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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE I JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH, THE GENERAL COURT, STATUTES AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
  • CHAPTER 3 THE GENERAL COURT
  • Section 44 Registration of organizations attempting to influence legislation; statement of expenditures; public inspection; penalty

Section 44. On or before the fifteenth day of July, complete from January first through June thirtieth; and the fifteenth day of January, complete from July first to December thirty-first of the preceding year, any group or organization, however constituted, not employing an executive or legislative agent which as part of an organized effort, expends in excess of two hundred and fifty dollars during any calendar year to promote, oppose, or influence legislation, or the governor’s veto or approval thereof, or to influence the decision of any officer or employee of the executive branch or an authority, including, but not limited to, statewide constitutional officers and employees thereof, where such decision concerns legislation or the adoption, defeat or postponement of a standard, rate, rule or regulation pursuant thereto, or to do any act to communicate directly with a covered executive official to influence a decision concerning policy or procurement shall register with the state secretary by rendering a statement, under oath, containing the names and addresses of the principals of such group or organization, the purposes of the organization, such aforesaid decisions of such employees of the executive branch or an authority or legislation which affects those purposes, the total amount of expenditures, incurred or paid during the reporting period in furtherance of the foregoing objectives and an itemized statement containing all expenditures made for or on behalf of statewide constitutional officers, officers and employees of such offices, members of the general court, officers and employees of the general court, officers and employees of the executive branch and officers and employees of an authority. Such itemized accounting shall include, but shall not be limited to, specific expenditures for meals, transportation, entertainment, advertising, public relations, printing, mailing and telephone and the names of the payees and the amount paid to each payee. Where such expenditure is for meals, entertainment or transportation, said expenditure shall be identified by date, place, amount, and the names of all persons in the group partaking in, or of, such meal, entertainment or transportation. The itemized accounting shall also include a list of all campaign contributions, as defined in section one of chapter fifty-five, made by the group to a political candidate or committee, the name of each candidate or committee, the amount contributed and the date of the contribution. The statement of the group or organization shall also include a listing of the names and addresses of every person, group or organization from whom fifteen dollars or more was contributed during the year for the objectives hereinabove stated. No expenditure or contribution shall be split or divided for the purpose of evading any provision of this section. The state secretary shall prescribe and make available the appropriate statement forms which after being completed and filed with the secretary shall be organized alphabetically according to the name of the group and such files shall be open and accessible for public inspection during normal business hours.

The state secretary shall assess a penalty for any statement which is filed by such a group or organization later than the prescribed date; or, if such statement has been filed by mailing, where the postmark on such mailing is later than the prescribed date. Said penalty shall be in the amount of $50 per day up to the twentieth day and an additional $100 per day for every day after the twentieth day until the statement is filed. The state secretary may waive these penalties for good cause. A waiver for good cause shall not be granted for statements filed more than sixty days late by executive or legislative agents, or groups and organizations employing executive or legislative agents, which have never filed or have never been required to file such statements. In all other instances no waiver for good cause shall be granted when a statement has been filed more than thirty days late.

This section shall not apply to any group or organization that (i) does not employ an executive or legislative agent; (ii) does not realize a profit; (iii) does not make a contribution, as defined in section one of chapter fifty-five, to a political candidate or committee; (iv) does not pay a salary or fee to any member for any activities performed for the benefit of the group or organization; and (v) expends two thousand dollars or less during any calendar year to promote, oppose, or influence legislation, or the governor’s veto or approval thereof, or to influence the decision of any officer or employee of the executive branch or an authority, including, but not limited to, statewide constitutional officers and employees thereof, where such decision concerns legislation or the adoption, defeat or postponement of a standard, rate, rule or regulation pursuant thereto, or to do any act to communicate directly with a covered executive official to influence a decision concerning policy or procurement.