Sources of Revenue:

Special Fund

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The stated purpose of this bill is to make permanent law the 2012 Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program. The next potential use of the public financing will be in the 2016 primary and general election when one seat on the Court will be filled.
    The bill strikes from the former code those provisions which relate to reporting, triggering and paying of so-called matching funds generated when spending by a non-participating candidate, or independent expenditures, exceeded the participating candidate‚Äôs initial public funding amount. Those provisions were determined to be unconstitutional by the United States and West Virginia Supreme Courts. In response to the loss of potential matching funds, the initial contested primary and general payments were increased by 50% ($300,000 for a contested primary and $525,000 for a contested general election).
    The previous $1,000,000 per year contribution to the fund from the purchasing card account is ended. The fund currently has a balance of approximately $2,600,000. The bill maintains all other revenue sources (which had generated less than $8,000 by the 2012 general election), but permits the State Election Commission investment options rather than mere interest bearing accounts. The bill also adds to the fund a one-time payment, by July 1, 2015, of $400,000 from the purchasing card account. Said payment would bring the fund back to the approximately $3,000,000 level that existed for the 2012 election.
    The administrative expenses of the Fund between its creation and the general election totaled $21,555 but 68% of that was attorney fees in litigation unsuccessfully defending the constitutionality of the matching funds. Such litigation expense is not anticipated to be required for the continued program.

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0

Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):

    There are no potential increase or decrease of costs anticipated.
    Revenue increase has been estimated at $0 because at this time it is not known whether the SEC will decide to invest the fund. Private donations and other revenue sources generated minimal amounts in the first program and no increases are estimated for this cycle.


    No areas of vagueness or technical defects have been identified.

    Person submitting Fiscal Note: TIMOTHY G. LEACH
    Email Address: