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146th General Assembly
House Bill # 300 w/HA 2, HA 1 to HA 2, HA 3

Primary Sponsor: Gilligan Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. DeLuca Reps. Bennett Barbieri Brady Carson Heffernan Jaques Q. Johnson Keeley Kowalko Longhurst Mitchell Mulrooney Schooley Schwartzkopf Scott B. Short Viola D.E. Williams D.P. Williams Hudson Osienski Sens. Blevins Bushweller Ennis Henry Peterson Sokola Sorenson
CoSponsors: { NONE...}
Introduced on : 04/24/2012
Long Title:AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ENHANCED DISCLOSURE, REPORTING AND DISCLAIMER REQUIREMENTS IN DELAWARE'S CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS.
Synopsis:The Delaware Elections Disclosure Act would reform and modernize Delaware’s election disclosure laws, and would accomplish several things. First, it would close a major loophole under existing law by requiring persons, other than political candidates and parties, who engage in “electioneering communications” before an election to file a report disclosing (among other things) the sources of funding for such ads. Under current law, persons who buy campaign ads that are not coordinated with any candidate (known as “independent expenditures”) must file disclosure reports, but only if the ads expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate. Persons who buy ads that do not use “magic words” such as “vote for Smith” or similar terms are not required to file reports under existing law. As a result, persons who advocate indirectly for a candidate (for example, “Call Candidate X and tell him he’s wrong on education”) are not required to file reports. This bill would close that loophole by requiring reports for electioneering communications – i.e., third party advertisements that refer to a clearly identified candidate and are publicly distributed within 30 days before a primary or special election, or 60 days before a general election. This requirement will provide crucial information to voters in the days before an election and “help citizens make informed choices in the political marketplace.” Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010).

Second, this Act would require all third-party advertisements having a fair market value of $500 or more to include the following statement: “Learn more about [name of person] at [Commissioner of Elections’ web address].” By informing voters that they can review the campaign finance reports filed by the person who placed the ad, this requirement will help reduce the risk or appearance of undue influence and promote compliance with existing campaign finance laws.

Third, this Act would require any third party that spends $500 or more on advertisements during an election period to file a report with the Elections Commissioner within 24 hours of such expenditure. (If the expenditure occurs more than 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election, the report must be filed within 48 hours.) Under existing law, independent expenditure reports must be filed within 24 hours if the expenditure occurs within 20 days of an election. Otherwise, independent expenditures are disclosed only in 30-day and 8-day reports. This revised reporting procedure will ensure more timely dissemination of critical information to voters before an election.

Finally, this Act would enhance disclosure requirements by requiring entities that contribute more than $1,200 to political action committees or political parties during an election cycle to disclose the name and address of a “responsible party” – that is, someone who shares or exercises direction or control over the entity’s activities. In addition, this bill would enhance and clarify the disclosure requirements for the filing of Statements of Organization by political committees.

Current Status: Signed   On   08/15/2012
Volume Chapter78:400
Date Governor acted:08/15/2012
Full text of Legislation:
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Full text of Legislation:
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Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Fiscal Notes/Fee Impact:Not Required
Amendments: HA 2 to HB 300 - Passed
HA 1 to HA 2 to HB 300 - Passed
HA 3 to HB 300 - Passed
HA 1 to HB 300 - Defeated
Committee Reports:
House Committee Report 05/02/12 F=2 M=2 U=0---->Committee Report
Senate Committee report 05/16/12 F=0 M=5 U=0----->Committee Report
Voting Reports:
House vote: () Passed 5/8/2012 5:16:07 PM------->Voting Record
Senate vote: () Passed 6/6/2012 5:27:12 PM------->Voting Record
Engrossed Version:
Engrossment------->Engrossment
Actions History:
Aug 15, 2012 - Signed by Governor
Jun 06, 2012 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 21 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT
May 16, 2012 - Reported Out of Committee (EXECUTIVE) in Senate with 5 On Its Merits
May 09, 2012 - Assigned to Executive Committee in Senate
May 08, 2012 - Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 24 YES 13 NO 0 NOT VOTING 4 ABSENT 0 VACANT
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 3 - Passed in House by Voice Vote
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 3 - Introduced in House
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 2 - Passed in House by Voice Vote
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 to HA 2 - Passed in House by Voice Vote
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 to HA 2 - Introduced in House
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 - Defeated by House of Representatives. Votes: Defeated 13 YES 24 NO 0 NOT VOTING 4 ABSENT 0 VACANT
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 defeated
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 2 - Introduced and Placed With Bill
May 08, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 - Introduced and Placed With Bill
May 02, 2012 - Reported Out of Committee (HOUSE ADMINISTRATION) in House with 2 Favorable, 2 On Its Merits
Apr 24, 2012 - Introduced and Assigned to House Administration Committee in House
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