New Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements in 2007
In 2005 the Legislature passed HB 3458, directing the Secretary of State to develop an electronic filing system to be used by committees to file contribution and expenditure information. The Secretary of State is in the process of developing a system that will allow users to enter campaign finance transactions directly or upload transactions via a web interface. This site's objective is to communicate changes and information that will be needed to prepare candidates and committees for the system's implementation by January 1, 2007.
Summary of Changes in 2007
The Secretary of State becomes the filing officer for all candidates and committees, except chief petitioner committees for local initiative, referendum and recall petitions.
All committees, other than chief petitioner committees, will be required to file their campaign finance information electronically. Committees will have the option of data entering transaction information using a web-based system provided by the Secretary of State or uploading transaction information into the Secretary of State's system using an XML file format.
There will no longer be "scheduled" reporting deadlines. Committees will continuously report campaign finance transactions.
Committees will be able to file and amend Statements of Organization online.
XML File Upload Information
- Filing Campaign Finance Transactions Via the File Upload Process * (revised 7/28/06)
- XML Overview * (revised 10/25/06)
- XML Specifications * (revised 9/5/07)
- XML XSD File (revised 2/11/08)
- Sample XML Files File 1 File 2
(file 1 contains pledges of cash; file 2 contains a contribution that completes the pledges of cash in file 1, along with other miscellaneous transactions)
How will I file a campaign finance report?
Campaign finance information will be filed via the Secretary of State's website. Each committee will have a private workspace where they can data enter or upload transaction information on a regular basis. The system will calculate the due date for each transaction entered. The candidate or treasurer will select the transactions to be filed and will submit them via the web.
Is the candidate or treasurer required to data enter or upload transaction information or can other individuals assist?
A candidate or treasurer can grant other individuals access to the committee's workspace. Individuals can be granted access to do data entry or upload a file. However, the filing of transactions with the Secretary of State must be done by the candidate or treasurer.
When are transactions due?
Transactions are generally due within 30 days of the date of the transaction, except during the 6 weeks prior to an election when transactions must be filed within 7 days of the date of the transaction. Additionally, certain candidates and committees must report all contributions received during a legislative session within 2 business days of receipt.
When does campaign finance information become public record?
A committee's workspace is a private area. A contribution or expenditure transaction entered into a committee's workspace does not become public record until the candidate or treasurer files it with the Secretary of State.
How do I file a PC 1 with my signature?
A committee will not be required to submit a signed PC 1 form. The online filing process will include an attestation by the candidate or treasurer and the system will calculate all summary totals for a committee.
Will the system calculate contributor and payee aggregates?
Yes, the system will calculate contributor and payee aggregates and also calculate all the miscellaneous contribution and expenditure categories if the committee data enters or uploads all transactions. This is the Secretary of State's recommended approach. Information regarding a contributor or payee will remain in the committee's private workspace and will not be disclosed to the Secretary of State or the public until the aggregate threshold for reporting a contributor or payee is met.
A committee may choose to calculate their own aggregates and enter only those transactions exceeding the aggregate thresholds, along with miscellaneous contribution and expenditure categories.
What is the period of time for calculating aggregates?
Beginning in 2007, aggregates will be calculated on a calendar year basis instead of by election.
Can a committee still file a Certificate of Limited Contributions and Expenditures?
A committee may file a Certificate of Limited Contributions and Expenditures if they expect the total contributions received or the total expenditures made not to exceed $2000 in the calendar year. If a committee files a Certificate and later exceeds the $2000 threshold in the calendar year the committee is required to file all transaction information in that calendar year within seven days of exceeding the threshold.
A committee that files a Certificate is encouraged to data enter all transaction information into the committee's private workspace. This will allow the system to assist the committee in determining if the $2000 threshold is exceeded and if it is exceeded the transaction information required to be filed will already be data entered into the system.
Can I still utilize a vendor to assist me in filing campaign finance information?
Yes, vendors can still assist committees in managing their accounts and filing campaign finance information. However, the candidate or treasurer must be logged into the system when the transactions are actually filed with the Secretary of State.
What is XML?
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and is a simple, flexible text formatted file that is used for electronic data interchange. The XML file process will be used primarily by candidates and committees utilizing a vendor to assist them in filing campaign finance transaction information.
Are vendors the only ones who can upload an XML file?
No, any candidate, treasurer or authorized user may upload an XML file for processing.
I manage multiple committee's can I create one XML file to upload transactions for multiple committees?
No, a file must be specific to a committee.
Will I be able to export data I have entered or uploaded into the Secretary of State's system?
The system will allow the export of data from a committee's workspace by candidates, treasurers and authorized individuals.