42.17A.230  <<  42.17A.235 >>   42.17A.240

Reporting of contributions and expendituresPublic inspection of accounts (as amended by 2018 c 111). (Effective January 1, 2019.)

(1) In addition to the information required under RCW 42.17A.205 and 42.17A.210, on the day the treasurer is designated, each candidate or political committee must file with the commission a report of all contributions received and expenditures made prior to that date, if any. In addition to the information required under RCW 42.17A.205 and 42.17A.210, on the day an incidental committee files a statement of organization with the commission, each incidental committee must file with the commission a report of any election campaign expenditures under RCW 42.17A.240(6), as well as the source of the ten largest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars or greater it received in the current calendar year from a single person, including any persons tied as the tenth largest source of payments it received, if any.
(2) Each treasurer of a candidate or political committee or incidental committee required to file a statement of organization under this chapter shall file with the commission a report containing the information required by RCW 42.17A.240 at the following intervals:
(a) On the twenty-first day and the seventh day immediately preceding the date on which the election is held;
(b) On the tenth day of the first month after the election; and
(c) On the tenth day of each month in which no other reports are required to be filed under this section:
(i) For a political committee only if the committee has received a contribution or made an expenditure in the preceding calendar month and either the total contributions received or total expenditures made since the last such report exceed two hundred dollars; or
(ii) For an incidental committee, only if the committee has:
(A) Received a payment that would change the information required under RCW 42.17A.240(2)(c) as included in its last report; or
(B) Made any election campaign expenditure reportable under RCW 42.17A.240(6) since its last report, and the total election campaign expenditures made since the last report exceed two hundred dollars.
The report filed twenty-one days before the election shall report all contributions received and expenditures made as of the end of one business day before the date of the report. The report filed seven days before the election shall report all contributions received and expenditures made as of the end of one business day before the date of the report. Reports filed on the tenth day of the month shall report all contributions received and expenditures made from the closing date of the last report filed through the last day of the month preceding the date of the current report.
(3) For the period beginning the first day of the fourth month preceding the date of the special election, or for the period beginning the first day of the fifth month before the date of the general election, and ending on the date of that special or general election, each Monday the treasurer for a candidate or a political committee shall file with the commission a report of each bank deposit made during the previous seven calendar days. The report shall contain the name of each person contributing the funds and the amount contributed by each person. However, persons who contribute no more than twenty-five dollars in the aggregate are not required to be identified in the report. A copy of the report shall be retained by the treasurer for his or her records. In the event of deposits made by a deputy treasurer, the copy shall be forwarded to the treasurer for his or her records. Each report shall be certified as correct by the treasurer or deputy treasurer making the deposit.
(4)(a) The treasurer ((or))for a candidate or a political committee shall maintain books of account accurately reflecting all contributions and expenditures on a current basis within five business days of receipt or expenditure. During the eight days immediately preceding the date of the election the books of account shall be kept current within one business day. As specified in the political committee's statement of organization filed under RCW 42.17A.205, the books of account must be open for public inspection by appointment at the designated place for inspections between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on any day from the eighth day immediately before the election through the day immediately before the election, other than Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday. It is a violation of this chapter for a candidate or political committee to refuse to allow and keep an appointment for an inspection to be conducted during these authorized times and days. The appointment must be allowed at an authorized time and day for such inspections that is within twenty-four hours of the time and day that is requested for the inspection.
(b) At the time of making the appointment, a person wishing to inspect the books of account must provide the treasurer the name and telephone number of the person wishing to inspect the books of account. The person inspecting the books of account must show photo identification before the inspection begins.
(c) A treasurer may refuse to show the books of account to any person who does not make an appointment or provide the required identification.
(5) Copies of all reports filed pursuant to this section shall be readily available for public inspection by appointment, pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, at the principal headquarters or, if there is no headquarters, at the address of the treasurer or such other place as may be authorized by the commission.
(6) The treasurer or candidate shall preserve books of account, bills, receipts, and all other financial records of the campaign or political committee for not less than five calendar years following the year during which the transaction occurred.
(7) All reports filed pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be certified as correct by the candidate and the treasurer.
(8) When there is no outstanding debt or obligation, the campaign fund is closed, and the campaign is concluded in all respects or in the case of a political committee, the committee has ceased to function and has dissolved, the treasurer shall file a final report. Upon submitting a final report, the duties of the treasurer shall cease and there is no obligation to make any further reports.
(9) The commission must adopt rules for the dissolution of incidental committees.

NOTES:

Effective dateShort titleFindingsIntentImplementation with existing funds2018 c 111: See notes following RCW 42.17A.207.

RCW 42.17A.235

Reporting of contributions and expenditures—Public inspection of accounts (as amended by 2018 c 304).

RCW 42.17A.235

Reporting of contributions and expendituresPublic inspection of accounts (as amended by 2018 c 304).

(1) In addition to the information required under RCW 42.17A.205 and 42.17A.210, ((on the day the treasurer is designated,)) each candidate or political committee must file with the commission a report of all contributions received and expenditures made ((prior to that date, if any))as a political committee on the next reporting date pursuant to the timeline established in this section.
(2) Each treasurer shall file with the commission a report, for each election in which a candidate or political committee is participating, containing the information required by RCW 42.17A.240 at the following intervals:
(a) On the twenty-first day and the seventh day immediately preceding the date on which the election is held; and
(b) On the tenth day of the first full month after the election((; and)).
(((c)))(3) Each treasurer shall file with the commission a report on the tenth day of each month ((in))during which ((no other reports are required to be filed under this section))the candidate or political committee is not participating in an election campaign, only if the committee has received a contribution or made an expenditure in the preceding calendar month and either the total contributions received or total expenditures made since the last such report exceed two hundred dollars.
(4) The report filed twenty-one days before the election shall report all contributions received and expenditures made as of the end of one business day before the date of the report. The report filed seven days before the election shall report all contributions received and expenditures made as of the end of one business day before the date of the report. Reports filed on the tenth day of the month shall report all contributions received and expenditures made from the closing date of the last report filed through the last day of the month preceding the date of the current report.
(((3)))(5) For the period beginning the first day of the fourth month preceding the date of the special election, or for the period beginning the first day of the fifth month before the date of the general election, and ending on the date of that special or general election, each Monday the treasurer shall file with the commission a report of each bank deposit made during the previous seven calendar days. The report shall contain the name of each person contributing the funds and the amount contributed by each person. However, persons who contribute no more than twenty-five dollars in the aggregate are not required to be identified in the report. A copy of the report shall be retained by the treasurer for his or her records. In the event of deposits made by ((a deputy treasurer))candidates, political committee members, or paid staff other than the treasurer, the copy shall be ((forwarded))immediately provided to the treasurer for his or her records. Each report shall be certified as correct by the treasurer ((or deputy treasurer making the deposit)).
(((4)))(6)(a) The treasurer or candidate shall maintain books of account accurately reflecting all contributions and expenditures on a current basis within five business days of receipt or expenditure. During the ((eight))ten calendar days immediately preceding the date of the election the books of account shall be kept current within one business day. As specified in the committee's statement of organization filed under RCW 42.17A.205, the books of account must be open for public inspection by appointment at ((the designated))a place agreed upon by both the treasurer and the requestor, for inspections between ((8:00))9:00 a.m. and ((8:00))5:00 p.m. on any day from the ((eighth))tenth calendar day immediately before the election through the day immediately before the election, other than Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday. It is a violation of this chapter for a candidate or political committee to refuse to allow and keep an appointment for an inspection to be conducted during these authorized times and days. The appointment must be allowed at an authorized time and day for such inspections that is within ((twenty-four))forty-eight hours of the time and day that is requested for the inspection. The treasurer may provide digital access or copies of the books of account in lieu of scheduling an appointment at a designated place for inspection.
(b) At the time of making the appointment, a person wishing to inspect the books of account must provide the treasurer the name and telephone number of the person wishing to inspect the books of account. The person inspecting the books of account must show photo identification before the inspection begins.
(c) A treasurer may refuse to show the books of account to any person who does not make an appointment or provide the required identification. The commission may issue limited rules to modify the requirements set forth in this section in consideration of other technology and best practices.
(((5)))(7) Copies of all reports filed pursuant to this section shall be readily available for public inspection by appointment, pursuant to subsection (((4)))(6) of this section((, at the principal headquarters or, if there is no headquarters, at the address of the treasurer or such other place as may be authorized by the commission)).
(((6)))(8) The treasurer or candidate shall preserve books of account, bills, receipts, and all other financial records of the campaign or political committee for not less than ((five))two calendar years following the year during which the transaction occurred or for any longer period as otherwise required by law.
(((7)))(9) All reports filed pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be certified as correct by the candidate and the treasurer.
(((8)))(10) It is not a violation of this section to submit an amended report within twenty-one days of filing an underlying report if:
(a) The report is accurately amended;
(b) The corrected report is filed more than thirty days before an election;
(c) The total aggregate dollar amount of the adjustment for the individual report is within three times the contribution limit per election or two hundred dollars, whichever is greater; and
(d) The committee reported all information that was available to it at the time of filing, or made a good-faith effort to do so, or if a refund of a contribution or expenditure is being reported.
(11)(a) When there is no outstanding debt or obligation, the campaign fund is closed, ((and)) the campaign is concluded in all respects ((or in the case of a political committee)), and the committee has ceased to function and ((has dissolved))intends to dissolve, the treasurer shall file a final report. Upon submitting a final report, the committee must file notice of intent to dissolve with the commission and the commission must post the notice on its web site.
(b) Any committee may dissolve sixty days after it files its notice to dissolve, only if:
(i) The political committee does not make any expenditures other than those related to the dissolution process or engage in any political activity or any other activities that generate additional reporting requirements under this chapter after filing such notice;
(ii) No complaint or court action under this chapter is pending against the political committee; and
(iii) All penalties assessed by the commission or court order are paid by the political committee.
(c) The political committee must continue to report regularly as required under this chapter until all the conditions under (b) of this subsection are resolved.
(d) The treasurer may not close the political committee's bank account before the political committee has dissolved.
(e) Upon dissolution, the commission must issue an acknowledgment of dissolution, the duties of the treasurer shall cease, and there ((is))shall be no further obligations((to make any further reports))under this chapter. Dissolution does not absolve the candidate or board of the committee from responsibility for any future obligations resulting from the finding after dissolution of a violation committed prior to dissolution.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: RCW 42.17A.235 was amended twice during the 2018 legislative session, each without reference to the other. For rule of construction concerning sections amended more than once during the same legislative session, see RCW 1.12.025.
FindingIntent2018 c 304: "The legislature finds that state campaign finance laws are intended to provide maximum transparency to the public and voters so they may know who is funding political campaigns and how those campaigns spend their money. Additionally, our campaign finance laws should not be so complex and complicated that volunteers and newcomers to the political process cannot understand the rules or have difficulty following them. The legislature believes that our campaign finance laws should not be a barrier to participating in the political process, but instead encourage people to participate in the process by ensuring a level playing field and a predictable enforcement mechanism. The legislature intends to simplify the political reporting and enforcement process without sacrificing transparency and the public's right to know who funds political campaigns. The legislature also intends to expedite the public disclosure commission's enforcement procedures so that remedial campaign finance violations can be dealt with administratively."
The intent of the law is not to trap or embarrass people when they make honest remediable errors. A majority of smaller campaigns are volunteer-driven and most treasurers are not professional accountants. The public disclosure commission should be guided to review and address major violations, intentional violations, and violations that could change the outcome of an election or materially affect the public interest." [ 2018 c 304 § 1.]
Effective date2006 c 344 §§ 1-16 and 18-40: See note following RCW 29A.04.311.
Effective date1989 c 280: See note following RCW 42.17A.005.
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