Substitute House Bill No. 6997 Substitute House Bill No. 6997 PUBLIC ACT NO. 93-192 AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES BY THE STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION AND NOTICE OF CAMPAIGN TREASURERS WHO FAIL TO FILE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS. Section 1. Section 9-7b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: The state elections enforcement commission shall have the following duties and powers: (1) To make investigations on its own initiative or with respect to statements filed with the commission by the secretary of the state or any town clerk, or upon written complaint under oath by any individual, with respect to alleged violations of any provision of the general statutes pertaining to or relating to any election, primary or referendum, and to hold hearings when the commission deems necessary to investigate violations of any provisions of the general statutes pertaining to or relating to any such election, primary or referendum, and for the purpose of such hearings the commission may administer oaths, examine witnesses and receive oral and documentary evidence, and shall have the power to subpoena witnesses under procedural rules the commission shall adopt, to compel their attendance and to require the production for examination of any books and papers which the commission deems relevant to any matter under investigation or in question. In connection with its investigation of any alleged violation of any provision of chapter 144a or 145, or of any provision of section 9-359 or section 9-359a, the commission shall also have the power to subpoena any municipal clerk and to require the production for examination of any absentee ballot, inner and outer envelope from which any such ballot has been removed, depository envelope containing any such ballot or inner or outer envelope as provided in sections 9-150 and 9-153 and any other record, form or document as provided in section 9-153, in connection with the election, primary or referendum to which the investigation relates. In case of a refusal to comply with any subpoena issued pursuant to this subsection or to testify with respect to any matter upon which that person may be lawfully interrogated, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain*, on application of the commission, may issue an order requiring such person to comply with such subpoena and to testify; failure to obey any such order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. In any matter under investigation which concerns the operation or inspection of or outcome recorded on any voting machine, the commission may issue an order to the municipal clerk to impound such machine until the investigation is completed; (2) To levy a civil penalty not to exceed [one] TWO thousand dollars per offense against any person the commission finds to be in violation of any provision of chapter 144a, 145, or 150, part V of chapter 146, part I of chapter 147, section 9-23g, 9-23h, 9-23i, 9-168d, 9-409, 9-410, 9-412, 9-436, 9-436a, 9-453e to 9-453h, inclusive, 9-453k or 9-453o, after a hearing conducted in accordance with sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive. In the case of failure to pay any such penalty levied pursuant to this subsection within thirty days of written notice sent by certified or registered mail to such person, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain*, on application of the commission, may issue an order requiring such person to pay the penalty imposed; (3) To issue an order requiring any person the commission finds to have received any contribution or payment which is prohibited by any of the provisions of chapter 150, after an opportunity to be heard at a hearing conducted in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive, to return such contribution or payment to the donor or payor, or to remit such contribution or payment to the state for deposit in the general fund, whichever is deemed necessary to effectuate the purposes of chapter 150. In the case of a refusal to comply with such order of the commission, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain*, on application of the commission, may issue a further order to comply. Failure to obey such further order may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof; (4) To inspect or audit at any reasonable time and upon reasonable notice the accounts or records of any campaign treasurer or principal campaign treasurer, as required by chapter 150 and to audit any such election, primary or referendum held within the state; provided, it shall not audit any caucus, as defined in subdivision (1) of section 9-372; (5) To attempt to secure voluntary compliance, by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion, with any provision of chapters 149 to 153, inclusive, or any other provision of the general statutes pertaining to or relating to any such election, primary or referendum; (6) To consult with the secretary of the state, the chief state's attorney or the attorney general on any matter which the commission deems appropriate; (7) To refer to the chief state's attorney evidence bearing upon violation of any provision of chapters 149 to 153, inclusive, or any other provision of the general statutes pertaining to or relating to any such election, primary or referendum; (8) To refer to the attorney general evidence for injunctive relief and any other ancillary equitable relief in the circumstances of subdivision (7) of this section. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a person who claims that he is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of chapter 152 or any other provision of the general statutes relating to referenda from pursuing injunctive and any other ancillary equitable relief directly from the superior court by the filing of a complaint; (9) To refer to the attorney general evidence pertaining to any ruling which the commission finds to be in error made by election officials in connection with any election, or primary held for the purpose of selecting a nominee for public office or any referendum. Those remedies and procedures available to parties claiming to be aggrieved under the provisions of sections 9-323, 9-324, 9-328 and 9-329a shall apply to any complaint brought by the attorney general as a result of the provisions of this subdivision; (10) To inspect reports filed with the secretary of the state and with town clerks pursuant to chapter 150 and refer to the chief state's attorney evidence bearing upon any violation of law therein if such violation was committed knowingly and wilfully; (11) To intervene in any action brought pursuant to the provisions of sections 9-323, 9-324, 9-328 and 9-329a upon application to the court in which such action is brought when in the opinion of the court it is necessary to preserve evidence of possible criminal violation of the election laws; (12) To adopt and publish regulations pursuant to chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of section 9-7a, this section and chapter 150; to issue upon request and publish advisory opinions in the Connecticut Law Journal upon the requirements of chapter 150, and to make recommendations to the general assembly concerning suggested revisions of the election laws; (13) To the extent that the elections enforcement commission is involved in the investigation of alleged or suspected criminal violations of any provision of the general statutes pertaining to or relating to any such election, primary or referendum and is engaged in such investigation for the purpose of presenting evidence to the chief state's attorney, the elections enforcement commission shall be deemed a law enforcement agency for purposes of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 1-19, provided nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt the elections enforcement commission in any other respect from the requirements of sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, 1-21, 1-21a and 1-21c to 1-21k, inclusive; (14) To enter into such contractual agreements as may be necessary for the discharge of its duties, within the limits of its appropriated funds and in accordance with established procedures; and (15) To provide the secretary of the state with notice, and copies, of all decisions rendered by the commission in contested cases, advisory opinions and declaratory judgments, at the time such decisions, judgments and opinions are made or issued. Sec. 2. Section 9-333y of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: Any person who knowingly and wilfully violates any provision of this chapter shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. The secretary of the state or the town clerk shall notify the state elections enforcement commission [, the chief state's attorney and the state's attorney for the judicial district wherein such person resides] of any such violation of which said secretary or such town clerk may have knowledge, provided, if any campaign treasurer fails to file the statements required by section 9-333j within the time required, he shall pay a late filing fee of fifty-five dollars. [and the] THE secretary of the state or town clerk shall forthwith notify such campaign treasurer that, if such statement is not filed within seven days thereafter, the secretary of the state or town clerk shall notify the state elections enforcement commission [, the chief state's attorney and the state's attorney for the judicial district in which the campaign treasurer resides] that the campaign treasurer is in violation of said section, the penalty for which shall be a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year or both. Sec. 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 1993, and shall apply to violations committed on or after July 1, 1993.