Skip to Content


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 522         FILED ON: 1/11/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 559

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Cory Atkins

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the accountability of corporate political spending.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Timothy R. Madden

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Linda Campbell

15th Essex

Daniel A. Wolf

Cape and Islands

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Jason Lewis

 

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 522        FILED ON: 1/11/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 559

By Ms. Atkins of Concord, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 559) of Cory Atkins and others relative to accountability for certain corporate political activities.  Election Laws. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE SENATE, NO. 305 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to the accountability of corporate political spending.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  This Act may be cited as the “Massachusetts Corporate Accountability Act of 2013”.

              SECTION 2.  Chapter 156B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8 the following new section: -

              Section 8A. (a) In this section: (1) “political activity” shall mean any contribution, expenditure, independent expenditure, or electioneering communication, as defined by section 1 of chapter 55; but “political activity” does not include: (i) activity defined as lobbying under any local, state or federal law; (ii) communication by a corporation to its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families; or (iii) any nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaign by a corporation aimed at its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families; (2) “filing date” shall mean January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1; (3) In this section, “reporting period” shall mean the period between the prior filing date and 15 days before the next filing date.

              (b) Any corporation which is subject to the requirements of this chapter and is not defined as a political committee by section 1 of chapter 55 that engages in political activity during the reporting period shall file a written report to its shareholders on the first filing date following the end of the reporting period during which the corporation engaged in political activity.  A copy of such written report shall be provided to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance in a form prescribed by the director.  The director shall develop and distribute a form for filing such written reports.  A report made pursuant to this subsection shall: (1) require an electronic signature from the treasurer at the time of the filing of the campaign finance report; (2) be made subject to the penalties for perjury; and (3) include (i) the date, amount and purpose of any political activity engaged in by the corporation or a separate segregated fund affiliated with the corporation and (ii) the identity of any candidate for state or local office referred to in any independent expenditure or electioneering communication made by the corporation or a separate segregated fund affiliated with the corporation. If this subsection requires a corporation to file more than one written report during a one-year period, such reports shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate.

              (c) Any corporation subject to the requirements of this chapter which is defined as a political committee by section 1 of chapter 55 must file with its shareholders the report filed under section 18 of Chapter 55.  These reports shall be filed with the shareholders on the first filing date after the report is filed with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

              (d) A copy of the reports filed under this section shall be posted immediately on the corporation’s website, if any, and kept available for at least one year.

              SECTION 3.  Chapter 156B is hereby amended by inserting after section 54 the following new section:-

              54A. Political Expenditures:--

              (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no corporation, or trade, business, or professional association nor any other entity under this title shall make any campaign contribution or expenditure  or combination of contributions or expenditures totaling an excess of $5,000 unless specifically authorized to do so by the affirmative authorization of a majority of the board of directors of the corporation, of the executive committee of the trade, business, or professional association or similar body at a regular or special meeting thereof.

              In addition, any corporation or trade, business, or professional association violating any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 and any officer, director or agent of the corporation violating any provision thereof or authorizing such violation of any provision thereof, or any person who violates or in any way knowingly aids or abets the violation thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Error