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School Board Elections: Resources

Special Update: 2023 Wisconsin Act 120 Changes Committee Registration Requirements (March 2024)

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission has released a new, March 2024 version of the CF-1L “Campaign Finance Registration Statement” form.  The revised form reflects the new registration information requirements found in 2023 Wisconsin Act 120.  As summarized in a recent communication from Commission Administrator Daniel Carlton:

[T]here is new required information on the CF-1 Registration Statement. Committees are now required to provide the email address and personal telephone number of the candidate (if applicable), treasurer and any other custodian of books and accounts. The personal telephone number is confidential and exempt from public access. We have revised the CF-1L to capture the personal telephone number. This information is requested on the new third page of the form. It is also watermarked so that it is obvious that that third page is confidential and not available to the public. You can find the new CF-1L on the Commission’s website at this link.

The new registration requirements took effect on March 16, 2024.  Any candidate committee registering, or amending a registration, on or after March 16 is required comply with the new registration information requirements of Act 120. This includes any write-in candidates who register for the 2024 Spring Election between March 16 and the date of the write-in candidate registration deadline, which is at noon on Friday, March 29, 2024.  Although essentially identical registration information requirements now also apply to referendum committees, the Commission has yet to issue an updated version of the CF-1 form as of March 19, 2024.

Significantly, candidate committees that completed their registration prior to March 16, 2024, do not appear to be required to take any immediate action to add an email address or a personal phone number to their prior registration (if they left those fields/items blank on their last registration). Rather, it appears to be sufficient for existing registrants to comply with the new registration information requirements the next time they file a new or amended registration statement.

Act 120 made other changes to the campaign finance laws, including creating a method for terminating the registration of a committee that has ceased communicating with the filing officer. Other provisions of Act 120 focus on candidates who run for multiple offices and who establish a second candidate committee for the second office–a situation that school board members and school district filing officers rarely encounter.


WASB Publications and Webinars

These publications are designed to provide general information, with commentary, as a service to WASB members and school board candidates. The publications should not be relied upon as legal advice. If required, legal advice regarding the topics in the publications should be obtained from the district’s legal counsel or a candidate’s personal attorney.

Each fall, the WASB holds a two-part webinar that covers key deadlines, required notices and post-election processes. In 2023, the webinars were held on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25.  The recordings of those webinars are now available for purchase. Registration includes access to both Part 1 (the election process) and Part 2 (campaign finance from the perspective of the filing officer).  Enter the WASB Store to purchase this webinar series and receive access to recordings, presentations and supplementary materials.

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