PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Possible amendments to chapter 390-17 WAC, including WAC 390-17-100 Contribution withholding authorizations, to address and authorize employee payroll deductions for political contributions by using digital or electronic signatures, or by other electronic means.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 42.17A.495, 42.17A.110.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commission was informed by stakeholders that there is an interest in providing an electronic means for authorizing payroll deductions for campaign contributions. Under RCW 42.17A.495, the commission is required to develop a payroll deduction form. The current form is in rule at WAC 390-17-100. The current form (and the information in any other authorization form), requires a "signature" by the individual authorizing the deduction. The rule is silent on whether electronic or digital signatures will satisfy that requirement. The rule does not provide other authorization mechanisms by the employee except with a "signature."
There is an interest in possibly modernizing this rule to accommodate electronic payroll deduction authorization procedures.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulates federal campaign contributions. The FEC has approved various electronic mechanisms for payroll deductions for federal campaign contributions.
The department of enterprise services (DES) administers the state employee payroll. The office of financial management (OFM) provides additional payroll procedures for state agencies. DES and OFM may have an interest in payroll deduction procedures and requirements for state employee deductions for political committees to the extent they may impact state employees. See RCW 41.04.230.
Process for Developing New Rule: This statement of inquiry seeks comment on a possible amended rule.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested persons can contact the public disclosure commission (PDC) with comments, by directing comments to Nancy Krier, General Counsel or Lori Anderson, Communications and Training Officer, PDC, P.O. Box 40908, 711 Capitol Way, Room 206, Olympia, WA 98504-0908, phone (360) 753-1111, fax (360) 753-1112, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A notice will also be sent to all persons currently on the PDC stakeholder list, inviting comment. Notice of stakeholder meetings will be posted on the PDC web site at www.pdc.wa.gov under "Stakeholder Meetings." Meetings are held at the PDC office (address above).
The commission received the stakeholder suggestion to address electronic authorizations for payroll deductions at its January 24, 2013, meeting. Materials related to that topic are posted on the PDC web site under "Commission Meetings" for the January 24, 2013, meeting. The commission is anticipated to discuss this proposed rule making at its February 28, 2013, meeting. Future commission meeting materials on this subject will also be posted on the PDC web site.
February 6, 2013