Massachusetts Ballot Campaign Finance Regulation Initiative, Question 1 (1994)
Elections and Campaigns
|Not on ballot|
The initiative sought to regulate spending on ballot question campaigns.
|Question 1 (Ballot Campaign Finance Regulation)|
Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
Text of measure
The language on the ballot for Question 1 was:
This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
This proposed law would limit the way in which business and certain nonprofit corporations could contribute to and spend money on campaigns involving an initiative, referendum or other question submitted to the voters at a state or local election. The proposed law would require ballot committees organized to support or oppose any question submitted to the voters to disclose promptly certain contributions made late in the campaign; would establish procedures that business and certain nonprofit corporations would have to follow in order to spend money on ballot question campaigns; and would establish voluntary spending limits for ballot committees.
The proposed law would require a ballot committee to report to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, within one business day of receipt, the name, address, occupation, and employer of any person or organization making a contribution of $1,000 or more, if the contribution was made before the date of the election but after the closing date of the last official campaign contribution report.
Under the proposed law, business and certain nonprofit corporations would be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures to support or oppose a ballot question, but would be permitted to create and solicit contributions to a separate fund to be used to support or oppose a ballot question. A separate fund would be required for each ballot question on which the corporation intended to solicit contributions. The corporation would be required to report all amounts spent to establish and administer the fund to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, and to a city or town if the funds were established to influence the vote on a local ballot question.
Contributions to the separate fund could be solicited only from members or stockholders, officers and directors, and employees at a policymaking, managerial or professional level. Coercion, job discrimination and financial reprisals as methods of soliciting contributions would be prohibited. Nonprofit corporations that are formed for the purpose of promoting political ideas, do not engage in business activities, have no shareholders, and do not have business corporations as members or accept more than one percent of their revenues from such corporations would be exempt from these provisions. A business organization that violated these requirements could be fined up to $50,000, and any director or agent of a business organization who violates or authorizes the violation of these requirements could be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year.
The proposed law would establish voluntary spending limits for ballot committees at $1 million in the year of an election, and $250,000 in the years immediately before and after an election. Ballot committees agreeing to observe these voluntary limits would be permitted to announce their compliance on advertisements and campaign materials. Ballot committees that agreed to observe the spending limits and later exceeded the limits could be fined up to $10,000.
The proposed law states that if any of its provisions were declared invalid, the other provisions would remain in effect.