;
(ii) failed to qualify as a candidate by petition or
other means;
(iii) submitted fraudulent qualifying contributions
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or qualifying contributions that were not made by the
named contributor;
(iv) misrepresented to a contributor the purpose of
the qualifying contribution or obtaining the
contributor's signature on the receipt and acknowledgment
form;
(v) failed to fully comply with the seed money
restrictions;
(vi) knowingly accepted contributions, including in-
kind contributions, or used money other than money from
the fund distributed under this article to make campaign-
related expenditures without the permission of the
department;
(vii) knowingly made a false statement or material
misrepresentation in a report or other document required
to be filed under this articl e or 4 Pa. Code Ch. 177;
(viii) otherwise substantially violated the
provisions of this articl e or 4 Pa. Code Ch. 177 ; or
(ix) failed to properly report seed money
contributions as required for a candidate for Governor
under this section.
(2) The determination to revoke the certification of a
candidate shall be made by the department after it has given
the candidate notice and opportunity for a hearing.
(3) A candidate whose certification is revoked shall
return the unspent money to the department within three days
of the department's decision and may be required to return
the money distributed to the candidate.
(4) In addition to the requirement to return money, the
candidate may be subject to a civil penalty under section
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1607 - A.
(5) The candidate may appeal the department's decision
to revoke certification in the same manner provided in
subsection (w)(3).
(i) Restrictions on serving as treasurer.--A certified
candidate may not serve as a treasurer or deputy treasurer for
the candidate's campaign.
(j) Restrictions on contributions and expenditures for
certified candidates.--
(1) After certification, a candidate shall limit
campaign expenditures and obligations, including outstanding
obligations, to the money distributed to the candidate from
the fund and may not accept contributions unless specifically
authorized by the department. Candidates may also accept and
spend interest earned on money from the fund in campaign bank
accounts.
(2) Money distributed to a certified candidate from the
fund shall be used for campaign-related purposes. The
candidate, the treasurer, the candidate's committee
authorized under 4 Pa. Code Ch. 176 (relating to registration
and organization of political committees) or any agent of the
candidate and committee may not use the money for anything
but campaign-related purposes.
(3) A television advertisement purchased with the money
shall be closed-captioned when closed-captioning is available
from the broadcasting station that will broadcast the
advertisement.
(4) The department shall publish guidelines outlining
permissible campaign-related expenditures.
(k) Assisting a person to become an opponent.--A candidate
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or an individual who later becomes a candidate and who is
seeking certification under subsection (g), or an agent of that
candidate, may not assist another individual in qualifying as a
candidate for the same office if the candidacy would result in
the distribution of money under subsections (m) and (o) for
certified candidates in a contested election.
(l) Expenditures to the candidate or family or household
members.--
(1) Expenditures to the candidate or immediate family
member or household member of the candidate are governed as
follows:
(i) The candidate may not use money from the fund to
compensate the candidate or a sole proprietorship of the
candidate for campaign-related services.
(ii) A candidate may not make expenditures using
money from the fund to pay a member of the candidate's
immediate family or household, a business entity in which
the candidate or a member of the candidate's immediate
family or household holds a significant proprietary or
financial interest or a nonprofit entity in which the
candidate or a member of the candidate's immediate family
or household is a director, officer, executive director
or chief financial officer, unless the expenditure is
made:
(A) For a legitimate campaign-related purpose.
(B) To an individual or business that provides
the goods or services being purchased in the normal
course of the individual's occupation or business.
(C) In an amount that is reasonable taking into
consideration current market value and other factors
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the department may choose to consider.
(2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(ii), the term
"business entity" means a corporation, limited liability
company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership
or general partnership.
(3) If a candidate uses money from the fund for an
expenditure covered by paragraph (2), the candidate shall
submit evidence demonstrating that the expenditure complies
with the requirements of paragraph (2) if requested by the
department.
(4) This subsection does not prohibit reimbursement to
the candidate or a member of a candidate's household or
immediate family when made in accordance with this article
and department rules adopted under this article.
(m) Timing of distribution.--The department shall distribute
to certified candidates money from the fund in amounts
determined under subsection (o) in the following manner:
(1) Within three days after certification, for
candidates certified prior to the day of the election cycle
that the department designates as the first day to circulate
nominating petitions of the election year, money from the
fund shall be distributed as if the candidates are in an
uncontested primary election.
(2) For candidates in contested primary elections
receiving a distribution under paragraph (1), additional
money from the fund shall be distributed within three days of
the day of the election cycle that the department designates
as the first day to circulate nominating petitions of the
election year.
(3) No later than three days after the primary election
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results are certified, for certified candidates for the
general election, money from the fund shall be distributed
according to whether the candidate is in a contested or
uncontested general election.
(4) Money may be distributed to certified candidates
under this section by a mechanism that is expeditious,
ensures accountability and safeguards the integrity of the
fund.
(n) Deposit into account.--The candidate or committee
authorized under 4 Pa. Code Ch. 176 shall deposit the money from
the fund and the seed money contributions in a campaign account
with a bank or other financial institution. The campaign funds
shall be segregated from, and may not be commingled with, any
other money.
(o) Amount of distribution.--
(1) The department shall distribute the following
amounts from the fund to a certified candidate to finance the
candidate's election campaign:
(i) For a candidate for Governor, $100,000 for the
primary election and $400,000 for the general election.
(ii) For a candidate for the Senate, $50,000 for the
primary election and $150,000 for the general election.
(iii) For a candidate for the House of
Representatives, $20,000 for the primary election and
$60,000 for the general election.
(iv) For a candidate for Auditor General, Attorney
General or State Treasurer, $100,000 for the primary
election and $400,000 for the general election.
(2) A candidate in a primary or general election that is
not contested shall have the amounts in this subsection
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reduced by 75%.
(3) The department shall have the authority to adjust
the amounts provided in this subsection as needed.
(p) Candidate not enrolled in a party.--
(1) An unenrolled candidate for the General Assembly who
submits the required number of qualifying contributions and
other required documents under subsection (f) by 5 p.m. on
April 15 preceding the primary election, and who is
certified, is eligible for money from the fund in the same
amounts and at the same time as an uncontested primary
election candidate and a general election candidate as
specified in subsections (m) and (o). Otherwise, an
unenrolled candidate for the General Assembly shall submit
the required number of qualifying contributions and the other
required documents under subsection (f) by 5 p.m. on June 2
preceding the general election.
(2) If certified, the candidate is eligible for money
from the fund in the same amounts as a general election
candidate as specified in subsection (o).
(3) Money for the general election shall be distributed
to the candidate no later than three days after
certification.
(4) An unenrolled candidate for Governor who submits the
required number of qualifying contributions and other
required documents under subsections (d) and (f) by 5 p.m. on
April 1 preceding the primary election, and who is certified,
is eligible for money from the fund in the same amounts and
at the same time as a candidate for Governor in an
uncontested primary election and a candidate for Governor in
a general election as specified in subsections (m) and (o).
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(5) Money for the general election shall be distributed
to the candidate for Governor no later than three days after
the primary election results are certified.
(q) Other procedures.--The department shall establish by
rule procedures for qualification, certification, disbursement
of money from the fund and return of unspent money from the fund
for races involving special elections, recounts, vacancies,
withdrawals or replacement candidates.
(r) Reporting and unspent money.--
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
participating and certified candidates shall report money
collected, campaign expenditures, obligations and related
activities to the department according to procedures
developed by the department.
(2) If a certified candidate pays money from the fund to
a member of the candidate's immediate family or household or
a business or nonprofit entity affiliated with a member of
the candidate's immediate family or household, the candidate
shall disclose the candidate's relationship to the payee in a
manner prescribed by the department.
(3) Upon the filing of a final report for a primary
election in which the candidate was defeated and for general
elections that candidate shall return unspent money from the
fund to the department.
(4) In developing the procedures under this subsection,
the department shall utilize existing campaign reporting
procedures whenever practicable.
(5) The department shall ensure timely public access to
campaign finance data and may utilize electronic means of
reporting and storing information.
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(s) Required records.--
(1) The treasurer of a campaign shall obtain and keep:
(i) Bank or other account statements for the
campaign account covering the duration of the campaign.
(ii) A vendor invoice stating the particular goods
or services purchased for every expenditure of $50 or
more.
(iii) A record proving that a vendor received
payment for every expenditure of $50 or more in the form
of a canceled check, cash receipt from the vendor or bank
or credit card statement identifying the vendor as the
payee.
(iv) A document such as an invoice, contract or time
sheet that specifies in detail the services provided by a
vendor who was paid $500 or more for the election cycle
for providing campaign staff or consulting services to a
candidate.
(2) The treasurer of a campaign shall preserve the
records for three years following the candidate's final
campaign finance report for the election cycle.
(3) The candidate and treasurer shall submit photocopies
of the records to the department upon its request.
(t) Audit requirements for candidates for Governor.--
(1) The department shall audit the campaigns of
candidates for Governor who receive money under this article
to verify compliance with election and campaign laws and
rules.
(2) Within one month of declaring an intention to
qualify for public financing, a candidate for Governor, the
campaign's treasurer and other relevant campaign staff shall
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meet with the staff of the department to discuss audit
standards, expenditure guidelines and recordkeeping
requirements.
(u) Payments to political committees.--If a certified
candidate makes a payment of money from the fund to a political
action committee or party committee, the candidate shall include
in reports required under this section a detailed explanation of
the goods or services purchased according to forms and
procedures developed by the department that is sufficient to
demonstrate that the payment was made solely to promote the
candidate's election.
(v) Distributions not to exceed amount in fund.--
(1) The department may not distribute money to certified
candidates in excess of the total amount of money deposited
in the fund as set forth in section 1604-A.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this
article, if the department determines that the money in the
fund is insufficient to meet distributions under subsection
(o) or (p), the department may permit certified candidates to
accept and spend contributions, reduced by seed money
contributions, aggregating no more than the following up to
the applicable amounts set forth in subsection (o) or (p)
according to department rules adopted under this article:
(i) $5,000 per donor per election for a candidate
for Governor;
(ii) $1,000 per donor per election for a candidate
for the Senate and House of Representatives; or
(iii) $5,000 per donor per election for a candidate
for Auditor General, Attorney General or State Treasurer.
(w) Appeals.--A candidate who has not been permitted to be a
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certified candidate, the opponent of a candidate who is a
certified candidate or other interested persons may challenge a
certification decision by the department as follows:
(1) A challenger may appeal to the department within
seven days of the certification decision. The appeal shall be
in writing and set forth the reasons for the appeal.
(2) Within five days after an appeal is properly made
and after notice is given to the challenger and any opponent,
the department shall hold a hearing, except that the
department may extend this period upon agreement of the
challenger and the candidate whose certification is the
subject of the appeal, or in response to the request of
either party upon showing good cause. The appellant has the
burden of proving that the certification decision was in
error as a matter of law or was based on factual error. The
department shall rule on the appeal within five business days
after the completion of the hearing.
(3) A challenger may appeal the decision of the
department in paragraph (2) by commencing an action in
Commonwealth Court within five days of the date of the
department's decision. The action shall be conducted in
accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. § 763 (relating to direct appeals
from government agencies), except that the court shall issue
its written decision within 20 days of the date of the
department's decision. An aggrieved party may appeal the
decision of Commonwealth Court by filing a notice of appeal
within three days of the decision. The record on appeal shall
be transmitted to the Supreme Court within three days after
the notice of appeal is filed. After filing the notice of
appeal, the parties have four days to file briefs and
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appendices with the prothonotary of the Supreme Court. The
Supreme Court shall consider the case as soon as possible
after the record and briefs have been filed and shall issue
its decision within 14 days of the decision of Commonwealth
Court.
(4) A certified candidate whose certification is
reversed on appeal shall return to the department unspent
money distributed from the fund. If the department or court
finds that an appeal was made frivolously or to cause delay
or hardship, the department or court may require the moving
party to pay costs of the department, court and opposing
parties, if any.
Section 1606-A. Department to adopt rules.
The department shall adopt rules to ensure effective
administration of this article. The rules shall include, but not
be limited to, procedures for obtaining qualifying
contributions, the certification of candidates, circumstances
involving special elections, vacancies, recounts, withdrawals or
replacements, collection of money for the fund, distribution of
money from the fund to certified candidates, return of unspent
disbursements from the fund, disposition of equipment purchased
with money from the fund and compliance with this article. Rules
of the department required by this section are major substantive
rules.
Section 1607-A. Violations.
(a) Civil fine.--
(1) In addition to other penalties that may be
applicable, a person who violates a provision of this article
or rules of the department adopted under section 1606-A is
subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 per violation
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payable to the fund.
(2) The department may assess a fine of up to $10,000
for a violation of the reporting requirements of 4 Pa. Code
Ch. 177 (relating to reports by candidates, political
committees and other persons) if it determines that the
failure to file a timely and accurate report resulted in the
late payment of matching funds.
(3) In addition to a fine, for good cause shown, a
candidate, treasurer, consultant or other agent of the
candidate or the political committee authorized by the
candidate under 4 Pa. Code Ch. 176 (relating to registration
and organization of political committees) found in violation
of this article or department rules adopted under this
article may be required to return to the fund the amounts
distributed to the candidate from the money not used for
campaign-related purposes.
(4) If the department makes a determination that a
violation of this article or department rules adopted under
this article has occurred, the department shall assess a fine
or transmit the finding to the Attorney General for
prosecution.
(5) A final determination by the department may be
appealed to Commonwealth Court in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S.
§ 763 (relating to direct appeals from government agencies).
(6) Fines paid under this section shall be deposited in
the fund.
(7) In determining whether or not a candidate is in
violation of the expenditure limits of this article, the
department may consider circumstances out of the candidate's
control as a mitigating factor.
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(b) Misdemeanor.--A person who willfully or knowingly
violates this article or department rules adopted under this
article or who willfully or knowingly makes a false statement in
a report required by this article commits a misdemeanor and
shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 or
to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. If the
candidate is a certified candidate, the candidate shall return
to the fund the amounts distributed to the candidate.
Section 1608-A. Study report.
By March 15, 2018, and every four years thereafter, the
department shall prepare for the General Assembly a report
documenting, evaluating and making recommendations relating to
the administration, implementation and enforcement of this
article and the fund.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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