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General Laws

Section 18. Each candidate and each treasurer of a political committee shall, except as provided in this section and section 24, file with the director reports of contributions received and expenditures made. A candidate and a committee organized on behalf of candidates seeking public office at a municipal election shall file such reports with the director, if the candidate is seeking the office of mayor in a municipality with a total population, as determined by the most recent federal decennial census, of between 40,000 and 100,000 persons, if the candidate or the candidate’s committee, during the election cycle, can reasonably expect to raise or spend more than $5,000, or if the committee is required to file such reports with the director pursuant to section 19. All other candidates seeking public office at a city or town election shall file reports with the city or town clerk. A committee organized under section 5 to favor or oppose a question submitted to the voters shall file its reports with the director if the question appears on ballots at a state election, or with the city or town clerk if the question appears on ballots at a city or town election or for use in a city or town at a state election. Reports of contributions received and expenditures made shall be filed using forms prescribed by the director.

Such reports shall be filed as follows:

(a) by each candidate for nomination or election to the state senate or house of representatives, and by the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, on or before: (1) the eighth day preceding a primary, the eighth day preceding a biennial state election, and, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year; (2) the eighth day preceding a special primary, including a convention or a caucus, the eighth day preceding a special election, the thirtieth day following a special election, and, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.

(b) by each candidate for nomination or election to city or town office, and by the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, except a candidate required to designate a depository by section nineteen or a candidate seeking election as a member of a representative town meeting or of a town or city ward committee, and any non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, on or before: (1) the eighth day preceding a city or town preliminary or primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a city or town election, and if a city election, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year, and if a town election, as a final report, the thirtieth day following said election; (2) the eighth day preceding a special primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a special election, and, as a final report, the thirtieth day following a special election.

(c) by each candidate and each non-elected political committee required to designate a depository by section nineteen on or before: (1) the third business day following the designation of such depository, and (2) as a final report, the twentieth day of January of the year following the election, complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.

The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding election for the office sought by the candidate, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day such depository is designated.

The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following the designation of the depository and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year of the election.

(d) by the treasurer of each state committee referred to in section one of chapter fifty-two and required to designate a depository by section nineteen, on or before: (1) the third business day following the designation of such depository, and (2) as a final report, the twentieth day of January of the year following the election complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.

The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding biennial state election, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day such depository is designated.

The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following the designation of the depository and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year of the election.

(e) by all other non-elected and elected political committees which are not required to file reports as aforesaid, on or before: (1) the same days and in accordance with the same schedule as set forth in clause (a), if the political committee is aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates in a state primary, special or general election; (2) the same days and in accordance with the same schedule as set forth in clause (b), if the political committee is aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing a question submitted to the voters, in a city or town preliminary, primary general or special election or for use on ballots in a city or town at a state election.

(f) by each political committee organized under the provisions of section five to favor or oppose a question submitted to the voters, if the question appears on the ballot at the state election on: (1) the day of the organization; and (2) the sixtieth day prior to the election complete as of the preceding fifth day; on or before (3) the fifth and twentieth day of each month complete as of the preceding first and fifteenth day of the month, until the election, and, thereafter; (4) the twentieth day of November following such election complete as of the fifteenth day of the month; and (5) the twentieth day of January of each year complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year until all declared liabilities of such committee have been discharged.

The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding biennial state election, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day of organization.

The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following said day of organization and shall end as of the sixtieth day prior to the election.

The reporting period of all subsequent reports shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed and shall end as of the first or fifteenth day of each month, as the case may be.

[There is no clause (g).]

(h) by all candidates and all political committees, except those candidates seeking election as members of a representative town meeting, or of a city ward or town committee, and non-elected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates, on or before the twentieth day of January in each year in which they are not otherwise required to file a report on or before the twentieth day of January; provided, however, that candidates for the state senate or house of representatives, the nonelected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates, and political action committees, that file with the director, shall also file mid-year reports on or before the twentieth day of July in each year in each odd-numbered year.

For candidates, and non-elected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates for whom said report would be an initial report, the reporting period shall commence on the day following the preceding election for the office sought by such candidate and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year prior to the last day for filing; and for all other political committees for which said report would be an initial report, the reporting period shall commence on the day following the preceding state, city or town election, as the case may be, and in accordance with the provisions of this section governing said initial report of such committees, and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year prior to the last day for filing said report. For all candidates and all political committees, if said report is not an initial report, the reporting period of such reports required to be filed on or before the twentieth day of July in each odd-numbered year shall commence on the first day of January of that year, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the thirtieth day of June of said year. The reporting period for the report required to be filed on or before January 20 in each odd-numbered year shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed and shall end as of December 31 of the prior year.

The reports required to be filed in accordance with the provisions of clauses (a) and (b), except for the report to be filed in accordance with said provisions on or before the twentieth day of January of the year following the election, shall not be required of a candidate, or of the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of said candidate, if the candidate is not a candidate as defined in clause (2) of the definition of candidate of section one.

Notwithstanding the provisions of clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d), for those contributions received subsequent to the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, which was identified in said clauses as a final report, by a candidate or political committee, and intended for application to the preceding election of said candidate or of said reporting political committee, an additional report, which shall be the final report for such candidates and committees shall be required. This report shall be filed on or before the twentieth day of January following the last day for filing said final report of clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d), and shall be complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year. The reporting period of said report shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report, or final report required to be filed by said clauses.

Except as otherwise provided, each candidate and the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of said candidate, shall, upon the filing of the initial report, include all contributions received and expenditures made since the day of the preceding election for the office sought by the candidate, or since the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever reporting period is shorter, and all other political committees shall, upon the filing of their initial report, include all contributions received and expenditures made since: (1) the day of the preceding biennial state election, or the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, if the political committee is either aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters, at a state primary or election, or (2) the day of the preceding city or town election, or the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, if the political committee is either aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters, at a city or town preliminary, primary or election.

Except as otherwise provided, the end of the reporting period of each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall be as of the tenth day preceding the last day for filing. The beginning of the reporting period for each report subsequent to the initial report shall be the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed.

The reports required to be filed by this section shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate.

Where there has been no change in an item included in a previous report, only the amount of the item need be carried forward.

Whether or not a contribution has been received or an expenditure has been made during any reporting period as described in this section, a candidate or political committee shall file the required report for said reporting period.

Each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section by a candidate or political committee shall disclose:

(1) the amount of money on hand at the beginning of the reporting period;

(2) the full name and residential address, listed alphabetically, of each person who has made a contribution, except for those contributions identified in clauses (4), (5) and (6) and which shall be reported therein, in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars in the reporting period, and such information for each contribution of less than or equal to the sum of fifty dollars, if the aggregate of all contributions received from such contributor within said reporting period is in excess of fifty dollars, as the case may be, and the amount or value and date of the contribution and the total of all contributions listed;

(3) the total amount or value of contributions made in the reporting period, and not otherwise reported under clause (2);

(4) the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each candidate or political committee from which was received any money or anything of value in a reporting period, together with the amount or value thereof and the date received;

(5) the name and address of the principal officers of any trust, foundation and association from which was received a contribution, as provided in section ten;

(6) the amount or value and date of each loan to or from any person, in the reporting period, together with the name and residential address of the lender and endorser, if any, listed alphabetically;

(7) the total sum of all contributions received, in the reporting period, which is the sum of clauses (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6);

(8) the full name and address, listed alphabetically, of each person to whom an expenditure is made, in the reporting period, except for those identified in clause (l0) and which shall be reported therein, in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars, the amount and value, date and purpose of each such expenditure and the total of all such expenditures listed, and in the case of a political committee supporting more than one candidate, the name and address, the elective office held, if any, and office sought by each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made;

(9) the total amount or value of expenditures made in the reporting period, and not otherwise reported under clause (8);

(10) in the case of a candidate or political committee, the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each candidate or political committee to which was transferred any money or anything of value, in the reporting period, together with the amount or value thereof and the date of such transfer;

(11) the total sum of expenditures made, in the reporting period, which is the sum of clauses (8), (9) and (10);

(12) the amount and date of each then existing liability remaining unfulfilled and in force when the report is made, the name and address of the person to whom the liability exists, and a clear statement of the purpose for which it was incurred;

(13) a listing of all banks or other financial institutions used;

(14) in the event of a dissolution of a political committee, a statement of such dissolution detailing the intended or actual disposition of any residual funds; and

(15) in the event of a dissolution of a political action committee, a statement that the political action committee has not received contributions pursuant to section nine A or, if it has received such contributions, a statement that the political action committee has given sixty days written notice of its intended dissolution to any contributor and said contributor’s bank or other financial institution currently making contributions pursuant to said section nine A.

In addition, each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall also include the name, residential address, and amount contributed in that reporting period, of each person whose contributions in the aggregate exceed more than fifty dollars in the calendar year, for those contributions where said information does not otherwise appear on the report.

In addition, each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall also include the occupation and name of employer or employers for each person whose contribution or contributions in the aggregate equals or exceeds the sum of two hundred dollars within any one calendar year; provided, however, that no candidate or political committee shall be required to include such occupation and employer if, upon compliance with the requirements of section two concerning the inclusion of such occupation and employer, said candidate or political committee has not been able to obtain such information.

Each year-end campaign finance report filed by a candidate or non-elected political committee required to designate a depository by section 19 and who also maintains or who has maintained a savings account or money market account, shall disclose, for each reporting period, all activity in any such account. Nothing in this section shall authorize a transfer made from any such savings or money market accounts to an account other than the depository account established by a candidate or committee in accordance with said section 19.

Every political committee organized on behalf of a candidate that files with the director, and every ballot question committee that files with the director, which receives and deposits a contribution in the amount of $500 or more after the eighteenth day, but more than 72 hours, before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election, shall file a report to disclose the information required by this section, within 72 hours of depositing such contribution.

In addition, the report required to be filed on or before the twentieth day of January shall contain a statement detailing the intended or actual disposition of any residual funds. Such residual funds shall not be converted to the personal use of the candidate or any other person except as provided in this paragraph.

Such residual funds shall be donated to:

(i) the General Fund;

(ii) an entity which is subject to chapter sixty-seven or section eight of chapter twelve; provided, however, that the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee shall not be related by consanguinity or affinity to any trustee, officer, principal or beneficiary of said entity either at the time of the gift or within ten years from the date of such gift; provided, further, that no entity may employ as a trustee, officer, principal or beneficiary any person related by consanguinity or affinity to the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee either at the time of the gift or within ten years from the date of such gift;

(iii) a scholarship fund; provided, however, that the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee shall not participate in the selection of the beneficiary of any scholarship awarded from such fund; and, provided further, the beneficiary of any scholarship awarded from such fund shall not be related by consanguinity or affinity to the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee; or

(iv) the general fund of any city or town in the commonwealth.

The director may petition the supreme judicial court for the dissolution of a political committee, if (i) such political committee fails to comply for two consecutive years with provisions of this section requiring the filing of reports of contributions received and expenditures made; (ii) the candidate on whose behalf such political committee has been organized has died; or (iii) such political committee was organized for the purpose of favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters and there has been a final determination made as to the adoption or rejection of such question.

By such petition, the director may request the court to authorize the administration of any funds held by such political committee in accordance with the provisions of this section regarding residual funds. The court, after notice by mail or otherwise as it may order, may dissolve such political committee. The director may include more than one political committee in a single application.

Any person nominated by the governor for a position that requires confirmation by the executive council shall, within 6 months of the date of confirmation, dissolve any political committee organized on behalf of such person and disperse all funds remaining in such committee’s account in accordance with this section.

Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

The provisions of this section requiring candidates to file reports shall not apply to candidates who during any reporting period have not received contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor made expenditures on their own behalf independent from the political committee organized on their behalf. Said candidates shall sign an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury that they have not received any contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor made any expenditures on their own behalf during that reporting period. Said affidavit shall be made on the report filed by the candidate’s political committee for that reporting period.

Candidates who have no political committee organized on their behalf and who have not received any campaign contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor expended money on their behalf during any reporting period need only sign an affidavit on a form provided by the director stating that they have not received a campaign contribution, incurred any liabilities, nor made any expenditure on their own behalf. Said statement shall be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.

The provisions of this section requiring city, town and ward committees established under the provisions of chapter fifty-two to file reports shall not apply to any city, town or ward committee which has not received contributions or made expenditures in excess of one hundred dollars during any reporting period, nor incurred liabilities or acquired or disposed of assets in excess of one hundred dollars during any reporting period.

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