November 24, 2014 •
Legislators will meet beginning Monday, November 24, 2014 in a special session. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla called a special session to debate an increase in an oil tax in an attempt to bolster the financial standing of the Highway and […]
Legislators will meet beginning Monday, November 24, 2014 in a special session.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla called a special session to debate an increase in an oil tax in an attempt to bolster the financial standing of the Highway and Transportation Authority.
Photo of the Capitol of Puerto Rico courtesy of Mtmelendez on Wikimedia Commons.
April 3, 2014 •
On April 3, the Puerto Rico Office of the Electoral Comptroller issued an informational newsletter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In McCutcheon, the Court held federal aggregate campaign contribution limits unconstitutional on First […]
On April 3, the Puerto Rico Office of the Electoral Comptroller issued an informational newsletter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In McCutcheon, the Court held federal aggregate campaign contribution limits unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, as they do not further the permissible government interest in preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption.
While the Court referenced similar aggregate limits in other states and jurisdictions, it did not go so far as to declare them unconstitutional. Therefore, the office is not taking any immediate action with regard to the Puerto Rico aggregate campaign finance limits established in 2011. It will request an opinion from the Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice to determine how the Court’s decision relates to Puerto Rico law.
The office will issue new informational bulletins as further developments arise.
October 22, 2012 •
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on October 19, 2012 ordered the district court to enjoin Puerto Rico from enforcing provisions of Law 222, a campaign finance law passed in 2011. The provisions in question required corporations and unions to establish separate committees in order to make independent expenditures.
Such committees were required to hold membership meetings and vote to approve expenditures related to elections. The court found those provisions were likely to be held unconstitutional regulations of political speech.
Coat of Arms of Puerto Rico courtesy of Creative Commons on Wikipedia.
June 6, 2012 •
Registration and Reporting Requirements Affected
Puerto Rico has continued its efforts to modernize and improve its campaign finance provisions by passing Project of the Senate 2674-2012. This project amends the Law for the Control of Financing of Political Campaign in Puerto Rico. This project has been referred to the Special Commission on Government Reform, and while not currently law, the Elections Commission has been working to update the campaign finance reporting requirements to reflect the project.
The project has several important elements. First, it elaborates on the definition of a coordinated expenditure by carving out a definition for specific expenditures made for the benefit of a party or candidate. Second, it modifies the campaign finance reporting dates for the 2012 general election. Lastly, the project addresses concerns with respect to state and federal PAC registration and reporting for entities wishing to participate in the electoral process without registering a PAC in Puerto Rico.
We will continue to track this project and provide updates as they become available.
February 3, 2012 •
Puerto Rico has passed the Law for the Control of Financing of Political Campaigns in Puerto Rico. This law is a complete overhaul of all previous campaign finance regulations and includes changes to the PAC reporting requirements, campaign contribution limits, and pay-to-play restrictions.
The law created new PAC reporting requirements. PACs must file quarterly reports on the 15th day of the month following the end of a calendar quarter. From July 1st of an election year until December 31st of that year, PACs must file monthly reports by the 15th day of the month following the reporting period. From October 1st of an election year until November 30th, reports must be submitted on the 15th and 30th day of each month. A final report covering transactions after the January 1st following the election must be filed 90 days after the election.
Because 2012 is an election year in Puerto Rico, the law makes provisions regarding contribution limits. A contribution of up to $2,500 may be given by a PAC to a candidate between January 1, 2012 and March 18, 2012. An additional contribution of up to $2,500 may be given to each candidate between March 19, 2012 and November 6, 2012. PACs may not give more than $12,500 in the aggregate per election in 2012.
Puerto Rico has also joined the growing list of jurisdictions with pay-to-play laws. Puerto Rico prohibits contributions while a corporation is in the process of obtaining a permit, franchise, or government contract. Once the process of obtaining the permit, franchise, or government contract is completed, a corporation may make a contribution from their PAC. At the municipal level, contributions to local candidates are prohibited if the corporation is seeking a permit, franchise, or contract with the local jurisdiction.
June 13, 2011 •
Puerto Rico has enacted the Election Code of Puerto Rico for the 21st Century.
The law repeals Puerto Rico’s previous election code and is effective immediately. The new election code creates a State Commission of Elections which will oversee all election and campaign finance rules and regulations.
The legislature has indicated that they are currently working on updating the campaign finance provisions which will create the Law for the Financing of Political Campaigns in Puerto Rico.
Photo of the Capitol of Puerto Rico by Mtmelendez on Wikipedia.
June 8, 2011 •
Plan aims to make process more efficient, just, impartial, and transparent
The President of the Council on Reorganization and Modernization of the Executive Branch has announced a plan to restructure Puerto Rico’s procurement processes.
Entitled the Reorganization Plan of the Administration of General Services, the plan aims to make the procurement process a more efficient, just, impartial, and transparent process.
Coat of Arms of Puerto Rico by HansenBCN on Wikipedia.