7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends the Election Code in relation to soliciting campaign contributions.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ defines terms; and
13 ▸ prohibits a person from using the email of a public entity to solicit a campaign
15 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17 Other Special Clauses:
19 Utah Code Sections Affected:
21 20A-11-1202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 435
22 20A-11-1205, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 435
24 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25 Section 1. Section 20A-11-1202 is amended to read:
26 20A-11-1202. Definitions.
27 As used in this part:
28 (1) "Applicable election officer" means:
29 (a) a county clerk, if the email relates only to a local election; or
30 (b) the lieutenant governor, if the email relates to an election other than a local
32 (2) "Ballot proposition" means constitutional amendments, initiatives, referenda,
33 judicial retention questions, opinion questions, bond approvals, or other questions submitted to
34 the voters for their approval or rejection.
35 (3) "Campaign contribution" means any of the following when done for a political
36 purpose or to advocate for or against a ballot proposition:
37 (a) a gift, subscription, donation, loan, advance, deposit of money, or anything of value
38 given to a filing entity;
39 (b) an express, legally enforceable contract, promise, or agreement to make a gift,
40 subscription, donation, unpaid or partially unpaid loan, advance, deposit of money, or anything
41 of value to a filing entity;
42 (c) any transfer of funds from another reporting entity to a filing entity;
43 (d) compensation paid by any person or reporting entity other than the filing entity for
44 personal services provided without charge to the filing entity;
45 (e) remuneration from:
46 (i) any organization or the organization's directly affiliated organization that has a
47 registered lobbyist; or
48 (ii) any agency or subdivision of the state, including a school district; or
49 (f) an in-kind contribution.
51 cooperation agency that receives its revenues from conduct of its commercial operations.
52 (b) "Commercial interlocal cooperation agency" does not mean an interlocal
53 cooperation agency that receives some or all of its revenues from:
54 (i) government appropriations;
55 (ii) taxes;
56 (iii) government fees imposed for regulatory or revenue raising purposes; or
57 (iv) interest earned on public funds or other returns on investment of public funds.
59 (a) a purchase, payment, donation, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money,
60 or anything of value;
61 (b) an express, legally enforceable contract, promise, or agreement to make any
62 purchase, payment, donation, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money, or anything of
64 (c) a transfer of funds between a public entity and a candidate's personal campaign
66 (d) a transfer of funds between a public entity and a political issues committee; or
67 (e) goods or services provided to or for the benefit of a candidate, a candidate's
68 personal campaign committee, or a political issues committee for political purposes at less than
69 fair market value.
70 (6) "Filing entity" means the same as that term is defined in Section 20A-11-101.
72 cooperation agency that receives some or all of its revenues from:
73 (a) government appropriations;
74 (b) taxes;
75 (c) government fees imposed for regulatory or revenue raising purposes; or
76 (d) interest earned on public funds or other returns on investment of public funds.
79 (b) "Influence" does not mean providing a brief statement about a public entity's
80 position on a ballot proposition and the reason for that position.
82 agreement under the authority of Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act.
84 Government Entities - Local Districts, and includes a special service district under Title 17D,
85 Chapter 1, Special Service District Act.
87 influence or intend to influence, directly or indirectly, any person to refrain from voting or to
88 vote for or against any:
89 (a) candidate for public office at any caucus, political convention, primary, or election;
91 (b) judge standing for retention at any election.
93 municipality, school district, local district, governmental interlocal cooperation agency, and
94 each administrative subunit of each of them.
95 (b) "Public entity" does not include a commercial interlocal cooperation agency.
96 (c) "Public entity" includes local health departments created under Title 26, Chapter 1,
97 Department of Health Organization.
99 appropriations, taxes, fees, interest, or other returns on investment.
100 (b) "Public funds" does not include money donated to a public entity by a person or
103 with authority to make or determine public policy.
104 (b) "Public official" includes the person or group that:
105 (i) has supervisory authority over the personnel and affairs of a public entity; and
106 (ii) approves the expenditure of funds for the public entity.
107 (15) "Reporting entity" means the same as that term is defined in Section 20A-11-101.
109 agency, institution, officer, corporation, fund, division, office, committee, authority, laboratory,
110 library, unit, bureau, panel, or other administrative unit of the state.
111 (b) "State agency" includes the legislative branch, the Board of Regents, the
112 institutional councils of each higher education institution, and each higher education
114 Section 2. Section 20A-11-1205 is amended to read:
115 20A-11-1205. Use of public email for a political purpose.
116 (1) Except as provided in Subsection (5), a person may not send an email using the
117 email of a public entity[
118 (a) for a political purpose [
119 (b) to advocate for or against a ballot proposition[
120 (c) to solicit a campaign contribution.
121 (2) The applicable election officer shall impose a civil fine against a person who
122 violates Subsection (1) as follows:
123 (a) up to $250 for a first violation; and
124 (b) except as provided in Subsection (3), for each subsequent violation committed after
125 any applicable election officer imposes a fine against the person for a first violation, $1,000
126 multiplied by the number of violations committed by the person.
127 (3) The applicable election officer shall consider a violation of this section as a first
128 violation if the violation is committed more than seven years after the day on which the person
129 last committed a violation of this section.
130 (4) For purposes of this section, one violation means one act of sending an email,
131 regardless of the number of recipients of the email.
132 (5) A person does not violate this section if the lieutenant governor finds that the email
133 described in Subsection (1) was inadvertently sent, as a reply to an email received by the
134 person described in Subsection (1), using the email of a public entity.
135 (6) A violation of this section does not invalidate an otherwise valid election.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel