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Introduced by   Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District and Senator Leddy of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Elections; campaign finance; notice of expenditure; mass media activities

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require any person who makes an expenditure of $100.00 or more on a mass media activity to notify a candidate or candidates mentioned in the mass media activity within 48 hours of making the expenditure.  The notice requirement shall apply for 90 days before a primary or general election.  Knowing or intentional violation of the notice requirement shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or two years imprisonment, or both.  In addition, the bill clarifies the term “telephone bank” as used in the definition of “mass media activities” and further clarifies that newspaper and magazine advertisements are mass media activity.  The bill also clarifies that a campaign finance report including a contributor’s name, town of residence, and mailing address is not required when the contribution amount is $100.00 or less.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  17 V.S.A. § 2801(11) is added to read:

(11)  “Telephone bank” means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature that are made to the general public within any 30-day period.

Sec. 2.  17 V.S.A. § 2803(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The secretary of state shall prescribe and provide a uniform reporting form for all campaign finance reports.  The reporting form shall be designed to show the following information:

(1)  the full name, town of residence, and mailing address of each contributor who contributes an amount in excess of $100.00 $100.01, the date of the contribution, and the amount contributed;

(2)  the total amount of all contributions of $100.00 or less and the total number of all such contributions;

* * *

Sec. 3.  17 V.S.A. § 2806(d) is added to read:

(d)  A person who knowingly and intentionally violates a provision of subchapter 7 of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Sec. 4.  17 V.S.A. § 2883 is amended to read:


(a)  For purposes of this section, “mass media activities” include television commercials, radio commercials, newspaper advertisements, magazine advertisements, mass mailings, literature drops, and central telephone banks which include the name or likeness of a candidate for office.

(b)  In addition to any other reports required to be filed under this chapter, a person who makes expenditures totaling $500.00 $100.00 or more for mass media activities within 30 days of a primary or general election shall report such expenditures to the secretary of state, and ; shall report to the candidate whose name or likeness is included in the activity, within 24 48 hours of making the expenditure broadcasting, publishing, posting, distributing, or initiating a mass media activity; and shall provide each candidate whose name or likeness is included in the mass media activity with a copy of the activity.  The report shall identify the person who made the expenditure with the name of the candidate involved in the activity and any other information relating to the expenditure that is required to be disclosed under the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of section 2803 of this title.  For purposes of this section, a person shall be treated as having made an expenditure if the person has executed a contract to make the expenditure.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont