An Act To Limit Agency Expenditures To Influence Elections
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §59 is enacted to read:
§ 59. Use of agency resources to influence elections
(1) An official residence furnished or paid for by the State or a political subdivision of the State;
(2) A security officer who is required to accompany a candidate or the candidate's family;
(3) A publicly owned motor vehicle provided for the use of the Governor or of the executive head of the governing body of a political subdivision of the State; or
(4) A publicly owned aircraft provided for security purposes for the use of the Governor or the Governor's family or of the executive head of the governing body of a political subdivision of the State or of that person's family except that, if such a use is in whole or in part for campaign purposes, the expenses relating to the campaign must be reported and reimbursed.
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §7056-A, sub-§1, ¶A, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 498, §6, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §7056-A, sub-§2, ¶¶A and B, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 498, §6, are amended to read:
Sec. 4. 5 MRSA §7056-A, sub-§§3 and 7, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 498, §6, are amended to read:
As used in this subsection, "political activity " means to advocate expressly for the election or defeat of any candidate for a federal office, a constitutional office or any candidate for partisan elective municipal, county or state office, including leadership positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives or , to solicit contributions reportable under Title 21-A, chapter 13 or to advocate for or against the passage or defeat of a direct initiative of legislation, a people's veto referendum or other statewide referendum.
This bill prohibits state agencies from expending public resources to influence the outcome of a direct initiative of legislation, a people's veto referendum or other statewide referendum except to provide an impartial factual summary regarding what is at issue. It also extends the law governing the involvement of executive branch employees in elections to include direct initiatives of legislation, people's veto referenda and other statewide referenda.