(a) An officer, agent or person acting on behalf of any corporation, whether incorporated under the laws of this or any other state or of a foreign country, may not pay, give, lend or authorize to be paid, any money or other thing of value belonging to the corporation to any candidate or candidate’s campaign for nomination or election to any statewide office or any other elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions.
(b) A person may not solicit or receive any payment, contribution or other thing from any corporation or from any officer, agent or other person acting on behalf of the corporation to any candidate or candidate’s campaign for nomination or election to any statewide office or any other elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions.
(c)(1) The provisions of this section do not prohibit a corporation from soliciting, through any officer, agent or person acting on behalf of the corporation, contributions to a separate segregated fund to be used for political purposes. Any separate segregated fund is considered a political action committee for the purpose of this article and is subject to all reporting requirements applicable to political action committees;
(2) It is unlawful for:
(A) A corporation or separate segregated fund to make a primary or other election contribution or expenditure by using money or anything of value secured: (i) By physical force, job discrimination or financial reprisal; (ii) by the threat of force, job discrimination or financial reprisal; or (iii) as a condition of employment;
(B) Any person soliciting a stockholder or executive or administrative personnel and members of their families for a contribution to a corporation or separate segregated fund to fail to inform the person solicited of the political purposes of the separate segregated fund at the time of the solicitation;
(C) Any person soliciting any other person for a contribution to a corporation or separate segregated fund to fail to inform the person solicited at the time of the solicitation of his or her right to refuse to contribute without any reprisal;
(D) A separate segregated fund established by a corporation: (i) To solicit contributions to the fund from any person other than the corporation’s stockholders and their families and its executive or administrative personnel and their families; or (ii) to contribute any corporate funds;
(E) A separate segregated fund established by a corporation to receive contributions to the fund from any person other than the corporation’s stockholders and their immediate families and its executive or administrative personnel and their immediate families;
(F) A corporation to engage in job discrimination or to discriminate in job promotion or transfer because of an employee’s failure to make a contribution to the corporation or a separate segregated fund;
(G) A separate segregated fund to make any contribution, directly or indirectly, in excess of $1,000 in connection with or on behalf of any campaign for nomination or election to any elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions, or in connection with or on behalf of any committee or other organization or person engaged in furthering, advancing, supporting or aiding the nomination or election of any candidate for any such office;
(H) A corporation to pay, give or lend or to authorize payment, giving or lending of any moneys or other things of value belonging to the corporation to a separate segregated fund for the purpose of making a contribution to a candidate or a candidate’s committee. This provision does not prohibit a separate segregated fund from using the property, real or personal, facilities and equipment of a corporation solely to establish, administer and solicit contributions to the fund, subject to the rules of the State Election Commission as provided in subsection (d) of this section: Provided, That any such corporation shall also permit any group of its employees represented by a bona fide political action committee to use the real property of the corporation solely to establish, administer and solicit contributions to the fund of the political action committee, subject to the rules of the State Election Commission promulgated in accordance with said subsection.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "executive or administrative personnel" means individuals employed by a corporation who are paid on a salary rather than hourly basis and who have policy-making, managerial, professional or supervisory responsibilities.
(d) Any person or corporation violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000. A corporation may not reimburse any person the amount of any fine imposed pursuant to this section.
(e) To ensure uniform administration and application of the provisions of this section and of those of the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1976 relating to corporate contributions, the State Election Commission shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section consistent, insofar as practicable, with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Election Commission to carry out similar or identical provisions of 2 U.S.C. §441b.
(f) In addition to the powers and duties set forth in article one-a of this chapter, the State Election Commission has the following powers and duties:
(1) To investigate, upon complaint or on its own initiative, any alleged violations or irregularities of this article.
(2) To administer oaths and affirmations, issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses, issue subpoenas duces tecum to compel the production of books, papers, records and all other evidence necessary to any investigation.
(3) To involve the aid of any circuit court in the execution of its subpoena power.
(4) To report any alleged violations of this article to the appropriate prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction, which prosecuting attorney shall present to the grand jury such alleged violations, together with all evidence relating thereto, no later than the next term of court after receiving the report.
(g) The Attorney General shall, when requested, provide legal and investigative assistance to the State Election Commission.
(h) Any investigation, either upon complaint or initiative, shall be conducted in an executive session of the State Election Commission and shall remain undisclosed except upon an indictment by a grand jury.
(i) Any person who discloses the fact of any complaint, investigation or report or any part thereof, or any proceedings thereon, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000, nor more than $5,000, and shall be confined in jail not less than six months nor more than one year.
(j) The amendments to this section enacted during the second extraordinary session of 2008 are intended to conform to the existing proscription to constitutionally permissible limits and not to create a new offense or offenses.
(k) The effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the second extraordinary legislative session of 2008 is October 1, 2008.