WSR 01-19-017

PROPOSED RULES

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE COMMISSION


[ Filed September 11, 2001, 3:14 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-16-127.

Title of Rule: Title 390 WAC, rules to implement electronic filing mandate for candidates and political committees.

Purpose: To implement RCW 42.17.3691.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 42.17.370(1) and 42.17.080(10).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 42.17.3691.

Summary: Beginning in 2002, all candidates and political committees, including ballot measure committees, who expend $25,000 or more in 2001, or expect to spend $25,000 or more during 2002, will be required to submit campaign finance reports electronically. The proposed rules represent the first step in implementing the statutory requirement and include five new rules and the repeal of one existing rule. The new rules address intent, mandatory filing, reporting threshold, verification and amendments and exceptions.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed rules provide guidance to filers required to file reports electronically.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Doug Ellis, Public Disclosure Commission, 711 Capitol Way, Room 206, Olympia, (360) 664-2735; and Enforcement: Phil Stutzman, Public Disclosure Commission, 711 Capitol Way, Room 206, Olympia, (360) 664-8853.

Name of Proponent: Public Disclosure Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: RCW 42.17.3691(1) reads:

Beginning in January 1, 2002, each candidate or political committee that expended $25,000 or more in the preceding year or expects to expend $25,000 or more in the current year shall file all contribution reports and expenditure reports required by this chapter by the electronic alternative provided by the commission under RCW 42.17.369. The commission may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis for candidates whose authorized committees lack the technological ability to file reports using the electronic alternative provided by the commission.

The proposed rules are designed to implement the statute and give guidance to candidates and political committees required to file campaign finance reports electronically beginning January 1, 2002, and to repeal the reference regarding electronic filing by gubernatorial candidates since the mandates in RCW 42.17.3691 encompass all candidates including the gubernatorial candidates.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The proposed rule change would repeal WAC 390-16-190.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The implementation of these rules does not impact small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Public Disclosure Commission is not an agency listed in subsection (5)(a)(i) of section 201. Further, the Public Disclosure Commission does not voluntarily make section 201 applicable to this rule adoption pursuant to subsection (5)(a)(ii) of section 201, and to date the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee has not made section 201 applicable to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Commission Hearing Room, Evergreen Plaza Building, 711 Capitol Way, Room 206, Olympia, WA, on October 23, 2001, at 9:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Ruthann Bryant by phone (360) 753-1111.

Submit Written Comments to: Doug Ellis, Public Disclosure Commission, P.O. Box 40908, Olympia, WA 98504-0908, fax (360) 753-1112, dellis@pdc.wa.gov, by October 19, 2001.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 23, 2001.

September 10, 2001

Vicki Rippie

Executive Director

OTS-5147.3

Chapter 390-19 WAC

ELECTRONIC FILING


NEW SECTION
WAC 390-19-010   Intent of electronic filing.   (1) The public disclosure commission (PDC) was created and empowered by initiative of the people to provide timely and meaningful public access to information about the financing of political campaigns, lobbyist expenditures, and the financial affairs of public officials and candidates, and to insure compliance with contribution limits and other campaign finance restrictions.

(2) Full and prompt access to the political finance data filed by persons subject to the law is best realized through wide-spread use of electronic filing alternatives. The Washington state legislature has mandated that certain filers submit their PDC reports electronically. The commission encourages all persons required to report under the disclosure law to utilize the electronic filing alternatives provided by the PDC.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 390-19-020   Electronic filing -- Mandatory filing.   (1) RCW 42.17.3691 mandates that persons satisfying the qualifying criteria in that section file all contribution and expenditure reports by electronic means.

(2) Persons filing by electronic means shall register with the PDC and receive a filer identification number and password. Filers must have a current C-1 Candidate Registration Statement or a C-1pc Committee Registration Statement with original signature on file with the PDC prior to receiving a filer identification number. Forms C-1 and C-1pc may not be filed electronically.

(3) A filer subject to RCW 42.17.3691 shall file all PDC C-3 and C-4 reports and all appropriate schedules electronically in compliance with subsection (5) of this section.

(4) Any filer required to file electronically, but who files on paper, is in violation of RCW 42.17.3691 and may be subject to enforcement action unless the filer is a candidate who has sought and been granted an exception from electronic filing under WAC 390-19-050.

(5) A filer subject to electronic filing shall file reports using one of the following formats:

(a) The Washington electronic disclosure system (WEDS) provided free-of-charge by the PDC;

(b) Software that conforms to the political disclosure standard electronic reporting format provided by the PDC; or

(c) Any other electronic filing software compatible with PDSERF.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 390-19-030   Electronic filing -- Reporting threshold.   (1) Beginning with the reporting periods that start on or after January 1, 2002, the "electronic reporting threshold" that requires electronic filing of all contribution and expenditure reports is met when a candidate or political committee has expended $25,000 or more in the preceding calendar year or expects to expend $25,000 or more in the current calendar year. The electronic reporting threshold is $10,000 effective January 1, 2004.

(2) "Expects to expend" is defined as when any one of the following first occurs:

(a) A filer meets or exceeds the electronic reporting threshold;

(b) A filer's expenditures during the last election for the same office sought exceeded the electronic reporting threshold;

(c) A filer's expenditures exceed one-quarter of the electronic reporting threshold in the first calendar quarter of the current calendar year;

(d) A filer's expenditures exceed one-half of the electronic reporting threshold in the first half of the current calendar year; or

(e) A filer otherwise projects that the electronic reporting threshold will be met.

(3) The following expenditures or transactions are excluded from the electronic reporting threshold calculation:

(a) Expenditures made to pay outstanding debts carried forward from a previous election; and

(b) Surplus funds disposed of in accordance with RCW 42.17.095.

(4) Candidate committees or political committees supporting or opposing ballot propositions that meet, exceed or expect to meet or exceed the electronic reporting threshold shall report electronically for the duration of the campaign.

(5) Beginning with the reporting periods that start on or after January 1, 2002, a report that is filed with the commission electronically need not also be filed with the county auditor or elections officer.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 390-19-040   Electronic filing -- Verification and amendments.   (1) An electronic report is filed when it is received and validated by the public disclosure commission (PDC) computer system. The PDC shall notify the filer that the electronic report has been received.

(2) An electronic report is timely filed if received on or before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the prescribed filing date.

(3) An electronic report that is infected with a virus, damaged, or is improperly formatted is not properly filed with the PDC and shall be rejected.

(4) To amend an electronically filed report, the filer shall electronically refile the entire report.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 390-19-050   Electronic filing -- Exceptions.   (1) The commission may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis for candidates whose authorized committees lack the technological ability to file reports electronically.

(2) A candidate seeking an exception under RCW 42.17.3691 shall file with the PDC a written statement of reasons why the authorized committee lacks the ability to file reports electronically.

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REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 390-16-190 Electronic filing

Washington State Code Reviser's Office