Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 051423
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File Number: 051423 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 05-214 Control: County Commission
File Name: ORDINANCE RELATING TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING Introduced: 5/10/2005
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/6/2005
Agenda Date: 12/6/2005 Agenda Item Number: 7B
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING; REPEALING SECTION 2-11.1.3 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO LIMITATION ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES AND SECTION 12-5 PROHIBITING CONTRIBUTIONS OR EXPENDITURES BY NATIONAL OR STATE BANKS, CORPORATIONS OR UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: CAMPAIGN FINANCING
  ELECTION ISSUES
Sponsors: Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/6/2005 7B Adopted P
REPORT: County Attorney Murray Greenberg read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Commissioner Heyman provided a brief explanation regarding the intent of the foregoing proposed ordinance. She noted this ordinance reflected the current State law by limiting the criteria, source and amounts for campaign donations to that of the State and Municipal elections. It was moved by Commissioner Heyman that the Board adopt the foregoing proposed ordinance. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Sosa for discussion. Commissioners Seijas, Diaz, Barreiro, Sosa and Chairman Martinez spoke in support of this ordinance. Commissioner Sorenson noted she was not inclined to support it at this time. Commissioner Heyman explained that this proposed ordinance would make it easier to investigate and prosecute violators. Hearing no further discussion or comments, the Board proceeded to vote.

Board of County Commissioners 9/8/2005 7C Deferred P
REPORT: County Attorney Greenberg read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez clarified that this ordinance would not affect the eligibility criteria for candidates who sought funds from the election campaign financing trust fund but would limit the contributions to $250. Commissioner Sorenson recommended that this ordinance be deferred so that all ordinances related to the Election Campaign Financing Trust fund could be considered by the Board simultaneously. In response to Commissioner Moss’ request for clarification, Assistant County Attorney Sanchez noted this ordinance would eliminate the two current provisions in the code that restrict permissible campaign contributions and that consequently, state law would apply permitting candidates to accept contributions from corporate and unincorporated associations, as well as banks, which were currently prohibited. Following further discussion of this matter, the Board voted to defer this ordinance to no date certain.

Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 8/17/2005 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Daron Fitch read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Sosa provided a brief explanation regarding the intent for the foregoing proposed ordinance before opening the public hearing. She closed after no one appeared in response to Chairwoman Sosa’s call for persons wishing to be heard in connection with the foregoing proposed ordinance. Assistant County Attorney Daron Fitch provided clarification regarding the intent of this ordinance in response to questions raised by Commissioner Seijas. He noted this proposed ordinance would essentially make the campaign contribution limitations consistent with State law. Hearing no other questions or concerns, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance.

County Attorney 6/17/2005 Assigned Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 8/17/2005

Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 6/15/2005 2C Deferred to next committee meeting 8/17/2005 P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Daron Fitch read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. The public hearing was opened by Chairwoman Sosa; however, it was closed after no one appeared in response to Chairwoman Sosa’s call for persons wishing to be heard. Commissioner Seijas expressed concern about the Home Rule Charter. She said she was concerned that Commissioner Heyman focused on how the State addressed campaign financing and that she was concerned with imposing the State guidelines at the local level. Commissioner Seijas suggested that on handwritten page 8, in the paragraph beginning with “>>Sec. 12-5.,” the word, “reflect” replace the words “apply to.” Commissioner Seijas said that she felt the need to get a true sense of Commissioner Heyman’s intent on this ordinance. Commissioner Sosa said she believed that the State of Florida did not have to be cited in this ordinance and that the County’s rules for campaign financing could be amended or a new set of rules could be developed. It was moved by Commissioner Seijas that the Committee defer the foregoing proposed ordinance to the next Committee meeting scheduled for August 17, 2005. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz. Commissioner Barreiro spoke in support of the ordinance. Commissioner Diaz also spoke in support of the ordinance, but noted that he preferred using the word “reflect” as opposed to the words “apply to.” Commissioner Carey-Shuler said she did not oppose reverting to contributions up to $500. She expressed concern that the public financing laws needed to be revised. Commissioner Sosa suggested that Commissioner Heyman propose reverting to contributions up to $500 for everyone and increase the cap for individuals applying for public funding. Commissioner Carey-Shuler suggested that this ordinance be deferred. She suggested that a full package be forwarded to the BCC with a recommendation to each Commission member that if candidates were allowed to raise more money to reach the threshold to qualify for public financing, the amount of public campaign financing should be reduced. Commissioner Sosa noted that a package regarding changes in campaign financing was prepared and some commissioners sponsored resolutions regarding campaign financing. She suggested that this ordinance be deferred to the next Committee meeting scheduled for August 17, 2005, and that the ordinance, package and resolutions be forwarded to the August 17th meeting and listed as the first items on the agenda. The Board proceeded to vote on the motion to defer this ordinance to the Committee meeting of August 17, 2005. Commissioner Barreiro asked that all items related to changes in contributions be brought back to the next Committee meeting along with the foregoing proposed ordinance. Hearing no other discussion, the Committee voted on the proposed ordinance.

Board of County Commissioners 5/17/2005 Scheduled for a public hearing Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 6/15/2005

Board of County Commissioners 5/17/2005 4N Adopted on first reading 6/15/2005 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and set for public hearing before the Community, Outreach, Safety and Healthcare Administration Committee on June 15, 2005, at 2:00 p.m.

County Attorney 5/10/2005 Referred Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 6/15/2005

County Attorney 5/10/2005 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez 5/10/2005

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING; REPEALING SECTION 2-11.1.3 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO LIMITATION ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES AND SECTION 12-5 PROHIBITING CONTRIBUTIONS OR EXPENDITURES BY NATIONAL OR STATE BANKS, CORPORATIONS OR UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, on December 15, 1998, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 98-183 which prohibits, with certain exceptions, campaign contributions by corporations, national or state banks and unincorporated associations to candidates for the Office of Mayor, Board of County Commissioners and Community Councils; and
WHEREAS, on April 11, 2000, the Board adopted Ordinance No. 00-52 which limits campaign contributions to persons campaigning for the Office of Mayor, Board of County Commissioners and Community Councils to $250.00; and
WHEREAS, Florida law limits individual campaign contributions to each candidate to $500.00 per person; and
WHEREAS, Florida law currently allows corporations, banks and unincorporated associations to make contributions up to $500.00 to each candidate; and

WHEREAS, the Commission finds that Ordinance No. 98-183 and Ordinance No. 00-52, although well intentioned, have neither increased transparency in the electoral process nor served the public interest; and
WHEREAS, the Commission further finds that Florida's campaign finance laws should be applicable to candidates seeking County office; and
WHEREAS, the Commission believes that requiring candidates for the Office of Mayor, Board of County Commissioners and Community Councils to follow the requirements of Florida law will serve the public interest by streamlining an overly complicated system of campaign financing, reducing transactional costs incurred by candidates and promoting transparency,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 2-11.1.3 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec. 2-11.1.3. [[Campaign contributions and expenditures.]] >>Reserved.<<

[[(a) Definitions. The following terms, as used in this section, shall mean:

(1) "Contribution" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, as amended and supplemented.


(2) "Expenditure" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, as amended and supplemented.

(b) Limitation on Contributions and Expenditures. It is unlawful for any person or political committee, as provided in section 12-5, to make a Contribution or Expenditure in excess of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00), either directly, indirectly or through a political committee, to any candidate for election to the Office of Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County Community Council or the Miami-Dade County Fire Board. Furthermore, it shall be unlawful for any candidate, political committee, or other person to knowingly accept or receive any campaign Contribution or Expenditure prohibited by this section. The Contribution and Expenditure limits of this section apply to each election. For the purposes of this section, the first primary, second primary and general election are separate elections so long as the candidate is not an unopposed candidate as defined in section 106.011(15), Florida Statutes.

(c) Penalties. In addition to any other penalties that may be applicable, any individual who violates this section shall be subject to a fine up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) or imprisonment not to exceed three hundred and sixty-four (364) days, or both.]]

Section 2. Section 12-5 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
[[Sec. 12-5. Contributions or expenditures by national or state banks, corporations or unincorporated associations.

(1) It is unlawful for any national or state bank, or any corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida or any other state or any foreign country or any unincorporated association to make a contribution or expenditure, as defined in Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, in connection with the election of any candidate in Miami-Dade County. Furthermore, it shall be unlawful for any candidate, political committee, or other person to knowingly accept or receive any contribution prohibited by this section, or for any officer or any director of any corporation, bank, or any unincorporated association to consent to any contributions or expenditures by a corporation, bank or unincorporated association prohibited by this section. As used herein:

(a) "Candidate" means a candidate for the office of Mayor of Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County Community Councils and the Miami-Dade County Fire and Rescue Services District Board; and

(b) "Unincorporated association" means a partnership or any other legal entity other than a natural person or corporation.

(2) No provision of this section shall be deemed to prohibit a loan of money by a national or state bank made in accordance with the applicable banking laws and regulations in the ordinary course of business; however, any such loan shall be included in the reports filed by the candidates and political committees. No provision of this section shall be deemed to prohibit the receipt of interest or dividends on investments where the interest or dividends are received in accordance with the applicable banking laws and in the ordinary course of business. Any such interest and dividends shall be included in the financial records maintained by the candidate and political committees and reports where appropriate under the filing requirements of this action.

(3) No provision of this section shall be deemed to prohibit direct private communications by a corporation to its stockholders and their families or by an unincorporated association to its members and their families on any subject; nonpartisan registration and get-out-vote campaigns by a corporation aimed at stockholders and their families or by an unincorporated association aimed at its members and their families; and the establishment, and administration by a corporation or an unincorporated association of a separate segregated fund which fund is to be created by voluntary individual contributions, including those solicited by the corporation or unincorporated association and to be utilized for political purposes, provided that any such separate segregated fund shall be deemed to be a political committee for purposes of this section and must comply with the requirements of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, regardless of the level of expenditures or contributions.

(4) Penalties. In addition to any other penalties which may be applicable, any person who violates this section shall be punishable by a fine up to five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) or imprisonment not to exceed three hundred and sixty-four (364) days, or both.]]

>>Sec. 12-5. Campaign contributions and expenditures.

Except as otherwise provided by the Home Rule Charter or by ordinance adopted by the Commission, the provisions of the election laws of the State of Florida regarding campaign contributions and expenditures shall apply to elections for the Office of Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and Miami-Dade County Community Councils.<<

Section 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 4. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.

Section 5. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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