Section 17-5-7

Use of excess moneys received; solicitation, etc., of contributions.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d) and in Section 17-5-7.1, a candidate, public official, or treasurer of a principal campaign committee as defined in this chapter, may only use campaign contributions, and any proceeds from investing the contributions that are in excess of any amount necessary to defray expenditures of the candidate, public official, or principal campaign committee, for the following purposes:

(1) Necessary and ordinary expenditures of the campaign.

(2) Expenditures that are reasonably related to performing the duties of the office held. For purposes of this section, expenditures that are reasonably related to performing the duties of the office held do not include personal and legislative living expenses, as defined in this chapter.

(3) Donations to the State General Fund, the Education Trust Fund, or equivalent county or municipal funds.

(4) Donations to an organization to which a federal income tax deduction is permitted under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or any other charitable, educational, or eleemosynary cause of Section 501 of Title 26 of the U. S. Code.

(5) Inaugural or transitional expenses.

(6) Donations to a legislative caucus organization registered under this chapter which does not operate as a political action committee.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 13A-10-61, a candidate, public official, or principal campaign committee may only accept, solicit, or receive contributions:

(1) To influence the outcome of an election.

(2) For a period of 12 months before an election in which the person intends to be a candidate. Provided, however, candidates for legislative and statewide office and their principal campaign committees may not accept, solicit, or receive contributions during the period when the Legislature is convened in session. For purposes of this section, the Legislature is convened in session at any time from the opening day of the special or regular session and continued through the day of adjournment sine die for that session. However, this subdivision shall not apply within 120 days of any primary, runoff, or general election, and shall not apply to the candidates or their principal campaign committees participating in any special election as called by the Governor. This subdivision shall not apply to a loan from a candidate to his or her own principal campaign committee.

(3) For a period of 120 days after the election in which the person was a candidate, but only to the extent of any campaign debt of the candidate or principal campaign committee of the candidate as indicated on the campaign financial disclosure form or to the extent of reaching the threshold that is required for qualification as a candidate for the office which he or she currently holds, or both.

(4) For the purpose of paying all expenses associated with an election challenge including, but not limited to, quo warranto challenges.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 13A-10-61, a candidate, public official, or principal campaign committee shall not accept, solicit, or receive contributions for any of the following reasons:

(1) As a bribe, as defined by Sections 13A-10-60 to 13A-10-63, inclusive.

(2) For the intention of corruptly influencing the official actions of the public official or candidate for public office.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a principal campaign committee, during a two-year period commencing on the day after each regularly scheduled general election and ending on the day of the next regularly scheduled general election, may pay qualifying fees to a political party and in addition thereto, during that period, may expend up to a cumulative total of five thousand dollars ($5,000) of campaign contributions, and any proceeds from investing the contributions, for the following purposes:

(1) Tickets for political party dinners or functions.

(2) State or local political party dues or similar expenses incurred by independent or write-in candidates.

(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-873, p. 397, §7; Acts 1993, No. 93-762, p. 1528, §1; Acts 1997, No. 97-651, p. 1217, §1; Act 99-695, 2nd Sp. Sess., p. 202, §1; §17-22A-7; amended and renumbered by Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §24; Act 2010-765, 1st Sp. Sess., p. 38, §2; Act 2013-311, p. 1060, §1.)