Bill Text: NH HB150 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Relative to statements of financial interests filed by state officials.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-11 - Rereferred to Committee, Motion Adopted, Voice Vote; 04/11/2019; Senate Journal 12 [HB150 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-HB150-Amended.html

HB 150-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

14Mar2019... 0507h

2019 SESSION

19-0085

05/06

 

HOUSE BILL 150-FN

 

AN ACT relative to statements of financial interests filed by state officials.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Horn, Merr. 2; Rep. Spillane, Rock. 2

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill directs the attorney general to contact any person who fails to file a statement of financial interests required under RSA 15-A and establishes a $50 late fee for the failure to file in a timely manner.  The bill also directs the attorney general to review disclosures made under RSA 15-A and compel compliance with the filing requirement.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

14Mar2019... 0507h 19-0085

05/06

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to statements of financial interests filed by state officials.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Statements of Financial Interests; Penalty; Examination of Disclosures.  Amend RSA 15-A:7 and 15-A:8 to read as follows:

15-A:7  Penalty.  

I.  Any person who knowingly fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter or knowingly files a false statement shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

II.  The attorney general shall notify any person who fails to file the statement of financial interests within the deadline prescribed by RSA 15-A:6.  Any person who fails to file within 30 days of receiving such notice shall be assessed an administrative fine of $50.  

III.  It shall be an absolute defense in any prosecution under this chapter that the person acted in reliance upon an advisory opinion on the subject issued under RSA 14-B:3, I(c) or RSA 21-G:30, I(c).

15-A:8  Examination of Disclosures.  The attorney general [may] shall examine the statements of financial interests which are made under this chapter to the secretary of state and compel such disclosures to be made to comply with the law.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

19-0085

11/13/18

 

HB 150-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the penalty for failure to file the financial disclosure form required under RSA 15-A.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

METHODOLOGY:

In addition to existing unspecified misdemeanor penalties, this bill establishes a civil penalty for failure to file a financial disclosure pursuant to RSA 15-A. The bill repeals such civil penalty upon certification by the Attorney General that fewer than 5 violations have occurred in the previous 2 years.  The Attorney General is also required to impose late fees and additional penalties established by administrative rules.

 

The Department of Justice states it will examine the statements of financial interests for compliance with the law.  There are approximately 2,000 financial disclosure statements.  The Department estimates it would require a part-time attorney at no more than 29.5 hours per week for 2 years to examine the statements.  The cost of salary and benefits per year for this position is $63,535 (Average salary: $59,020 + Benefits: $4,515).  The Department would also provide legal counsel to all state boards, agencies and commissions regarding complaints filed pursuant to the bill, which it could accomplish within its current budget.  The Department may become involved in investigations and prosecutions pursuant to the bill, but cannot estimate the number of such possible cases so the fiscal impact is indeterminable.

 

The Judicial Branch reports the bill would not add any additional cases to the caseload of the Branch.  There have been no criminal filings in the district division of the circuit court for fiscal years 2008 through 2017 for violations of RSA 15-A.  Thus it is unlikely that the bill would have a fiscal impact in excess of $10,000.

 

The Legislative Branch states the legislation affects the Executive Branch and reports any possible fiscal impact to the Legislative Brach would be minimal and would be absorbed within the current budget.

 

The Department of State indicates there is no fiscal impact to the Department.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Justice, Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, and Department of State

 

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