TITLE 17
Elections

CHAPTER 17-25.2
Ballot Question Advocacy and Reporting

SECTION 17-25.2-3


   § 17-25.2-3  Definitions. – As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

   (1) "Ballot question" means any question, charter change, constitutional amendment, referendum or voter initiated petition placed on any state, district, city, town or municipal ballot for a general or special election.

   (2) "Ballot question advocacy" means advocating the passage or defeat of a ballot question.

   (3) "Ballot question advocate" means (i) for purposes of referenda as defined in § 17-5-1 of the general laws only, any exempt nonprofit as defined in § 17-25-3 or any organization described under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States; and (ii) for all other ballot questions as defined herein, any person making an expenditure with a cumulative total that exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000) in a calendar year for ballot-question advocacy on a particular ballot question.

   (4) "Contributions" means donations to a ballot-question advocate in the form of money, gifts, loans, paid personal services, or in-kind contributions as defined herein.

   (5) "In-Kind Contributions" means the monetary value of other things of value or paid personal services donated to any person required to file reports with the board of elections, except for newsletters and other communications paid for and transmitted by an organization to its own members and not to the general public;

   (6) "Paid personal services" means personal services of every kind and nature, the cost or consideration for which is paid or provided by someone other than the ballot-question advocate for whom the services are rendered, but shall not include personal services provided without compensation by persons volunteering their time.

   (7) "Expenditures" means the payment for any goods and services for the purpose of ballot-question advocacy as set forth in this paragraph:

   (i) Any media advertising services or products, including, but not limited to, newspapers, radio stations or television stations;

   (ii) General advertising in letters, brochures, flyers, handbills, lawn signs, posters, bumper stickers, buttons or other materials except for newsletters and other communications paid for and transmitted by an organization to its own members and not to the general public; or

   (iii) Paid personal services donated to any ballot-question advocate including advertising agency services or other professional services including accounting services, printing, secretarial services, public opinion polls, research and professional campaign consultation or management, media production or computer services. A written contract, agreement or promise to make an expenditure, is an expenditure as of the date such contract expenditure or obligation is made.

   (8) "Person" means any individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, city, town, or other governmental unit and any other organization.

   (9) "Election cycle" means the twenty-four (24) month period commencing on January 1 of odd number years and ending on December 31 of even number years.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 174, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 292, § 2; P.L. 2012, ch. 446, § 4.)