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How does Ethics Rule Amendment 2017-02, which allows candidates to be reimbursed from campaign funds, impact existing committees?
Pre-2015 Committees: The Rule change does not impact candidate committees formed prior to January 1, 2015.
2015 and later Committees: The Rule change impacts all candidate committees formed on or after January 1, 2015. As of May 26, 2017, the Ethics Rules allow for candidates who use personal funds to purchase goods or services for the campaign to be reimbursed from campaign funds within 90 days of the expenditures so long as the reimbursement is fully itemized.
Ethics Rule Amendment 2017-02 (effective May 26, 2017) is found here: Amendment 2017-02
Under Ethics Rule 2.64, candidate committees may provide its contributors and volunteers free campaign-related goods of modest value. The Rule does not define modest, but it lists some common examples of such gifts, including t-shirts or caps. In addition, the items provided to volunteers and contributors must be campaign-related; for example, a cap or t-shirt on which the campaign logo or candidate committee name is printed. Such gifts are different than the goods sold by the committee to raise funds.
A gift card is equivalent to cash. Consequently, the Ethics Rules do not permit such an item because it is not campaign-related. If a candidate committee wishes to pay an individual, that individual is not a volunteer but a committee staff member on payroll.