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Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 280 of 2014
House: Adjourned until Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:00:00 PM
Senate: Adjourned until Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:00:00 PM

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Section 169.257

MICHIGAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 388 of 1976


169.257 Contributions, expenditures, or volunteer personal services; prohibitions; civil action; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.

Sec. 57.

(1) A public body or a person acting for a public body shall not use or authorize the use of funds, personnel, office space, computer hardware or software, property, stationery, postage, vehicles, equipment, supplies, or other public resources to make a contribution or expenditure or provide volunteer personal services that are excluded from the definition of contribution under section 4(3)(a). The prohibition under this subsection includes, but is not limited to, using or authorizing the use of public resources to establish or administer a payroll deduction plan to directly or indirectly collect or deliver a contribution to, or make an expenditure for, a committee. Advance payment or reimbursement to a public body does not cure a use of public resources otherwise prohibited by this subsection. This subsection does not apply to any of the following:

(a) The expression of views by an elected or appointed public official who has policy making responsibilities.

(b) The production or dissemination of factual information concerning issues relevant to the function of the public body.

(c) The production or dissemination of debates, interviews, commentary, or information by a broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical or publication in the regular course of broadcasting or publication.

(d) The use of a public facility owned or leased by, or on behalf of, a public body if any candidate or committee has an equal opportunity to use the public facility.

(e) The use of a public facility owned or leased by, or on behalf of, a public body if that facility is primarily used as a family dwelling and is not used to conduct a fund-raising event.

(f) An elected or appointed public official or an employee of a public body who, when not acting for a public body but is on his or her own personal time, is expressing his or her own personal views, is expending his or her own personal funds, or is providing his or her own personal volunteer services.

(2) If the secretary of state has dismissed a complaint filed under section 15(5) alleging that a public body or person acting for a public body used or authorized the use of public resources to establish or administer a payroll deduction plan to collect or deliver a contribution to, or make an expenditure for, a committee in violation of this section, or if the secretary of state enters into a conciliation agreement under section 15(10) that does not prevent a public body or a person acting for a public body to use or authorize the use of public resources to establish or administer a payroll deduction plan to collect or deliver a contribution to, or make an expenditure for, a committee in violation of this section, the following apply:

(a) The complainant or any other person who resides, or has a place of business, in the jurisdiction where the use or authorization of the use of public resources occurred may bring a civil action against the public body or person acting for the public body to seek declaratory, injunctive, mandamus, or other equitable relief and to recover losses that a public body suffers from the violation of this section.

(b) If the complainant or any other person who resides, or has a place of business, in the jurisdiction where the use or authorization of the use of public resources occurred prevails in an action initiated under this subsection, a court shall award the complainant or any other person necessary expenses, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

(c) Any amount awarded or equitable relief granted by a court under this subsection may be awarded or granted against the public body or an individual acting for the public body, or both, that violates this section, as determined by the court.

(d) A complainant or any other person who resides, or has a place of business, in the jurisdiction where the use or authorization of the use of public resources occurred may bring a civil action under this subsection in any county in which venue is proper. Process issued by a court in which an action is filed under this subsection may be served anywhere in this state.

(3) A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable, if the person is an individual, by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, or if the person is not an individual, by 1 of the following, whichever is greater:

(a) A fine of not more than $20,000.00.

(b) A fine equal to the amount of the improper contribution or expenditure.


History: Add. 1995, Act 264, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 ;-- Am. 1996, Act 590, Eff. Mar. 31, 1997 ;-- Am. 2001, Act 250, Eff. Mar. 22, 2002 ;-- Am. 2012, Act 31, Imd. Eff. Feb. 28, 2012
Compiler's Notes: Section 2 of Act 264 of 1995 provides:“If any portion of this amendatory act or the application of this amendatory act to any person or circumstance is found to be invalid by a court, the invalidity does not affect the remaining portions or applications of this amendatory act that can be given effect without the invalid portion or application, if those remaining portions are not determined by the court to be inoperable. To this end, this amendatory act is declared to be severable.”Enacting section 1 of Act 31 of 2012 provides:"Enacting section 1. It is the policy of this state that a public body shall maintain strict neutrality in each election and that a public body or a person acting on behalf of a public body shall not attempt to influence the outcome of an election held in the state. If there is a perceived ambiguity in the interpretation of section 57, that section shall be construed to best effectuate the policy of strict neutrality by a public body in an election."


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan