Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 9.3. Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006
11/29/2021

Article 6. Referendum Committees.

§ 24.2-951. Referendum committee election cycle; political advertisement requirements.

A. The referendum committee's election cycle shall be deemed to begin on the date that the referendum committee first organizes for the referendum through December 31 immediately following the referendum.

B. The provisions of Chapter 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.) shall not be applicable to referendum committees subject to the provisions of this article.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.1. Statement of organization for a referendum committee.

A. Any referendum committee subject to the provisions of this article shall file with the State Board a statement of organization within 10 days after its organization, or if later, within 10 days after the date on which it has information that causes the committee to anticipate it will receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of the pertinent amounts stated in the definition of referendum committee in § 24.2-945.1. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the State Board within 10 days following the change.

B. The statement of organization for a referendum committee shall include:

1. The name of the referendum committee and its address in the Commonwealth;

2. The names, addresses, and relationships of affiliated or connected organizations;

3. The area, scope, or jurisdiction of the committee;

4. The name and business address of the treasurer and his residence address in the Commonwealth who shall be deemed the agent of the referendum committee for the purpose of service of process on the referendum committee;

5. The name, business address, and position of the custodian of the books and accounts who works under the direction of the treasurer, and the address in the Commonwealth where the books are maintained;

6. The subject of the referendum, the date and location of the election, and a statement whether the committee is promoting or opposing the referendum question;

7. The designated depository to be used for the receipt and holding of funds and contributions received by the referendum committee, in an account in a financial institution within the Commonwealth; and

8. Such other information as shall be required by the State Board except that the account number for the designated depository account shall not be required.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.2. Referendum committee treasurer requirements and responsibilities.

A. The treasurer shall keep detailed and accurate accounts of all contributions turned over to and expenditures made by the referendum committee, the treasurer, or other officer on behalf of the referendum committee, or reported to the treasurer pursuant to this article. Such account shall set forth the date of the contribution or expenditure, its amount or value, the name and address of the person or committee making the contribution or to whom the expenditure was made, and the object or purpose of the contribution or expenditure.

Such books and records may be destroyed or discarded at any time after (i) one year from the date of filing the final report required by § 24.2-951.9 or (ii) a period of three years, whichever first occurs, unless a court of competent jurisdiction shall order their retention for a longer period.

B. All contributions and expenditures received or made by any referendum committee, or received or made on its behalf or in relation to the committee by any person, except independent expenditures, shall be paid over or delivered to the referendum committee's treasurer or shall be reported to the treasurer in such detail and form as to allow him to comply fully with this article. An independent expenditure shall be reported pursuant to § 24.2-945.2 in lieu of being reported to the referendum committee's treasurer.

C. It shall be unlawful for any referendum committee, its treasurer, or any person receiving contributions or making expenditures on the committee's behalf or in relation to the committee, to fail to report every contribution and expenditure as required by this article.

D. No referendum committee treasurer or other individual shall pay any expense on behalf of the committee, directly or indirectly, except by a check or electronic debit drawn on such designated depository identifying the name of the referendum committee. However, a treasurer or other authorized officer of the referendum committee may be reimbursed, by a check or electronic debit drawn on the designated depository, for the payment of expenses (i) paid by him by cash, check or electronic debit, or credit card, (ii) made on behalf of the committee, and (iii) fully documented by complete records of the expenditure, maintained as required by this chapter, and including receipts identifying the nature of the expenses and the names and addresses of each person paid by the recipient of the reimbursement.

E. A treasurer of a referendum committee (i) may establish a petty cash fund to be utilized for the purpose of making expenditures or reimbursing verified credit card expenditures of less than $200 if complete records of such expenditures are maintained as required by this chapter and (ii) may transfer funds from the designated campaign depository to an account or instrument to earn interest on the funds so long as the transferred funds and earned interest are returned to the designated depository account, complete records are maintained, and all expenditures are made through the designated depository account.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 349.

§ 24.2-951.3. Information to be included on campaign finance reports for referendum committees.

A. The reports required by this article shall be filed on a form prescribed by the State Board and shall include all financial activity of the referendum committee. All completed forms shall be submitted in typed, printed, or legibly hand printed format or electronically as provided in § 24.2-946.1. Persons submitting the forms shall do so subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

B. The report of receipts shall include:

1. The total number of contributors, each of whom has contributed an aggregate of $100 or less, including cash and in-kind contributions, as of the date of the report, and the total amount of contributions from all such contributors;

2. For each contributor who has contributed an aggregate of more than $100, including cash and in-kind contributions, as of the ending date of the report, the referendum committee shall itemize each contributor on the report and list the following information:

a. the name of the contributor, listed alphabetically,

b. the mailing address of the contributor,

c. the amount of the contribution,

d. the aggregate amount of contributions from the contributor to date,

e. the date of the last contribution,

f. the occupation of the contributor,

g. the name of his employer or principal business, and

h. the locality where employed or where his business is located.

For each such contributor, other than an individual, the principal type of business and place of business of the contributor shall be substituted for subdivisions f and g, respectively. For each such contributor other than an individual, it shall be sufficient to list the address of the contributor one time on the report of receipts.

C. The report of disbursements shall include all expenditures and give:

1. The name and address of the person paid;

2. A brief description of the purpose of the expenditure;

3. The name of the person contracting for or arranging the expenditure;

4. The amount of the expenditure; and

5. The date of the expenditure.

The report of disbursements shall itemize any expenditure made by credit card payment.

D. Each report for a referendum committee shall list separately those receipts and expenditures reported to the treasurer or other officer of the committee by any person, campaign committee, or political committee, pursuant to subsection B of § 24.2-951.2 and, in the case of in-kind contributions, shall set forth in each instance the source of the information reported.

E. The report shall list separately all loans and, for each loan, shall give:

1. The date the loan was made;

2. The name and address of the person making the loan and any person who is a co-borrower, guarantor, or endorser of the loan;

3. The amount of the loan;

4. The date and amount of any repayment of the loan; and

5. For any loan or part of a loan that is forgiven by the lender, the amount forgiven listed as both a contribution and loan repayment.

F. The State Board shall provide for a "no activity" report that may be filed for any reporting period in which the filer has no activity to report.

G. It is the responsibility of the treasurer that the report for the referendum committee be filed and that the report be in full and accurate detail.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-258; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1972, c. 620; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 381; 1983, c. 119; 1990, c. 156; 1993, cc. 341, 641, § 24.2-914; 1997, cc. 364, 392; 1999, c. 864; 2000, c. 304; 2001, cc. 618, 810; 2002, c. 468; 2003, cc. 248, 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.4. Filing schedule for referendum committees for referendums to be decided at November elections.

A. A referendum committee supporting or opposing a question on the ballot in a November election shall file the prescribed campaign finance reports as follows:

1. Not later than July 15 in any year in which the referendum is not on the ballot for the period January 1 through June 30;

2. Not later than January 15 in any year in which the referendum is not on the ballot for the period July 1 through December 31;

3. In an election year, not later than April 15 for the period January 1 through March 31 and pursuant to subdivisions 4 through 9 of this section;

4. Not later than the eighth day before the primary date complete through the thirteenth day before the primary date;

5. Not later than July 15 complete through June 30;

6. Not later than September 15 complete through August 31;

7. Not later than October 15 complete through September 30;

8. Not later than the eighth day before the November election date complete through the thirteenth day before the election date;

9. Not later than the thirtieth day after the November election date complete through the twenty-third day after the election date; and

10. Not later than January 15 following an election year complete through December 31.

B. A referendum committee may either (i) file a final report within six months after the referendum is held or (ii) continue as a political action committee more than six months after the referendum is held, provided that the committee submits an amended statement of organization to the State Board redesignating the committee as a political action committee and complies with the requirements for political action committees in Article 4 of this chapter including the reporting schedule set forth in § 24.2-949.6.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.5. Filing schedule for referendum committees for referendums to be decided at May general elections.

A. A referendum committee supporting or opposing a question on the ballot at a May election shall file the prescribed campaign finance reports as follows:

1. Not later than the eighth day before the election date complete through the eleventh day before the election date;

2. Not later than June 15 of the election year complete through June 10; and

3. Not later than July 15 of the election year complete through June 30.

B. A referendum committee may either (i) file a final report within six months after the referendum is held or (ii) continue as a political action committee more than six months after the referendum is held, provided that the committee submits an amended statement of organization to the State Board redesignating the committee as a political action committee and complies with the requirements for political action committees in Article 4 of this chapter including the reporting schedule set forth in § 24.2-949.6.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.6. Filing schedule for referendum committees for referendums to be decided at special elections.

A. A referendum committee supporting or opposing a question on the ballot at a special election shall file the prescribed campaign finance reports as follows:

1. A report not later than the eighth day before the special election date complete through the eleventh day before that date; and

2. A postelection report no later than the thirtieth day after the election.

B. A referendum committee may either (i) file a final report within six months after the referendum is held or (ii) continue as a political action committee more than six months after the referendum is held, provided that the committee submits an amended statement of organization to the State Board redesignating the committee as a political action committee and complies with the requirements for political action committees in Article 4 of this chapter including the reporting schedule set forth in § 24.2-949.6.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.7. Large dollar contribution reporting requirement for referendum committees.

In addition to the reports required by §§ 24.2-951.4, 24.2-951.5 and 24.2-951.6, referendum committees shall report any single contribution or loan of $10,000 or more received at any time during the calendar year within three business days of receipt of the contribution or loan.

1. The report shall be filed on a "large dollar contribution report" form prescribed by the State Board and shall be filed in writing or electronically in the same manner as the person or committee files its quarterly disclosure reports.

2. Any contribution or loan reported pursuant to this section shall also be reported on the next subsequent report required under this article following receipt of the contribution or loan.

3. For the purposes of this section, referendum committees shall report as one contribution multiple contributions from a single source that have been subdivided into smaller amounts or given through different bank accounts for the purpose of evading the $10,000 threshold.

4. A referendum committee that receives contributions from affiliated organizations shall not be deemed to be receiving contributions from a single source.

2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.8. With whom referendum committees file reports; electronic filing requirement.

A. Referendum committees required to file statements or reports by this article shall file all reports with the State Board.

B. A referendum committee that is required by this chapter to file reports with the State Board, and that accepts contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $10,000 in any calendar year, or that accepted contributions or made expenditures in excess of $10,000 in the previous calendar year, shall file its reports with the State Board by computer or electronic means in accordance with the standards approved by the State Board until such time as the referendum committee files a final report or until subject to the provisions of subsection B of § 24.2-951.1.

C. Any referendum committee that has been filing electronically, but does not anticipate accepting contributions or making expenditures in excess of $10,000 in the upcoming calendar year, may sign a waiver, on a form prescribed by the State Board, to exempt the committee from the electronic filing requirement for the calendar year. Such waiver form shall be submitted and received no later than the date the first report is due covering activity for that calendar year.

1996, c. 687, § 24.2-914.1; 1997, cc. 364, 392; 1998, c. 416; 1999, c. 864; 2000, cc. 511, 555; 2003, cc. 242, 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-951.9. Final report requirement; disbursement of surplus funds.

A. Any referendum committee that disbands after having filed a statement of organization shall so notify the State Board. A final report shall be filed by the committee that sets forth (i) all receipts and disbursements not previously reported, (ii) an accounting of the retirement of all debts, and (iii) the disposition of the committee's surplus funds. This final report shall include a termination statement, signed by the treasurer or other principal officer listed on the statement of organization, that all reporting for the committee is complete and final.

B. Amounts received by a referendum committee as contributions may be disposed of only by one or any combination of the following: (i) transferring the excess to an affiliated organization of the committee; (ii) returning the excess to a contributor in an amount not to exceed the contributor's original contribution; (iii) donating the excess to any organization described in § 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; (iv) contributing the excess to one or more candidates or to any political committee that has filed a statement of organization pursuant to this chapter; (v) contributing the excess to any political committee; and (vi) defraying any ordinary, nonreimbursed expense related to the referendum committee. It shall be unlawful for any person to convert any contributed moneys, securities, or like intangible personal property to his personal use or to the use of a member of the "immediate family," as that term is defined in § 30-101, of the committee's treasurer or chief executive.

1990, c. 931, § 24.1-258.1; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-921; 2003, c. 257, § 24.2-910.1; 2004, c. 457; 2005, c. 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2009, c. 231.