8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill establishes a deadline to pay a fine imposed for violating Title 20A, Chapter
11 11, Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements, and prohibits a person from
12 using the email of a public entity to send an email for a political purpose.
13 Highlighted Provisions:
14 This bill:
15 ▸ amends the definition of "political purposes";
16 ▸ establishes a deadline to pay a fine imposed for violating Title 20A, Chapter 11,
17 Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements;
18 ▸ prohibits a person from sending an email, using the email of a public entity, for a
19 political purpose or to advocate for or against a ballot proposition;
20 ▸ provides for a civil fine against a person who violates the provisions of this bill; and
21 ▸ makes technical and conforming amendments.
22 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24 Other Special Clauses:
26 Utah Code Sections Affected:
28 20A-11-1202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 60
29 20A-11-1203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 158
30 20A-11-1204, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2004, Chapter 142
32 20A-11-105, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33 20A-11-1205, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 20A-11-1206, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
37 Section 1. Section 20A-11-105 is enacted to read:
38 20A-11-105. Deadline for payment of fine.
39 A person against whom the lieutenant governor imposes a fine under this chapter shall
40 pay the fine within 30 days after the day on which the lieutenant governor imposes the fine.
41 Section 2. Section 20A-11-1202 is amended to read:
42 20A-11-1202. Definitions.
43 As used in this part:
44 (1) "Applicable election officer" means:
45 (a) a county clerk, if the email relates only to a local election; or
46 (b) the lieutenant governor, if the email relates to an election other than a local
49 judicial retention questions, opinion questions, bond approvals, or other questions submitted to
50 the voters for their approval or rejection.
52 cooperation agency that receives its revenues from conduct of its commercial operations.
53 (b) "Commercial interlocal cooperation agency" does not mean an interlocal
54 cooperation agency that receives some or all of its revenues from:
55 (i) government appropriations;
56 (ii) taxes;
57 (iii) government fees imposed for regulatory or revenue raising purposes; or
58 (iv) interest earned on public funds or other returns on investment of public funds.
60 (a) a purchase, payment, donation, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money,
61 or anything of value;
62 (b) an express, legally enforceable contract, promise, or agreement to make any
63 purchase, payment, donation, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money, or anything of
65 (c) a transfer of funds between a public entity and a candidate's personal campaign
67 (d) a transfer of funds between a public entity and a political issues committee; or
68 (e) goods or services provided to or for the benefit of a candidate, a candidate's
69 personal campaign committee, or a political issues committee for political purposes at less than
70 fair market value.
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 or intend to influence, directly or indirectly, any person to refrain from voting or to vote for or
88 against any:
89 (a) candidate for public office at any caucus, political convention, primary, or
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.
108 agency, institution, officer, corporation, fund, division, office, committee, authority, laboratory,
109 library, unit, bureau, panel, or other administrative unit of the state.
110 (b) "State agency" includes the legislative branch, the Board of Regents, the
111 institutional councils of each higher education institution, and each higher education
113 Section 3. Section 20A-11-1203 is amended to read:
114 20A-11-1203. Public entity prohibited from expending public funds on certain
115 electoral matters.
116 (1) Unless specifically required by law, and except as provided in Section
117 20A-11-1206, a public entity may not make an expenditure from public funds for political
118 purposes or to influence a ballot proposition.
130 Section 4. Section 20A-11-1204 is amended to read:
131 20A-11-1204. Criminal penalty.
132 Each public official who violates [
134 Section 5. Section 20A-11-1205 is enacted to read:
135 20A-11-1205. Use of public email for a political purpose.
136 (1) Except as provided in Subsection (5), a person may not send an email Ĥ→ [
137 email of a public entity, for a political purpose or to advocate for or against a ballot
139 (2) The applicable election officer shall impose a civil fine against a person who
140 violates Subsection (1) as follows:
141 (a) up to $250 for a first violation; and
142 (b) except as provided in Subsection (3), for each subsequent violation committed after
143 any applicable election officer imposes a fine against the person for a first violation, $1,000
144 multiplied by the number of violations committed by the person.
145 (3) The applicable election officer shall consider a violation of this section as a first
146 violation if the violation is committed more than seven years after the day on which the person
147 last committed a violation of this section.
148 (4) For purposes of this section, one violation means one act of sending an email,
149 regardless of the number of recipients of the email.
150 (5) A person does not violate this section if the lieutenant governor finds that the email
151 described in Subsection (1) was inadvertently sent, as a reply to an email received by the
152 person described in Subsection (1), using the email of a public entity.
153 (6) A violation of this section does not invalidate an otherwise valid election.
154 Section 6. Section 20A-11-1206 is enacted to read:
155 20A-11-1206. Exclusions.
156 (1) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a public official from speaking, campaigning,
157 contributing personal money, or otherwise exercising the public official's individual First
158 Amendment rights for political purposes.
159 (2) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a public entity from providing factual information
160 about a ballot proposition to the public, so long as the information grants equal access to both
161 the opponents and proponents of the ballot proposition.
162 (3) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a public entity from the neutral encouragement of
163 voters to vote.
164 (4) Nothing in this chapter prohibits an elected official from campaigning or
165 advocating for or against a ballot proposition.