Campaign Finance Reports & Conflict of Interest Disclosures
Campaign Finance Reports
The campaign finance law, title 15 of the Election Code, regulates the acceptance of, expenditure of, and reports regarding money in political campaigns by candidates, officeholders, and political committees.
Hays CISD, as a local governmental unit, is the filing entity for campaign finance reports filed by trustees, candidates for trustees, and certain political action committees. As the filing entity, the district does not assess the accuracy or completeness of reports. Instructions, forms, and other information for local filers are available online. Hays CISD will also make this information available in print upon request. Questions regarding campaign finance and title 15 should be directed to the Texas Ethics Commission at (512) 463-5800. The Secretary of State can answer all other questions about election law at (512) 463-5650 or (800) 252-8683.
House Bill 336, passed by the 82nd Legislature and signed by the governor on June 17, 2011, requires certain school districts to post campaign finance reports on district websites. Since Hays CISD is located partially in a city with a population greater than 500,000 (Austin, Texas) and has more than 15,000 students, this requirement became effective for campaign finance reports filed after January 1, 2012. The requirement relates to reports filed by board of trustee members, candidates for the board, and specific-purpose committees supporting, opposing, or assisting a candidate or member.
Important Note: Candidates and trustees have the option to select modified campaign finance reporting. Modified reporting excuses an opposed candidate from filing reports 30 days and 8 days before an election and 8 days before a runoff. An opposed candidate is eligible for modified reporting only if the candidate does not intend to exceed either $500 in contributions or $500 in expenditures (excluding filing fees) in connection with an election.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement
Section 176.003 of the Local Government Code in Texas requires certain local government officers and vendors to file conflict of interest forms in certain circumstances. Hays CISD, as a local governmental unit, is the filing entity for disclosure statements.
To protect school district transactions from the potential undue influence of the business or other financial interests of district officials, several state laws require public disclosure of public officials’ financial interests. The purpose of these disclosures is to provide transparency as to potential conflicts of interest, not embarrass the official. Having an interest that requires a disclosure does not imply that a person has done anything inappropriate or that the district is prohibited from proceeding with a legal transaction. In many instances, however, an individual school official who has a financial relationship with a potential vendor must timely make the disclosures required by law and abstain from participation in the decision-making process regarding the conflict.