Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The House Summary of the House Engrossed Bill for SB 1402 dated April 15, 2011 at first blush strikes me as something for which there could be grounds for a legal challenge. This is not your typical nonprofit organization receiving funds from a specialty license plate arrangement.
This arrangement involves elected officials who benefit directly from Tea Party political activities appointing the members of this so-called nonprofit organization (Tea Party Committee) to be established under the bill. This has all the appearances and potential for abuse as a political slush fund. Someone who understands the law of nonprofit organizations and Arizona's specialty license plate laws better than I do should examine this law closely.
Here is the summary:
Don’t Tread on Me Special Plates and Fund
- Requires the Director to issue Don’t Tread on Me Special Plates (DTM plates) if $32,000 is collected through donations and paid to ADOT for implementation.
- Stipulates the entity that provides $32,000 is required to design the DTM plate and specifies that it is subject to ADOT approval.
- Allows the Director to combine a request for DTM plates with a personalized special plate.
- Specifies that of the $25 fee required for the DTM plate and subsequent renewals, $8 is an administration fee and $17 is an annual donation.
- Requires the Director to deposit all administration fees in the SHF and all donations in the Don’t Tread on Me Special Plate Fund (DTM Fund).
- Requires the State Treasurer, on notice from the Arizona Tea Party Committee, to invest and divest monies in the DTM Fund and requires monies earned from investments to be credited to the DTM Fund.
- Establishes the DTM Fund which is administered by the Arizona Tea Party Committee.
- Requires the first $32,000 to be reimbursed to the SHF.
- Prohibits more than 10% of monies in the DTM Fund from being used for administration.
- Stipulates that monies in the DTM Fund are continuously appropriated.
Arizona Tea Party Committee
- Establishes the Arizona Tea Party Committee (Committee) which consists of thirteen members who reside in this state and who are U.S. citizens.
- As temporary law, provides staggered terms for initial members of the Committee.
- Requires the following Committee membership:
a) One member who is appointed by the President of the Senate and who is the Director of an incorporated nonprofit corporation that is qualified under 501(c)(3) or 501 (c)(4) and that has a mission of bringing together, empowering and training tea party groups and that has affiliated members that represent diverse geographical locations throughout Arizona.
b) Two members who are appointed by the President of the Senate and who each represent an organization in Arizona that promotes the tea party governing principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets and requires one of the two members to reside in a county with a population of more than 160,000 but less than 167,000.
c) Three members who are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and who each represent an organization in Arizona that promotes tea party governing principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.
d) Seven members who are appointed by the Governor and who each represent an organization in Arizona that promotes tea party governing principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.
- Stipulates that members of the Committee will serve five year terms.
- Requires the Committee to perform the following:
a) Distribute monies from the DTM Fund.
b) Submit a written report to the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives and a copy to the Secretary of State on or before December 31 of each year that includes all administrative expenses, all grants of monies, the names of grantees and any remaining balance in the DTM Fund.
c) Submit a list of at least two, but not more than five, candidates to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than 60 days before the expiration of a member’s term.
- Requires the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives to appoint a member from the list submitted by the Committee.
- Stipulates that members of the Committee are not eligible to receive compensation or reimbursement of expenses.
- Requires the Committee to allocate monies to qualifying entities in Arizona that use monies to promote tea party governing principles.
- Requires the Committee to annually distribute all monies deposited in the DTM Fund, excluding administrative fees, to any qualifying entities.
Committee Grant Program
- Requires the Committee to establish a grant program to distribute DTM Fund monies and prepare and issue a request for grant application that includes at least the following information:
a) A description of the intended uses of grant monies.
b) Whether a single award or multiple awards may be made.
c) The criteria or factors under which an application will be evaluated for award and relative importance of each criteria or factor.
d) The due date for submittal of an application and the anticipated time the awards may be made.
e) Any additional information required by the Committee.
- Requires adequate public notice for a grant application to be set forth in the request for a grant application.
- Requires a grant application to be publicly received at the time and place designated in the request for a grant application.
- Stipulates that the name of each applicant is publicly recorded and all other information in the application is confidential during the process of evaluation.
- Stipulates that all applications are open for public record after grant monies are awarded.
- Requires an application to be evaluated by at least three members of the Committee and requires members to review each application based solely on the evaluation criteria or factors set forth in the request for a grant application.
- Allows the Committee to enter into agreements with other state governmental units to provide assistance in conducting the solicitation of grant applications.
- Allows the Committee to resolve protests of the award or proposed award of a grant.
- Requires a protest of an award or proposed grant and any appeals be resolved in accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the Department of Administration (DOA).
- Allows an appeal from a decision of the Committee to be made to the Director of the DOA.
- Requires the Committee to make available to the public a list of all grants awarded upon request.
- Requires qualifying entities to maintain a written record of all expenditures made using grant monies and provide them to the Committee upon request.
- Defines qualifying entity as an organization that fosters tea party governing principles that include all of the following:
a) To promote the Constitution of the U.S. as the supreme law of the land through education and preservation of the founding principles of the Constitution of the U.S.
b) To protect state sovereignty as provided under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the U.S.
c) To adhere to the tenets of limited government, free enterprise for business and fiscal responsibility by federal, state and local governments.
d) To stand for the security of borders with other nations for the stability and safety of the U.S.