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92_SB2131 LRB9215637BDdvA 1 AN ACT concerning campaign finance. 2 WHEREAS, Our legal system is based on the principle that 3 an independent, fair, and competent judiciary will interpret 4 and apply the laws that govern us; the role of the judiciary 5 is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of 6 law; and 7 WHEREAS, A system of public financing would alleviate the 8 perception that money influences judges; this concern goes to 9 the heart of our judicial system; the public is most offended 10 by the thought that decisions are influenced by money; and 11 WHEREAS, There is a need for qualified and diverse 12 judicial candidates to run for the office of Judge of the 13 Supreme Court; the viability of candidates should be based on 14 their qualifications for office; therefore 15 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 16 represented in the General Assembly: 17 Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the 18 Public Financing for Judicial Campaigns Act. 19 Section 5. Definitions. In this Act: 20 "Allowable contribution" means a qualifying contribution, 21 a seed money contribution, or a personal contribution 22 authorized by this Act. 23 "Candidate" means any person seeking election to or 24 retention in the office of Judge of the Illinois Supreme 25 Court. 26 "Campaign" includes the primary election campaign period 27 and the election campaign period. 28 "Election campaign period" means the period beginning on 29 the day after the general primary election and ends on the 30 day of the general election. -2- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 "Eligible candidate" means a candidate for the office of 2 Judge of the Supreme Court who qualifies for public 3 financing by collecting the required number of qualifying 4 contributions, making all required reports and disclosures, 5 and being certified by the State Board as being in compliance 6 with this Act. 7 "Excess expenditure amount" means the amount of 8 expenditures made by a non-participating candidate in excess 9 of the public financing benefit available to an eligible 10 candidate for the same office that the non-participating 11 candidate seeks. 12 "Excess qualifying contribution amount" means the amount 13 of qualifying contributions accepted by a candidate beyond 14 the number or dollar amount of contributions required to 15 qualify a candidate for a public financing benefit. 16 "Exploratory period" means the period that begins after 17 the date of a general election and ends on the first day of 18 the public financing qualifying period for the next election 19 for Judges to the Supreme Court. 20 "Fair election debit card" means a debit card issued by 21 the State treasurer in accordance with Section 65 entitling a 22 candidate and agents of the candidate designated by the 23 candidate to draw money from an account maintained by the 24 State Treasurer to make expenditures authorized by law. 25 "Immediate family", when used with reference to a 26 candidate, includes the candidate's spouse, parents, and 27 children. 28 "Independent expenditure" means a expenditure by a person 29 expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly 30 identified candidate that is made without cooperation or 31 consultation with a candidate, or any political committee or 32 agent of a candidate, and that is not made in concert with, 33 or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any 34 political committee or agent of a candidate. -3- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 "Non-participating candidate" means a candidate for the 2 office of Judge of the Supreme Court who does not apply for a 3 public financing benefit or who otherwise is ineligible or 4 fails to qualify for a public financing benefit under this 5 Act. 6 "Personal funds" means funds contributed by a candidate 7 or a member of a candidate's immediate family. 8 "Primary election campaign period" means the period 9 beginning 30 days after the last day prescribed by law for 10 filing nomination papers and ending on the day of the general 11 primary election. 12 "Public financing qualifying period" means the period 13 beginning on the first day of July of an odd-numbered year 14 and ending on the day before the beginning of the primary 15 election campaign period for the office of Judge of the 16 Supreme Court. 17 "Qualifying contribution" means a contribution between $5 18 and $25 made to a candidate made by a resident of the 19 district at least 18 years old in which the candidate seeks 20 office during the public financing qualifying period that is 21 acknowledged by written receipt identifying the contributor. 22 An individual may make only one qualifying contribution per 23 candidate. 24 "Seed money contribution" means a contribution in an 25 amount of not more than $100 made to a candidate for the 26 office of Judge of the Supreme Court during the exploratory 27 period or the public financing qualifying period or a 28 contribution made to a candidate consisting of personal funds 29 of that candidate in an amount not more than the amount 30 authorized under Section 30 during the exploratory period or 31 the public financing qualifying period. 32 "Qualifying Report" is a list of 500 or more individual 33 qualifying contributions. 34 "State Board" means the State Board of Elections. -4- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 Section 10. Qualification; certification. 2 (a) Before a candidate for nomination for election to 3 the office of Judge of the Supreme Court in the general 4 primary election may be certified as an eligible candidate to 5 receive a public financing benefit for the primary election 6 campaign period, the candidate must apply to the State Board 7 for a public financing benefit and file a sworn statement 8 that the candidate has complied and will comply with all 9 requirements of this Act throughout the applicable campaign, 10 including the general primary election and the general 11 election. A candidate must file the application and statement 12 no later than the beginning of the primary election campaign 13 period for the office of Judge of the Supreme Court. 14 (b) A candidate shall be certified by the State Board as 15 an eligible candidate for receipt of public financing for a 16 primary election if the candidate complies with subsection 17 (a) and receives at least 500 qualifying contributions from 18 individual qualifying contributors before the close of the 19 public financing qualifying period. 20 (c) The State Board must verify a candidate's compliance 21 with the requirements of subsection (b) by any verification 22 and sampling techniques that the State Board considers 23 appropriate. 24 (d) Each candidate must acknowledge each qualifying 25 contribution by a receipt to the contributor that contains 26 the contributor's name and home address. A candidate must 27 file a qualifying report to the State Board of Elections upon 28 obtaining 500 qualifying contributions. 29 (e) A qualifying contribution may be used only for the 30 purpose of making a expenditure authorized by law. 31 Section 15. Time of application; general election. 32 (a) Before a candidate may be certified as eligible for 33 receipt of public financing for a general election, the -5- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 candidate must apply to the State Board and file a sworn 2 statement that the candidate has fulfilled all the 3 requirements of this Act during the primary election campaign 4 period and will comply with the requirements of this Act 5 during the general election campaign period. The application 6 must be filed no later than the 7th day after the date of the 7 general primary election. 8 (b) The State Board must certify a candidate as an 9 eligible candidate for receipt of public financing for a 10 general election campaign period if the candidate complies 11 with subsection (a) and the candidate was an eligible 12 candidate during the primary election campaign period. 13 Section 20. Agreement by candidate. An eligible candidate 14 who accepts a public financing benefit under this Act during 15 the primary election campaign period must agree to comply 16 with all requirements of this Act throughout the general 17 election campaign period as a precondition to receipt of 18 public financing. An eligible candidate who accepts a public 19 financing benefit during a primary election campaign period 20 may not elect to accept private contributions in violation of 21 this Act during the corresponding election campaign period. 22 Section 25. Requirements imposed upon eligible 23 candidates. 24 (a) An eligible candidate may not accept private 25 contributions other than seed money contributions and 26 qualifying contributions that the candidate accepts during 27 the exploratory period and the public financing qualifying 28 period. 29 (b) In addition to reports required to be filed under 30 the Election Code, a candidate who receives a public 31 financing benefit must furnish complete financial records, 32 including records of seed money contributions, qualifying -6- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 contributions, and expenditures on the last day of the month. 2 (c) In addition to adhering to requirements imposed 3 under the Election Code, a candidate who receives a public 4 financing benefit must maintain records of all contributions 5 of at least $5 and not more than $100, including seed money 6 contributions and qualifying contributions, that contain the 7 full name of the contributor and the contributor's full home 8 address. 9 (d) The failure to record or provide the information 10 specified in subsection (c) disqualifies a contribution from 11 counting as a qualifying contribution. 12 (e) No eligible candidate and no person acting on a 13 candidate's behalf may deposit any contribution that is not 14 recorded in accordance with subsection (c) in a candidate's 15 campaign account. 16 (f) No eligible candidate may accept more than $25 in 17 cash from any contributor. 18 Section 30. Personal funds of candidates. 19 (a) The personal funds of an eligible candidate 20 contributed as seed money contributions may not exceed an 21 aggregate amount of $10,000. This includes funds from the 22 candidate's immediate family. 23 (b) No eligible candidate may make any expenditure 24 derived from personal funds after the close of the public 25 financing qualifying period. 26 Section 35. Seed money contributions. 27 (a) An eligible candidate may accept seed money 28 contributions from any individual or political committee 29 before the end of the public financing qualifying period, 30 provided the total contributions from one contributor, except 31 personal funds and qualifying contributions otherwise 32 permitted under this Act, do not exceed $100 and the -7- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 aggregate contributions, including personal funds but not 2 including qualifying contributions, do not exceed $30,000. 3 (b) An eligible candidate may make expenditures from 4 seed money contributions only during the exploratory period 5 and the public financing qualifying period. 6 Section 40. Excess contributions. An amount equivalent 7 to the excess contributions must be deducted by the State 8 Board from the candidate's public financing benefit. A 9 candidate must return to the State Board all seed money and 10 qualifying contributions that exceed the limits prescribed in 11 this Section within 48 hours after the end of the exploratory 12 period. A candidate must also return to the State Board any 13 seed money and qualifying contributions that have not been 14 encumbered or expended by the beginning of the primary 15 election campaign period. The State Board must deposit all 16 contributions returned under this Section into the the 17 Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund. 18 Section 45. Certification by candidate; line of credit. 19 (a) To apply for a public financing benefit, a candidate 20 must certify to the State Board that the candidate has 21 complied and will comply, throughout the applicable campaign, 22 with all requirements of this Act and that all disclosures 23 required at the time of application have been made. The 24 candidate must present evidence of the requisite number of 25 qualifying contributions received by the candidate. The 26 candidate's request for certification must be signed by the 27 candidate and the treasurer of the candidate's political 28 committee. 29 (b) The State Board must distribute to each eligible 30 candidate at the general primary election a line of credit 31 for public financing promptly after the candidate 32 demonstrates his or her eligibility and, in any event, not -8- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 later than 5 days after the end of the public financing 2 qualifying period; provided, however, that no candidate may 3 use a line of credit distributed under this subsection until 4 the beginning of the primary election campaign period. 5 (c) The State Board must distribute to each eligible 6 candidate for Judge of the Supreme Court in the general 7 election a line of credit for public financing not later than 8 48 hours after the date of the general primary election for 9 the office of Judge of the Supreme Court. No candidate for 10 Judge of the Supreme Court may receive a line of credit until 11 all candidates for Judge of the Supreme Court who apply and 12 qualify for a public financing benefit have been certified as 13 eligible candidates. 14 (d) If any candidate who receives a public financing 15 benefit violates the requirements of this Act, the candidate 16 will be subject to the penalties and enforcement outlined in 17 Section 70. The State Board must deposit all repayments 18 received under this subsection into the Illinois Supreme 19 Court Democracy Trust Fund. 20 Section 50. Public financing benefits. 21 (a) The State Board must provide to each eligible 22 candidate who qualifies to receive a public financing benefit 23 for the primary or general election campaign period separate 24 lines of credit for the primary and general election campaign 25 periods in the amounts specified in this Section subject to 26 any required adjustment under Section 40, 55, 60, or 80. An 27 eligible candidate may use this credit to finance any lawful 28 expenditures during the primary and election campaign 29 periods. An eligible candidate may not use this credit to 30 repay any loan or in violation of this Act or any other 31 applicable law. 32 (b) The public financing benefit for the primary and 33 general election cycle will be $750,000. -9- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 (c) The allocation of the public financing benefit, 2 between the primary and general election, will be at the 3 discretion of the eligible candidate. 4 (d) An eligible candidate in an election in which there 5 are no other candidates, other than write-in candidates, who 6 have received contributions of more than $1,000 in the 7 aggregate as of the day preceding the beginning of the 8 primary election campaign period for the election in which 9 the eligible candidate seeks office must receive a line of 10 credit of $75,000 for the primary election campaign period, 11 beginning one year prior to the primary election and ending 12 on the date of the primary election. 13 (e) An eligible candidate in a general election in which 14 there are no other candidates whose names appear on the 15 ballot must receive a line of credit in an amount equal to 16 $75,000 of the public financing benefit for the election 17 campaign period, beginning the day after the primary election 18 and ending 90 days after the general election. 19 (f) Notwithstanding subsections (b) and (c), beginning 20 on April 1, 2002 and every 2 years thereafter, the State 21 Board must modify the public financing benefits provided for 22 in subsection (b) and (c) to adjust for the change in the 23 Consumer Price Index, All Items, U. S. City Average, 24 published by the United States Department of Labor for the 25 preceding 2-year period ending on December 31. 26 Section 55. Financial activity by non-participating 27 candidates. 28 (a) In addition to other reports required by law, a 29 non-participating candidate for the office of Judge of the 30 Supreme Court at the general primary election or the general 31 election who receives contributions or makes or obligates to 32 make expenditures in an amount more than 5% greater than the 33 public financing benefit applicable to an eligible candidate -10- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 for the same office at the same general primary election or 2 general election must file a report with the State Board 3 itemizing the total contributions received and expenditures 4 made or obligated to be made by the candidate as of the date 5 of the report. The State Board must transmit copies of the 6 report to all candidates for the office of Judge of the 7 Supreme Court at the same election. A non-participating 8 candidate must file additional reports after the candidate 9 receives each additional $1,000 of contributions or the 10 candidate makes or obligates to make each additional $1,000 11 of expenditures. If the contributions are received or the 12 expenditures are made or obligated to be made more than 6 13 weeks before the date of the general primary election or 14 general election at which the name of the candidate appears 15 on the ballot the reports must be made at the next regular 16 reporting interval under Section 25. If the contributions 17 are received or the expenditures made or obligated to be made 18 within 6 weeks before the date of the general primary 19 election, or general election at which the name of the 20 candidate appears on the ballot the reports must be made 21 within 24 hours after each instance in which the 22 contributions are received or the expenditures are made or 23 obligated to be made. 24 (b) Upon receipt of the information, the State Board 25 must immediately credit an opposing eligible candidate's 26 account with an additional amount equivalent to the total 27 excess expenditures made or obligated to be made, but not to 28 exceed the public financing benefit, for the applicable 29 office. 30 Section 60. Independent expenditures. 31 (a) If any person makes, or becomes obligated to make, 32 by oral or written agreement an independent expenditure in 33 excess of $1,000 with respect to a candidate for the office -11- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 of Judge of the Supreme Court at a general primary or general 2 election, that person must file with the State Board a notice 3 of such expenditure or obligation to make such a expenditure. 4 Any such person must file reports of the expenditures or 5 obligations to make the expenditures on the 15th or last day 6 of the month that immediately follows the date of the 7 expenditure or the obligation to make the expenditure, 8 whichever comes first, except that, within 6 weeks before the 9 date of the general primary election or general election, the 10 person must file the reports within 24 hours after each 11 independent expenditure is made or obligated to be made. Any 12 such person must file additional reports after each 13 additional $1,000 of expenditures are made or obligated to be 14 made. 15 (b) When the aggregate independent expenditures against 16 an eligible candidate for an office or for the opponents of 17 that candidate exceed 10% of the public financing benefit for 18 that office in any campaign, the State Board must immediately 19 credit that candidate's account with an additional line of 20 credit equivalent to the amount above the 10% threshold total 21 expenditures made or obligated to be made, but not to exceed 22 50% of the public financing benefit, for the applicable 23 office. 24 Section 65. Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund. 25 (a) All moneys collected under Sections 40, 45, and 70 26 of this Act shall be deposited into the Illinois Supreme 27 Court Democracy Trust Fund, a special fund created in the 28 State treasury, and, subject to appropriation may be used by 29 the State Board of Elections for the purposes of this Act. 30 The State Treasurer, in consultation with the State Board, 31 must contract with a debit card issuer to permit eligible 32 candidates and their agents to draw upon moneys appropriated 33 from the Fund through an account with the card issuer. -12- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 (b) Upon a determination of a candidate's eligibility 2 for a public financing benefit as provided for in subsection 3 (a) of Section 45, the State Treasurer must issue to the 4 eligible candidate a debit card, known as the fair election 5 debit card, entitling the candidate and agents of the 6 candidate designated by the candidate to draw money from an 7 account to make expenditures on behalf of the candidate. 8 (c) No eligible candidate or agent of an eligible 9 candidate may make any expenditure by any other means other 10 than through the use of the fair election debit card. No such 11 candidate or agent may use a fair election debit card to 12 obtain cash, except that cash amounts of $100 or less may be 13 drawn on the Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund 14 debit card and used to make expenditures of no more than $25. 15 A candidate must maintain records of all such expenditures 16 and must report the expenditures to the State Board in 17 accordance with Section 25. 18 Section 70. Penalties; enforcement. 19 (a) If an eligible candidate makes expenditures that 20 exceed the public financing benefit allocated to the 21 candidate for any campaign, the candidate may be required to 22 forfeit to the Democracy Trust Fund an amount equal to not 23 more than 10 times and not less than 2 times the amount by 24 which the expenditures exceeded the allocation. 25 (b) Any eligible candidate who accepts contributions in 26 excess of any limitation imposed under this Act may be 27 required to forfeit to the Democracy Trust Fund an amount 28 equal to not more than 10 times and not less than 2 times the 29 amount by which the contributions exceed the applicable 30 limitation. 31 (c) If the State Board finds that there is reasonable 32 cause to believe that a candidate has made excess 33 expenditures or has accepted excess contributions in -13- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 violation of the Act, the State Board must attempt for a 2 period of not more than 14 days after its finding to correct 3 the matter by informal methods of conference and conciliation 4 and to enter into a settlement and conciliation agreement 5 with the candidate involved. A settlement and conciliation 6 agreement made under this subsection is public record. Unless 7 violated, a settlement and conciliation agreement is a bar to 8 any civil action under subsection (d). 9 (d) If the State Board has reasonable cause to believe 10 that a candidate has made excess expenditures or has accepted 11 excess contributions and the State Board is unable to correct 12 the matter by informal methods within the time prescribed in 13 subsection (c), the State Board must make a public finding of 14 reasonable cause in the matter. After making a public 15 finding, the State Board may bring an action in the circuit 16 court for Sangamon County to impose a forfeiture under 17 subsection (a) or (b). 18 (e) If an elector believes that a candidate has violated 19 this Act and the elector is entitled to vote for or against 20 the candidate in the election in connection with which the 21 violation is alleged to occur, the elector may file a 22 complaint with the State Board requesting it to take remedial 23 action. If the State Board refuses to take remedial action 24 or, within 30 days after the filing of a complaint, fails to 25 take remedial action, the elector may commence a civil action 26 in the appropriate circuit court under subsection (d) 27 requesting the court to impose a forfeiture under subsection 28 (a) or (b). 29 (f) The State Board and the circuit court must expedite 30 all proceedings under this Section so that all complaints 31 brought prior to an election are resolved, to the extent 32 possible, before the election is held. 33 (g) If a complaint brought under this Section is 34 resolved against the complainant and is found to have been -14- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 brought in bad faith and without reasonable basis therefor, 2 the circuit court may assess costs, including reasonable 3 attorney fees, against the complainant. 4 Section 75. Prohibited acts. 5 (a) If a candidate or agent of a candidate knowingly 6 accepts more contributions than the candidate is entitled to 7 receive, or makes expenditures exceeding the amount of the 8 public financing benefit received by the candidate, the 9 candidate or agent is guilty of a Class 3 felony. 10 (b) If a candidate who receives a public financing 11 benefit, or an agent of that a candidate, knowingly makes a 12 expenditure by means other than through use of the fair 13 election debit card, except as permitted under subsection (c) 14 of Section 65, the candidate or agent is guilty of a Class 3 15 felony. 16 (c) If, in connection with the receipt or expenditure of 17 a public financing benefit for an election campaign, any 18 person knowingly provides false information to the State 19 Board, or knowingly conceals or withholds information from 20 the State Board, that person is guilty of a Class 3 felony. 21 Section 90. The Department of Revenue shall transfer to 22 the Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund any funds 23 contributed to the Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust 24 Fund collected pursuant to Section 910. 25 Section 95. Attorneys-at-law contribution. The Supreme 26 Court may, in its discretion, require attorneys, licensed to 27 practice in Illinois, to make monetary contributions to the 28 Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund not to exceed $25 29 annually. 30 Section 105. Voluntary contributions. Individuals and -15- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 other entities may make direct voluntary contributions to the 2 Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund. However, 3 contributions may not exceed $1,000 per calendar year. 4 Section 110. Fund operational. The Illinois Supreme 5 Court Democracy Fund shall become operational when the Fund 6 has attained $10,000,000. 7 Section 115. Severability. The provisions of this Act are 8 severable. If any provision of this Act is held invalid by a 9 court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not 10 affect other provisions of the Act that can be given effect 11 without the invalid provision. 12 Section 905. The State Finance Act is amended by adding 13 Section 5.570 as follows: 14 (30 ILCS 105/5.570 new) 15 Sec. 5.570. The Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust 16 Fund. 17 Section 910. The Illinois Income Tax Act is amended by 18 adding Section 506.7 as follows: 19 (35 ILCS 5/506.7 new) 20 Sec. 506.7. Designation of tax to Illinois Democracy 21 Trust Fund. 22 (a) An amount of $1 from the income taxes paid each year 23 by each individual with an income tax liability of at least 24 $1 shall be allocated to the Illinois Supreme Court Democracy 25 Trust Fund established under Section 65 of the Public 26 Financing for Judicial Campaigns Act, unless that taxpayer 27 indicates an objection to the allocation on the income tax 28 return in the manner described un subsection (b). In the case -16- LRB9215637BDdvA 1 of a married couple filing a joint return, each individual 2 shall have the option of objecting to the allocation. The 3 Department shall deposit amounts allocated under this 4 subsection (a) to the Fund into the Fund on a quarterly 5 basis. 6 (b) Individual income tax returns shall include a place 7 for the designation of $1 to the Illinois Supreme Court 8 Democracy Trust Fund with 3 options given to the taxpayer: 9 "For", "Against", and "No Opinion", and the following 10 statement: "One dollar will support the Illinois Supreme 11 Court Democracy Trust Fund, unless you fill in the circle 12 labeled "Against". A paid preparer of tax returns shall not 13 choose one of the 3 options for a taxpayer without the 14 taxpayer's consent. 15 (c) Individual income tax returns shall include in the 16 instructions an explanatory statement for the designation 17 described in subsection (b) which shall read: "To enhance the 18 impartiality and integrity of the court system in the State, 19 the Illinois Supreme Court Democracy Trust Fund provides 20 campaign money to candidates for the Illinois Supreme Court 21 who voluntarily accept strict campaign spending and 22 fundraising limits. The Fund may also help finance 23 educational materials about the role of the Supreme Court and 24 the candidates seeking election for that office. One dollar 25 from the taxes you pay will go to the Fund unless you fill in 26 the circle marked "Against". The exact wording of this 27 statement or the statement specified in subsection (b) may be 28 modified if the new wording does not change the statement's 29 essential meaning and is approved by the State Board of 30 Elections. 31 Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 32 becoming law.
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