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Citizens United and the States

 

Life After Citizens United

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CRS Report:  Legislative Options After Citizens United

CRS Report:  Issues and Options for Congress

$100 dollar bills falling from the sky

Updated January 4, 2011 

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC  on Jan. 21, 2010, is having a profound effect on the laws governing corporate political activity in nearly half the states. The court ruled that the federal government may not prohibit direct corporate and union spending on advertising for candidates' elections. While the ruling does not directly affect state laws, there are 24 states that currently prohibit or restrict corporate and/or union spending on candidate elections. Many of these states are looking at repealing or re-writing these laws to avoid legal challenges under the new standard set by Citizens United.  Furthermore, it is likely that states will choose not to enforce these laws, which has the potential to radically change the political landscape as we head into the 2010 elections. It is important to note that the Citizens United decision does not strike down bans on corporate contributions to candidates, which currently exist in 23 states. Only the ban on direct corporate and union spending on campaign advertising is addressed by this decision.

 


 

State Laws Affected by Citizens United

Laws in 24 states are affected by Citizens United.  One state bans political activity by unions, nine ban corporate political activity, and 14 ban political activity by both corporations and unions.

 

State

Corporate Ban

Union Ban

Alabama

Corporations cannot fund ads directly under their own name, but must pay for them thru a PAC; corporations cannot contribute to a PAC (NOTE: this opinion applied specifically to spending on ads for/against referenda; not entirely clear that it applies to ads for/against candidates too)

(AG Opinion 82-088; conversation with SOS staff on 1/25/10) (§10-2A-70 and 10-2A-70.1)

None.

Alaska

(Repealed; 2010 Alaska Sess. Laws, Chap. 36)

Only an individual, group, or nongroup entity may make an independent expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate (the definitions of these terms exclude corporations and unions) (§15.13.067, 15.13.135)

(Repealed; 2010 Alaska Sess. Laws, Chap. 36)

Only an individual, group, or nongroup entity may make an independent expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate (the definitions of these terms exclude corporations and unions) (§15.13.067, 15.13.135)

Arizona

(Repealed; 2010 Ariz. Sess. Laws, Chap. 4)

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, organized or doing business in this state, to make any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing any election or official action. (Const. Art. 14, §18)

It is unlawful for a corporation, a limited liability company, or a labor organization to make any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing an election (§16-919)

State law has a specific list of corporate expenditures that are not considered to be political contributions prohibited by law, and advertising for/against candidates is not included in this list (§16-920)

(Repealed; 2010 Ariz. Sess. Laws, Chap. 4)

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, organized or doing business in this state, to make any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing any election or official action. (Const. Art. 14, §18)

It is unlawful for a corporation, a limited liability company, or a labor organization to make any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing an election (§16-919)

State law has a specific list of corporate expenditures that are not considered to be political contributions prohibited by law, and advertising for/against candidates is not included in this list (§16-920)

Colorado

(Both of the following provisions held unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court on March 22, 2010.)

It shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to make contributions to a candidate committee or a political party, and to make expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate; except that a corporation or labor organization may establish a political committee or small donor committee which may accept contributions or dues from employees, officeholders, shareholders, or members.

(Const. Art. XXVIII, §3(4))

Notwithstanding any section to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to provide funding for an electioneering communication; except that any political committee or small donor committee established by such corporation or labor organization may provide funding for an electioneering communication. (Const. Art. XXVII, §6(2))

(Both of the following provisions held unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court on March 22, 2010.)

It shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to make contributions to a candidate committee or a political party, and to make expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate; except that a corporation or labor organization may establish a political committee or small donor committee which may accept contributions or dues from employees, officeholders, shareholders, or members.

(Const. Art. XXVIII, §3(4))

Notwithstanding any section to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to provide funding for an electioneering communication; except that any political committee or small donor committee established by such corporation or labor organization may provide funding for an electioneering communication. (Const. Art. XXVII, §6(2))

Connecticut

(Repealed by HB 5471)

No business entity shall make any contributions or expenditures to, or for the benefit of, any candidate's campaign for election to any public office or position subject to this chapter or for nomination at a primary for any such office or position, or to promote the defeat of any candidate for any such office or position.(§9-613)

None.

Iowa

(Repealed by SF 2354, 2010)

It is unlawful for an insurance company, savings and loan association, bank, credit union, or corporation to contribute any money, property, labor, or thing of value, directly or indirectly, to a committee, or to expressly advocate that the vote of an elector be used to nominate, elect, or defeat a candidate for public office (§68A.503)

None.

Kentucky

No corporation organized or authorized to do business in this state or in another state shall, by itself or by or through an officer, agent, attorney, or employee, subscribe, give, procure or furnish, or afterwards reimburse or compensate in any way any person who has subscribed, given, procured, or furnished, any money, privilege, favor, or other thing of value to any political or quasi-political organization, or any officer or member thereof, to be used by such organization for the purpose of aiding, assisting, or advancing any candidate for public office in this state in any way whatever. (§121.035)

None.

Massachusetts

No corporation carrying on the business of a bank, trust, surety indemnity, safe deposit, insurance, railroad, street railway, telegraph, telephone, gas, electric light, heat, power, canal, aqueduct, or water company, no company having the right to take land by eminent domain or to exercise franchises in public ways, granted by the commonwealth or by any county, city or town, no trustee or trustees owning or holding the majority of the stock of such a corporation, no business corporation incorporated under the laws of or doing business in the commonwealth and no officer or agent acting in behalf of any corporation mentioned in this section, shall directly or indirectly give, pay, expend or contribute, or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, any money or other valuable thing for the purpose of aiding, promoting or preventing the nomination or election of any person to public office, or aiding or promoting or antagonizing the interest of any political party. (Ch. 55 §8)

None.

Michigan

A corporation, joint stock company, domestic dependent sovereign, or labor organization shall not make a contribution or expenditure or provide volunteer personal services that are excluded from the definition of a contribution pursuant to section 4(3)(a). (§169.254)

A corporation, joint stock company, domestic dependent sovereign, or labor organization shall not make a contribution or expenditure or provide volunteer personal services that are excluded from the definition of a contribution pursuant to section 4(3)(a). (§169.254)

Minnesota

(Repealed; 2010 Minn. Laws, Chap. 397)

A corporation may not make an independent expenditure or offer or agree to make an independent expenditure to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office. For the purpose of this subdivision, "independent expenditure" means an expenditure that is not made with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or committee established to support or oppose a candidate. (§221B.15(3))

None.

Montana

(The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June25, 2012, that the Montana law was unconstitutional.)

A corporation may not make a contribution or an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party. (§13-35-227)

None.

New Hampshire

None.

(Note that §664:4(I) was held unconstitutional in 2000.)

No contribution, whether tangible or intangible, shall be made to a candidate, a political committee, or political party, or in behalf of a candidate or political committee or political party, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any candidate or political party at any state primary or general election… By any labor union or group of labor unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of such union or group of unions; or by any organization representing or affiliated with any such union or group of unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of such organization. (§664:4(III))

North Carolina

(Repealed by HB 748, 2010)

No prohibited source may make any disbursement for the costs of producing or airing any electioneering communication. No individual, committee, association, or any other organization or group of individuals, including but not limited to, a political organization (as defined in section 527(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), which has received any funds or anything of value whatsoever from a prohibited source may make any disbursement for the costs of producing or airing any electioneering communication, unless that individual, committee, association, or other organization or group of individuals maintains a segregated bank account that consists of funds provided solely by entities other than prohibited sources. (§163-278.82)

The term "prohibited source" means any corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association. (§163-278.80(4))

...it shall be unlawful for any corporation, business entity, labor union, professional association or insurance company directly or indirectly: (1) To make any contribution to a candidate or political committee or to make any expenditure to support or oppose the nomination or election of a clearly identified candidate  (§163-278.19(a)(1))

(Repealed by HB 748, 2010)

No prohibited source may make any disbursement for the costs of producing or airing any electioneering communication. No individual, committee, association, or any other organization or group of individuals, including but not limited to, a political organization (as defined in section 527(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), which has received any funds or anything of value whatsoever from a prohibited source may make any disbursement for the costs of producing or airing any electioneering communication, unless that individual, committee, association, or other organization or group of individuals maintains a segregated bank account that consists of funds provided solely by entities other than prohibited sources. (§163-278.82)

The term "prohibited source" means any corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association. (§163-278.80(4))

...it shall be unlawful for any corporation, business entity, labor union, professional association or insurance company directly or indirectly: (1) To make any contribution to a candidate or political committee or to make any expenditure to support or oppose the nomination or election of a clearly identified candidate  (§163-278.19(a)(1))

North Dakota

A corporation, cooperative corporation, limited liability company, or association may not make a direct contribution for any political purpose. (§16.1-08.1-03.3(1)(d))

A corporation, cooperative corporation, limited liability company, or association may not make a direct contribution for any political purpose. (§16.1-08.1-03.3(1)(d))

(Note that the definition of "association" includes unions - 16.1-08.1-01.1(1))

Ohio

No corporation, no nonprofit corporation, and no labor organization, directly or indirectly, shall pay or use, or offer, advise, consent, or agree to pay or use, the organization’s money or property for or in aid of or opposition to a political party, a candidate for election or nomination to public office, a political action committee including a political action committee of the corporation or labor organization, a legislative campaign fund, or any organization that supports or opposes any such candidate, or for any partisan political purpose.. (§3599.03)

No person shall make, during the thirty days preceding a primary election or during the thirty days preceding a general election, any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified candidate using any contributions received from a corporation or labor organization.   (§3517.1011(H))

No corporation, no nonprofit corporation, and no labor organization, directly or indirectly, shall pay or use, or offer, advise, consent, or agree to pay or use, the organization’s money or property for or in aid of or opposition to a political party, a candidate for election or nomination to public office, a political action committee including a political action committee of the corporation or labor organization, a legislative campaign fund, or any organization that supports or opposes any such candidate, or for any partisan political purpose.. (§3599.03)

No person shall make, during the thirty days preceding a primary election or during the thirty days preceding a general election, any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified candidate using any contributions received from a corporation or labor organization.   (§3517.1011(H))

Oklahoma

A corporation or labor organization shall not make a contribution or an expenditure or an independent expenditure to, or for the benefit of, a candidate or committee in connection with an election or for any electioneering communication. (Tit. 74, Ch. 62, §257:10-1-2(d)(2))

A corporation or labor organization shall not make a contribution or an expenditure or an independent expenditure to, or for the benefit of, a candidate or committee in connection with an election or for any electioneering communication. (Tit. 74, Ch. 62, §257:10-1-2(d)(2))

Pennsylvania

It is unlawful for any National or State bank, or any corporation, incorporated under the laws of this or any other state or any foreign country or any unincorporated association, except those corporations formed primarily for political purposes or as a political committee, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with the election of any candidate or for any political purpose whatever except in connection with any question to be voted on by the electors of this Commonwealth. (Section 1633 25 P.S. §3253)

It is unlawful for any National or State bank, or any corporation, incorporated under the laws of this or any other state or any foreign country or any unincorporated association, except those corporations formed primarily for political purposes or as a political committee, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with the election of any candidate or for any political purpose whatever except in connection with any question to be voted on by the electors of this Commonwealth. (Section 1633 25 P.S. §3253)

Rhode Island

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, whether profit or non-profit, domestic corporation or foreign corporation or other business entity to make any campaign contribution or expenditure to or for any candidate, political action committee, or political party committee, or for any candidate, political action committee, or political party committee to accept any campaign contribution or expenditure from a corporation or other business entity. (§17-25-10.1(h))

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, whether profit or non-profit, domestic corporation or foreign corporation or other business entity to make any campaign contribution or expenditure to or for any candidate, political action committee, or political party committee, or for any candidate, political action committee, or political party committee to accept any campaign contribution or expenditure from a corporation or other business entity. (§17-25-10.1(h))

"Business entity" means any corporation, whether for profit or not for profit, domestic corporation or foreign corporation, as defined in § 7-1.2-106, financial institution, cooperative, association, receivership, trust, holding company, firm, joint stock company, public utility, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, or any other entity recognized by the laws of the United States and/or the state of Rhode Island for the purpose of doing business. The term "business entity" shall not include a political action committee organized pursuant to this chapter or a political party committee or an authorized campaign committee of a candidate or office holder. (§17-25-3(1))

South Dakota

(Repealed by HB 1053, 2010)

No organization may make a contribution to a candidate committee, political action committee, or political party or make an independent expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. (§12-27-18)

"Organization," any business corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, partnership, cooperative, trust, business trust, association, club, labor union, collective bargaining organization, local, state, or national organization to which a labor organization pays membership or per capita fees, based upon its affiliation and membership, trade or professional association that receives its funds from membership dues or service fees, whether organized inside or outside the state, any entity organized in a corporate form under federal law or the laws of this state, or any group of persons acting in concert which is not defined as a political committee or political party in this chapter (§12-27-1(16))

(Repealed by HB 1053, 2010)

No organization may make a contribution to a candidate committee, political action committee, or political party or make an independent expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. (§12-27-18)

"Organization," any business corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, partnership, cooperative, trust, business trust, association, club, labor union, collective bargaining organization, local, state, or national organization to which a labor organization pays membership or per capita fees, based upon its affiliation and membership, trade or professional association that receives its funds from membership dues or service fees, whether organized inside or outside the state, any entity organized in a corporate form under federal law or the laws of this state, or any group of persons acting in concert which is not defined as a political committee or political party in this chapter (§12-27-1(16))

Tennessee

It is unlawful for the executive officers or other representatives of any corporation doing business within this state, to use any of the funds, moneys, or credits of the corporation for the purpose of aiding either in the election or defeat in any primary or final election, of any candidate for office, national, state, county, or municipal, or in any way contributing to the campaign fund of any political party, for any purpose whatever. (§2-19-132(a))

None.

Texas

A corporation or labor organization may not make a political contribution or political expenditure that is not authorized by this subchapter. (Elec. Code §253.094)

A corporation or labor organization may not make a political contribution or political expenditure that is not authorized by this subchapter. (Elec. Code §253.094)

West Virginia

(Repealed by HB 4647, 2010)

Notwithstanding any provision of section two-b of this article, no officer, agent or person acting on behalf of any corporation, whether incorporated under the laws of this or any other state or of a foreign country, may pay, give, lend or authorize to be paid, given or lent any money or other thing of value belonging to the corporation for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate for state, district, county or municipal office, to any candidate, financial agent, political committee or other person. No person may solicit or receive any payment, contribution or other thing from any corporation or from any officer, agent or other person acting on behalf of the corporation. (§3-8-8)

None.

Wisconsin

No foreign or domestic corporation, or association may make any contribution or disbursement, directly or indirectly, either independently or through any political party, committee, group, candidate or individual for any purpose other than to promote or defeat a referendum. (§11.38)

No foreign or domestic corporation, or association may make any contribution or disbursement, directly or indirectly, either independently or through any political party, committee, group, candidate or individual for any purpose other than to promote or defeat a referendum. (§11.38)

Wyoming

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no organization of any kind including a corporation, partnership, trade union, professional association or civic, fraternal or religious group or other profit or nonprofit entity except a political party, political action committee or candidate's campaign committee organized under W.S. 22-25-101, directly or indirectly through any officer, member, director or employee, shall contribute funds, other items of value or election assistance to aid, promote or prevent the nomination or election of any candidate or group of candidates or to aid or promote the interests, success or defeat of any political party. (§22-25-102)

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no organization of any kind including a corporation, partnership, trade union, professional association or civic, fraternal or religious group or other profit or nonprofit entity except a political party, political action committee or candidate's campaign committee organized under W.S. 22-25-101, directly or indirectly through any officer, member, director or employee, shall contribute funds, other items of value or election assistance to aid, promote or prevent the nomination or election of any candidate or group of candidates or to aid or promote the interests, success or defeat of any political party. (§22-25-102)

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2010.


States Respond to Citizens United

 

In 17 of the 24 states with laws affected by the Citizens United decision, legislation has been introduced to amend the law. The simplest bills seek to merely repeal the unconstitutional provisions.  Some go further and either apply existing campaign finance disclosure and political advertisement disclaimer laws to corporate- and union-funded political advertisements, while others impose new, stricter such requirements. A handful would require shareholder approval before a corporation may expend funds on a political advertisement. No state currently has such a requirement for corporate political spending. View the full list of all bills below.

New Laws

New laws addressing the post-Citizens United landscape have been enacted in 11 states:

  • Arizona's new law permits corporate and union independent expenditures, but requires such organizations to register with the Secretary of State prior to making political expenditures beyond a threshold amount.  Subsequent expenditures must be reported each time the total exceeds the same threshold amount that triggered registration.  It also requires that the attribution statement on advertisements include the name of any corporation or union that funds them.  Violations are a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a penalty of up to three times the amount of the unreported expenditure.
  • South Dakota's new law is very similar to Arizona's, as are those in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
  • The new Iowa law goes further than the other three states:  it requires the leadership body of a corporation (such as the board of directors or executive council) to approve political expenditures before the organization makes them.  The approval must be made in the same calendar year as the expenditure, meaning it will have to be obtained annually for ongoing political activity.  Iowa is the first state in the country to require this type of approval for corporate political expenditures.  Iowa's law also requires registration and reporting of political expenditures, and attribution statements on advertisements.  In addition, it creates a new definition for "foreign national" which prohibits political activity by corporations that are organized under the laws of or have their primary place of business in another nation.
  • Tennessee repealed its ban on corporate independent expenditures.
  • In Massachussetts, an amendment was added to the 2011 budget that requires a disclaimer on corporate-sponsored political advertisements.

No Legislative Session in 2010

In three of the states affected by Citizens United, the state legislatures did not hold a regular session in 2010. These states were Montana, North Dakota and Texas.

Increased Attention in Other States

The Citizens United decision has caused at least four states whose laws were not directly affected by the decision to take a closer look at corporate and union spending in candidate elections:

California

AB 2321 (pending in Assembly committee) would require that corporations file an annual report of their political contributions and expenditures.  It would also give shareholders the right to file an objection to a corporation's political expenditures, and would require the corporation to return the shareholder's share of the invested funds spent for political purposes to the shareholder in the form of a dividend.

Maryland (The legislature has adjourned, and none of the bills below were enacted.)

  • HB 616, introduced on February 3, 2010, would require stockholder approval and public disclosure of corporate independent expenditures in excess of $10,000. 
  • HB 690 and SB 691 would prohibit government contractors from making independent expenditures. 
  • HB 986 and SB 570 would require board of director and stockholder approval for corporate independent expenditures, and would prohibit the distribution of material that is not true. 
  • HB 1029 and SB 543 would establish disclosure requirements for corporate independent expenditures. 
  • SB 601 would prohibit corporate contributions to candidates and corporate-funded independent expenditures. 
  • HB 1225 would require that corporate-sponsored ads include an attribution statement.

New York

A 9948, introduced on February 17, would require shareholder approval for both corporate independent expenditures (currently unlimited in New York) and corporate contributions to candidates (currently limited to $5,000).  This bill is pending in the Assembly.  S 7083, introduced on March 11, and S 8282, are similar.  A 11350, which has passed the Assembly, would enact new reporting requirements for independent expenditures.

Washington

HB 2016, which has been enacted, modifies the requirements pertaining to independent expenditures and electioneering communications that require listing of the top five contributors so that if the sponsor of a communication is a political committee established, maintained, or controlled directly or indirectly through the formation of one or more political committees, by an individual, corporation, union, association, or other entity, the full name of that entity must be listed. 

Resolutions

While these bills do not hold the power of law, they can express a legislature's discontent with Citizens United, or they may ask Congress to change federal law.

  • CaliforniaAJR 3 expresses the legislature's disagreement with the Citizens United decision, and requests that Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment that would permit limits on corporate political expenditures.
  • HawaiiHR 204, SR 116 and SCR 225 request that Congress amend the definition of "corporate entity" to exclude the use of the word "person."
  • IdahoHJM 12 urges Congress to act to negate the harmful effects of the Citizens United decision.
  • KentuckySR 127 expresses the legislature's disappointment with the Citizens United decision.
  • New JerseyAR 64 expresses the legislature's opposition to the Citizens United decision and requests that Congress propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • PennsylvaniaHR 653 petitions Congress to call a constitutional convention to address Citizens United.
  • Rhode IslandSR 2698 expresses the legislature's discontent with the Citizens United decision and implores Congress to enact legislation to strengthen regulation and enhance disclosure of corporate and union political spending.
  • South DakotaHCR 1018 expresses disappointment over the Citizens United decision and requests a constitutioinal amendment to reverse it.
  • WashingtonSJM 8027 requests that Congress send to the states a constitutional amendment prohibiting the consideration of corporations as persons for purposes of political spending.

 

2010 Legislation Related to Citizens United

State

Repeal Unconstitutional Provision

Disclosure & Attribution Requirements

Shareholder/BOD Approval or Notification

Other

Alaska

 

HB 358 (failed to pass)

HB 401 (failed to pass)

HB 409 (failed to pass)

SB 284 (Enacted)

 

 

Arizona

 

SB 1444 (failed to pass)

HB 2788 (Enacted)

 

 

Colorado

 

SB 203 (Enacted)

   

Connecticut

 

HB 5471 (Enacted)

 

HB 5511 (failed to pass): requires the SEEC to evaluate whether laws need to be amended in view of Citizens United

Iowa

 

HF 2441 (failed to pass)

SF 2195 (Enacted)

SF 2354 (Enacted)

 

Massachusetts

 

 

HB 4800 (Enacted)

HB 4857 (pending in the House)

SD 2642 (pending in the Senate)

SD 2666; calls on Congress to reverse Citizens United

Michigan

SB 1368 (failed to pass)

HB 6188 (failed to pass)

SB 1361 (failed to pass)

HB 6183 (failed to pass)

HB 6055 (failed to pass)

SB 1362 (failed to pass)

HB 6184 (failed to pass)

SB 1363 (failed to pass) and HB 6185 (failed to pass); prohibit independent expenditures by corporations holding state contracts, those taking federal TARP funds, electric and natural gas utilities, and insurers

SB 1364 (failed to pass) and HB 6186 (failed to pass); prohibits political activity by foreign corporations

SB 1365 (failed to pass); provides for a penalty of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment up to three years for violations by corporations

SB 1366 (failed to pass) and HB 6187 (failed to pass); provides that officers and shareholders who approve corporate independent expenditures in violation of the law may be fined up to $1,000 for each violation.

SB 1367 and HB 6182 (both failed to pass)

Minnesota

HF 913 (failed to pass)

HF 3454 (failed to pass)

HF 3559 (failed to pass)

SF 425 (failed to pass)

SF 2353 (failed to pass)

SF 3157 (failed to pass) 

HF 3368 (failed to pass)

SF 3293 (failed to pass) 

SF 3398 (failed to pass)

SF 2471 (Enacted)

 HF 3821 (failed to pass)

 

New Hampshire

 

HB 1367 (failed to pass)

HB 1459 (failed to pass)

 

North Carolina

 

HB 748 (Enacted)

HB 2013 (failed to pass)

HB 2023 (failed to pass)

 

Ohio

 

SB 240 (failed to pass)

HB 506 (failed to pass) 

 

Oklahoma

SB 1714 (failed to pass)

     

South Dakota

 

HB 1053 (Enacted)

SB 165 (failed to pass)

 

Tennessee

HB 3182 (Enacted)

SB 3198 (failed to pass)

HB 3587 (failed to pass)

SB 3118 (failed to pass)

HB 3626 (failed to pass)

SB 3303 (failed to pass)

 

HB 3714/SB 3664, HB 3715/SB 3633 and SB 3797: all would have prohibited foreign and/or out of state corporations from using funds in state campaigns (all failed to pass)

HB 3713/SB 3672 and SB 3798 would have made it a class B misdemeanor to use corporate funds to aid the election or defeat of a judicial candidate (all failed to pass)

West Virginia

 

HB 4647 (Enacted)

SB 693 (failed to pass)

HB 4646 (failed to pass)

SB 692 (failed to pass)

 

Wisconsin

 

 

SB 540 (failed to pass)

AB 812 (failed to pass)

 

Wyoming

HB 68 (failed to pass)

 

 

 

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2010


Other News from the States

  • Alaska -- The Attorney General issued an opinion on February 22, stating that Alaska's ban on corporate and union independent expenditures are likely unconstitutional in view of Citizens United.
  • Colorado -- The State Supreme Court on March 22 held that the two provisions of the Colorado Constitution that were in question under Citizens United are indeed unconstitutional.  Governor Bill Ritter had asked the state's supreme court to evaluate the constitutionality of two provisions of the state's constitution that appear to be directly affected by Citizens United.  Also, the state Republican Party has announced its intention to file suit against Colorado's law.  It is possible that the suit could challenge a broader scope of the law than the two sections that are affected by Citizens United.
  • Massachusetts -- The Office of Campaign and Political Finance issued a statement regarding the impact of Citizens United on state law.  According to the statement, the ban on corporate contributions to candidates still stands, but may now make independent expenditures.  Any such expenditure is subject to existing disclosure requirements required by M.G.L. Chap. 55, Section 18A.
  • Michigan -- the secretary of state has posted  a detailed description of how Citizens United affects the state, including an FAQ section.
  • Montana -- the attorney general has said the state's ban on corporate expenditures will stay in place until it is challenged.  On March 8, a complaint was filed in Helena district court alleging that Montana's corporate expenditure ban is unconstitutional in view of Citizens United. The judge ruled on October 19, 2010, that Montana's ban on corporate political spending is unconstitutional.  The state's attorney general has said the case will be appealed to the state supreme court.  Read more about the case here.
  • Oklahoma -- the Ethics Commission is working on amendments to change and remove the relevant portions of state rules.
  • Pennsylvania -- the Department of State has issued a statement specifying the provisions of Pennsylvania law that it views as constitutional under Citizens United and those that are unconstitutional.
  • Wisconsin -- the Government Accountability Board issued an emergency rule on May 10, 2010, intended to give direction to organizations receiving contributions for or making independent expenditures.  The rules spell out requirements for disclosure and attribution, and remain in effect for 150 days.  A hearing on a permanent rule is scheduled for August 30, 2010.

Federal Legislation

Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Chris Van Hollen introduced legislation relating to Citizens United on April 29.  The House passed HR 5175 on June 24; in the Senate it has been refreferred to Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. View a detailed summary of the bill.

Another bill pending in Congress is HR 4790, dubbed the "Shareholder Protection Act."  It would require annual shareholder approval for political spending by corporations and require corporations to notify shareholders of past political spending.


For More Information

For more information on campaign finance, contact Jennie Drage Bowser in NCSL's Denver office at 303-364-7700.

 

 

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