What are the qualifications for becoming a standing political committee?
A standing political committee has been active in more than one reporting jurisdiction in Arizona for more than one year and must be either a separate segregated fund, a political party, a committee organized for the purpose of making independent expenditures, or a political organization. (A.R.S. §16-901)
How does a qualified committee achieve standing committee status?
- The committee must file a Statement of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office complete with the notarized signatures of the committee chairman and treasurer. (A.R.S. §16-902.01)
- The committee must file a completed copy of this form (should include Secretary of State’s time stamp) with each jurisdiction in which it is active. (A.R.S. §16-902.01)
- A $250 annual administrative fee must be submitted along with the Statement of Organization. (A.R.S. §16-902.01)
What are the special requirements?
- A standing committee must file nine reports (reporting dates) with the Secretary of State each year. This is opposed to the six that are required of other committees every other year. The additional four reports are required in connection with the statutory timeline for local election cycles. (A.R.S. §§16-913 and 16-204)
- A standing committee’s initial report should be made to satisfy the deadline immediately following the date of registration regardless of the fact that the committee might have been inactive as a standing committee during the entire reporting period of the report. For example, a committee that registers in January, 2006 should file the January 31, 2006 report with the Secretary of State’s office even though the committee, as a standing committee, would have had nothing to report for the reporting period ended December 31, 2005.
What are the unique opportunities?
- A standing committee is only required to file with the Secretary of State and is exempt from the filing requirements of any other Arizona jurisdiction. (A.R.S. §16-913)
- Standing committees face a more simplified process for engaging in or terminating any activity in any jurisdiction.
Any additional details I should be aware of?
- Reports filed with the Secretary of State must be in electronic format. (A.R.S. §16-913) If it is the committee’s first time filing with the Secretary of State’s Office, it will be assigned a filer identification number. If already registered, the committee will keep its presently assigned number. (A.R.S. §16-902.01) A standing committee may not act as a campaign committee or a sponsoring organization for any candidate, initiative, referendum or recall. (A.R.S. §16-907) Any standing committee that does not make a timely report three or more times forfeits standing committee status and privilege of consolidated filing. (A.R.S. §16-918) To make an electronic filing, make sure that you have entered all the transactions occurring during the standing committee period for which you are filing, and then proceed with the normal process for e-filing by going to REPORTS, ELECTRONIC FILING. Select the media, enter your confidential Personal Identification Number (not the same as the Filer Identification Number by which your committee is known publicly), and then transmit.
- If you would like to print a hard copy of a report for your records, you may use the CUSTOM REPORT feature of the software. Be sure to set the period dates to those particular to the special standing committee report for which you are filing. The additional periods will be formalized in the new release of the software available later this year.