Senate Bill No. 635

Public Act No. 00-217

An Act Concerning Charitable Solicitations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 21a-190c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Every charitable organization required to register pursuant to section 21a-190b shall annually file with the department a report for its most recently completed fiscal year, which report shall include a financial statement and such other information as the commissioner may require. Such charitable organization shall file such report not more than five months following the close of its fiscal year, which report shall be accompanied by a fee of twenty-five dollars and shall be signed by two authorized officers of the organization, one of whom shall be the chief fiscal officer of the organization. Such officers shall certify that such report is true and correct to the best of their knowledge. The commissioner shall prescribe the form of the report and may prescribe standards for its completion. The commissioner may accept, under such conditions as he may prescribe, a copy or duplicate original of financial statements, reports or returns filed by the charitable organization with the Internal Revenue Service or another state having requirements similar to the provisions of sections 21a-190a to 21a-190l, inclusive, as amended by this act.

(b) A charitable organization with gross revenue in excess of [one] two hundred thousand dollars in the year covered by the report shall include with its financial statement an audit report of a certified public accountant. For purposes of this section, gross revenue shall not include grants or fees from government agencies or the revenue derived from funds held in trust for the benefit of the organization.

(c) The commissioner may, upon written request and for good cause shown, grant an extension of time, not to exceed three months, for the filing of such report.

(d) An additional late filing fee of twenty-five dollars shall accompany any report which is not filed in a timely manner.

(e) Every charitable organization required to file an annual report and every charitable organization subject to the provisions of subdivision (6) of section 21a-190d, as amended by this act, shall keep true fiscal records which shall be available to the department for inspection upon request. Such organization shall retain such records for no less than three years after the end of the fiscal year to which they relate.

Sec. 2. Section 21a-190d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The following charitable organizations shall not be subject to the provisions of sections 21a-190b and 21a-190c, as amended by this act, provided each such organization shall submit such information as the department may require to substantiate an exemption under this section:

(1) Any duly organized religious corporation, institution or society;

(2) Any parent-teacher association or educational institution, the curricula of which in whole or in part are registered or approved by any state or the United States either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body;

(3) Any nonprofit hospital licensed in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-630 or any similar provision of the laws of any other state;

(4) Any governmental unit or instrumentality of any state or the United States;

(5) Any person who solicits solely for the benefit of organizations described in subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of this section; and

(6) Any charitable organization which normally receives less than [twenty-five] fifty thousand dollars in contributions annually, provided such organization does not compensate any person primarily to conduct solicitations.

Sec. 3. Section 21a-190l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The commissioner may deny, suspend or revoke the registration of any charitable organization, fund-raising counsel or paid solicitor which has violated any provision of sections 21a-190a to 21a-190l, inclusive, as amended by this act. The commissioner may accept a written assurance of compliance when he determines that a violation of said sections is not material and that the public interest would not be served by a denial, suspension or revocation of such registration.

(b) The Attorney General, at the request of the commissioner, may apply to the Superior Court for, and the court may grant, a temporary injunction or a permanent injunction to restrain violations of sections 21a-190a to 21a-190l, inclusive, as amended by this act, the appointment of a receiver, an order of restitution, an accounting and such other relief as may be appropriate to ensure the due application of charitable funds. Proceedings thereon shall be brought in the name of the state.

(c) Any person who knowingly violates any provision of sections 21a-190a to 21a-190l, inclusive, as amended by this act, shall be fined not more than [one] five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(d) In any action brought under subsection (b) of section 21a-190l, as amended by this act, if the court finds that a person has wilfully engaged in conduct prohibited by section 21a-190h, the Attorney General, upon petition to the court, may recover, on behalf of the state, a civil penalty of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for each violation. For purposes of this subsection, a wilful violation occurs when the party committing the violation knew or should have known that such conduct was prohibited by section 21a-190h, as amended by this act.

Approved June 1, 2000