2009 Nebraska Code
Chapter 32 ELECTIONS
32-1604 Candidates for covered elective office; qualification for public funds; filings required; prohibited acts; criminal penalty; late filing fee; civil penalty.

32-1604. Candidates for covered elective office; qualification for public funds; filings required; prohibited acts; criminal penalty; late filing fee; civil penalty.

(1) If the office is designated as covered for a given election period pursuant to section 32-1611, any candidate for Governor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, the Public Service Commission, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, or the State Board of Education may qualify for public funds to be used for the election period if he or she limits his or her campaign spending for the election period and meets the other requirements prescribed in this section.

(2) In any election period, any candidate for the Legislature may qualify for public funds to be used for the election period if he or she limits his or her campaign spending for the election period and meets the other requirements prescribed in this section.

(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) of this subsection, to qualify for public funds for the election period, a candidate for Governor shall limit his or her spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the election period to two million two hundred ninety-seven thousand dollars, a candidate for State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, or Auditor of Public Accounts shall limit his or her spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the election period to two hundred nine thousand dollars, a candidate for the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska shall limit his or her spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the election period to one hundred thousand dollars, a candidate for the Legislature shall limit his or her spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the election period to eighty-nine thousand dollars, and a candidate for the Public Service Commission or the State Board of Education shall limit his or her spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the election period to seventy thousand dollars, and such candidates shall limit their spending, other than unrestricted spending, for the primary election period to not exceed fifty percent of the limits provided in this subsection for the election period.

(b) Beginning in 2008 and every four years thereafter, the campaign spending limits in this subsection shall be adjusted for inflation based upon the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year prior to the year in which the adjustment is made, and the adjusted spending limits shall be in effect for the elections in 2010 and subsequent election periods until further adjusted as provided in this subdivision. The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission shall use the Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers, All Items, United States City Average, to calculate the adjustments for the spending limits. The spending limits shall be rounded to the next highest one-thousand-dollar amount. If publication of the Consumer Price Index is discontinued, the most recent spending limit adjustments in effect prior to the discontinuance shall remain in effect for subsequent election periods.

(4) Each candidate for a covered elective office desiring to receive public funds pursuant to this section shall (a) beginning the first day of the election period, raise an amount equal to at least twenty-five percent of the spending limitation for the office from persons who are residents of Nebraska and (b) file with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission an affidavit pursuant to section 32-1604.01 indicating his or her intent to abide by the spending limitations and his or her agreement to personally act as a guarantor for the lawful use of such funds and to be held personally liable to the State of Nebraska for any such funds not repaid to the state as required by law. Money raised prior to filing the affidavit shall not count toward the qualifying amount established in this subsection. Money raised prior to the first day of the election period shall not count toward the qualifying amount established in this subsection. At least sixty-five percent of the qualifying amount established in this subsection shall be received from individuals. For purposes of this section, a business, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or association shall be deemed a resident if it has an office in this state and transacts business in this state.

(5)(a) Any candidate for a covered elective office who does not file an affidavit pursuant to subsection (4) of this section shall file with the commission an affidavit indicating his or her intent not to abide by the spending limitations of this section and an affidavit stating a reasonable estimate of his or her maximum expenditures as defined in section 49-1419 for the primary election period. The estimate of expenditures for the primary election period may be amended up to thirty days prior to the primary election by filing a subsequent affidavit. A candidate nominated for a covered elective office in the primary election shall file an estimate of expenditures for the general election period on or before the fortieth day following the primary election. The estimate of expenditures for the general election period may be amended up to sixty days prior to the general election by filing a subsequent affidavit.

(b) A candidate for a covered elective office who files an affidavit under subdivision (5)(a) of this section shall file an affidavit with the commission when his or her expenditures equal or exceed forty percent of the spending limitation for the primary election period. The candidate shall file a second affidavit with the commission when his or her expenditures equal or exceed forty percent of the spending limitation for the general election period. Each affidavit shall be filed no later than two days after the forty percent has been expended. A candidate who intentionally fails to file the required affidavit within either two-day period shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor. A candidate who fails to file an affidavit as required by this subdivision shall pay to the commission a late filing fee of twenty-five dollars for each day the affidavit remains not filed in violation of this section, not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars. In addition, if a candidate fails to file an affidavit as required by this subdivision within the prescribed time resulting in any abiding candidate not receiving public funds as described in subsection (6) of this section or resulting in a delay in the receipt of such funds, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of not less than two thousand dollars and not more than three times (i) the amount of public funds the abiding candidate received after the delay or (ii) the amount of public funds the abiding candidate would have received if the affidavit had been filed within the prescribed time.

(6) If an affidavit required under subdivision (5)(b) of this section is not filed, no public funds shall be distributed to the candidates for such office who have qualified for public funds for the election period unless preelection campaign statements filed pursuant to section 32-1606.01, or subdivision (1)(a) or (b) of section 49-1459 or audits by the commission conducted pursuant to section 49-14,122 reveal that a candidate has made expenditures requiring the filing of an affidavit under subdivision (5)(b) of this section.

Source

    Laws 1992, LB 556, § 4;
    Laws 1993, LB 121, § 197;
    Laws 1993, LB 587, § 3;
    Laws 1997, LB 420, § 4;
    Laws 1998, LB 632, § 1;
    Laws 2001, LB 768, § 8;
    Laws 2006, LB 188, § 4.

Annotations

Abiding candidates agree to spend no more than 50 percent of the total campaign spending limit during the primary. For the office of university regent, the total campaign spending limit, excluding specified unrestricted spending, is $50,000. Therefore, the spending limit for the primary is $25,000. Nebraska Legislature on behalf of State v. Hergert, 271 Neb. 976, 720 N.W.2d 372 (2006).
Candidates for certain elective state offices, including the office of university regent, are required to file an affidavit stating whether they intend to abide by the voluntary campaign spending limits for the office under the Campaign Finance Limitation Act. Nebraska Legislature on behalf of State v. Hergert, 271 Neb. 976, 720 N.W.2d 372 (2006).
For both the primary and general election periods, when the nonabiding candidate expends 40 percent of his or her estimated maximum expenditures, he or she must notify the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission via the 40-percent affidavit "no later than five days after the forty percent has been expended." Nebraska Legislature on behalf of State v. Hergert, 271 Neb. 976, 720 N.W.2d 372 (2006).
If a candidate for a covered office files an affidavit stating an intent not to abide by the voluntary spending limit, then the candidate must include in the affidavit a reasonable estimate of his or her maximum expenditures for the primary election, which estimate may be amended up to 30 days before the primary election. The nonabiding candidate must also file an estimate for the general election by the 40th day following the primary election, which estimate may be amended up to 60 days before the general election. A candidate is free to estimate expenditures at an amount greatly above or below the voluntary spending limit. Nebraska Legislature on behalf of State v. Hergert, 271 Neb. 976, 720 N.W.2d 372 (2006).



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