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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 19: Campaign funds; designation of depository

  Section 19. (a) Candidates for nomination or election to the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, state secretary, attorney general, state treasurer and receiver general, state auditor, governor's council, district attorney, clerk of court, register of probate, registrar of deeds, county commissioner, county treasurer and sheriff, mayor or city council or alderman in a city with a total population, as determined by the most recent decennial federal census, of 75,000 or more persons and the treasurer of each state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52, the treasurer of the nonelected political committee authorized by any of the aforesaid candidates and the treasurers of people's committees and political action committees that file with the director other than independent expenditure PACs shall immediately, upon the organization of the political committee or upon becoming a candidate in accordance with clauses (1) and (2) of the definition of candidate in section 1, designate a financial institution as a depository for the campaign funds of the candidate or political committee. The financial institution shall be: (i) a national bank, federal savings bank, federal savings and loan association or federal credit union; provided, however, that the bank, association or credit union may transact business and has its main office or a branch office in the commonwealth; or (ii) a trust company, credit union, co-operative bank or savings bank; provided, however, that the company, credit union or bank is organized and exists under the laws of the commonwealth or any other state or otherwise may transact business in the commonwealth and has its main office or a branch office in the commonwealth. A candidate and the treasurer of a political committee shall file with the director, on or before the third business day following the designation of the depository, a certificate of appointment containing the name of the financial institution so designated and the name of the candidate or political committee and shall authorize the financial institution to submit the reports required by subsection (d). The certificate of appointment reflecting the financial institution's agreement to comply with this section shall also be signed by an authorized employee of the financial institution.

  (b) A candidate and the treasurer of a political committee required to designate a depository shall deposit contributions in the form received within 7 days of receipt. Any candidate or treasurer required to designate a depository shall file with the director, by the fifth and twentieth days of each month, the following information: (i) a list of all contributions of more than $50 deposited as of the first and fifteenth days of the month and since the last statement, including an alphabetical list of names and addresses of each person making a contribution; (ii) for a person who has made a contribution in an amount of or with a value of $200 or more in any calendar year, the occupation and employer of the contributor and the information for each contribution of less than $200 if the aggregate of all contributions received from the contributor within any calendar year is $200 or more; and (iii) a summary of all contributions of $50 or less deposited that are not itemized on the report.

[ First paragraph of subsection (c) effective until October 12, 2016. For text effective October 12, 2016, see below.]

  (c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all payments for campaign purposes made by or for the benefit of a candidate or by the treasurer of a political committee which are in excess of $100 shall be made only from funds on deposit in the depository through checks drawn on the depository and indicating that the checks are drawn on the campaign account of the candidate or the political committee involved. All checks drawn on the campaign account shall be payable either to the order of a named payee, not the candidate or treasurer, or, if the check is for not more than $100, may be payable to the candidate or treasurer. The memo line of the check shall be used by the political committee issuing the check to indicate the specific purpose of the expenditure.

[ First paragraph of subsection (c) as amended by 2016, 152, Sec. 2 effective October 12, 2016. For text effective until October 12, 2016, see above.]

  (c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all payments for campaign purposes made by or for the benefit of a candidate or by the treasurer of a political committee which are in excess of $100 shall be made only from funds on deposit in the depository through checks drawn on the depository and indicating that the checks are drawn on the campaign account of the candidate or the political committee involved. All checks drawn on the campaign account shall be payable either to the order of a named payee, not the candidate or treasurer, or, if the check is for not more than $100, may be payable to the candidate or treasurer. The memo line of the check shall be used by the political committee issuing the check to indicate the specific purpose of the expenditure. A political action committee or political party committee making an expenditure to support or oppose a candidate shall identify the candidate on the check.

  A candidate or treasurer of a political committee required to designate a depository may make expenditures by wire transfer or other electronic means for broadcast, cablecast or other media services and for payroll services made in connection with employee deductions and withholdings. Expenditures may also be made by credit or debit card; provided, however, that a candidate or treasurer making an expenditure shall ensure that the date, amount and specific purpose of the expenditure is disclosed in accordance with regulations to be issued by the director.

  (d) The cashier or treasurer of the bank selected by any candidate or political committee as provided in this section shall file with the director by the fifth day and twentieth day of each month the following information: (i) a statement of the balance as of the preceding first day or fifteenth day of the month; (ii) a summary of all credits to the account since the last statement; and (iii) a list of all the debits to the account since the last statement. The bank shall also report, to the extent such information is available, the names and addresses of the payees, the amount of each check and the purposes for which the money was paid as indicated on the check.

  (e) The accounts shall remain in existence until the election and so long thereafter as a candidate or political committee has unpaid obligations still outstanding. Candidates and treasurers required to file reports under this section shall continue to file year-end campaign finance reports in accordance with section 18 every year the committee remains in existence.

  (f) A committee required to designate a depository on behalf of a candidate that files with the director in accordance with this section and which receives and deposits a contribution 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 the contribution. In addition, a state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52 required to designate a depository pursuant to this section and which receives a contribution of $500 or more after the eighteenth day but more than 24 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 the contribution.

[ Subsection (g) inserted following subsection (f) by 2016, 152, Sec. 3 effective October 12, 2016.]

  (g) A political action committee or state committee of a political party organized pursuant to chapter 52 shall, within 7 days of its depository bank disclosing an expenditure made by the committee to support or oppose a candidate, review the bank's report and if the report does not identify the candidate supported or opposed, append to the bank's report a disclosure containing the name of the candidate and whether the expenditure supported or opposed the candidate.

  A candidate or a political committee that fails to file any report required by this section shall be assessed and shall pay to the state treasurer a penalty not greater than $25 for each day the candidate or political committee has not filed the report.

  A violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not more than $500.