House Bill No. 517
Introduced By vick, thomas, grinde, sliter, knox, beaudry, holland, r. johnson, rose, mcgee, wells, benedict, baer, simpkins, mood, wiseman, boharski, jore, ohs, m. hanson, l. taylor, ahner, tash, denny, masolo, barnett, bookout-reinicke, miller, bohlinger, walters, hayne, debruycker, bergman, bergsagel, devaney, zook, keenan, anderson, mercer, wagner, clark, cobb, story, soft, mohl, emerson, burnett, keating, feland, jenkins, aklestad, swysgood, grosfield, devlin, brainard, rehbein, mahlum, marshall, kasten
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act Requiring a Corporation, a Labor or Professional Organization, or an Employer Who Withholds and Diverts a Portion of the Wages or Salary of an Employee or Member to be used for political purposes to obtain prior authorization from the employee or member; requiring delineation of wages or salary withheld on an employee's or member's regular paycheck; establishing a penalty and requiring a refund to an employee or member of illegally withheld wages or salary; and amending section 13-37-128, MCA.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Withholding of wages or salary for political purposes -- authorization required. (1) A corporation, a labor or professional organization, or an employer:
(a) may not withhold a portion of an employee's or member's wages or salary as funds to be used for political purposes without obtaining prior authorization for the withholding and the amount of the withholding from the employee or member; and
(b) shall delineate on the stub of employee's or member's regular paycheck:
(i) the amount withheld from wages or salary collected as membership dues; and
(ii) the amount withheld as funds to be used for political purposes.
(2) A person who violates this section is subject to the civil penalty and refund provisions provided in 13-37-128.
(3) As used in this section, "funds to be used for political purposes" means funds used to advocate the election or defeat of any political party, political committee, ballot issue, or candidate. The term does not include the cost of any communication by any membership organization or corporation to its shareholders, employees, or members as long as the organization or corporation is not a primary political committee.
Section 2. Section 13-37-128, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-37-128. Cause of action created. (1) Except as provided in 13-37-306, any person who intentionally or negligently
violates any of the reporting provisions of this chapter,
shall be is liable in a civil action brought by the commissioner or a
county attorney pursuant to the provisions outlined in 13-37-124 and 13-37-125 for an amount up to $500 or three times the
amount of the unlawful contributions or expenditures, whichever is greater.
(2) Any person who makes or receives a contribution or expenditure in violation of 13-35-225, 13-35-227, 13-35-228, [section 1], or this chapter is liable in a civil action brought by the commissioner or a county attorney pursuant to the provisions outlined in 13-37-124 and 13-37-125 for an amount up to $500 or three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure, whichever is greater.
(3) A corporation, a labor or professional organization, or an employer who withholds wages or salary in violation of [section 1] shall refund to the employee or member the total amount of wages or salary illegally withheld."
Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13, chapter 35, part 2, and the provisions of Title 13, chapter 35, part 2, apply to [section 1].