Friday, June 09, 2006

Campaign Finance Reforms

The House agreed to place more restrictions on campaign donations made in cash and to require the disclosure of the names of some people who contribute smaller amounts. House Bill 1846, which I cosponsored, would cut by half the maximum cash contribution that a candidate can accept, from $100 to $50. Campaign treasurers also would have to disclose the identity of people who make contributions by money order of more than $50, down from the current rules of at least $100. Otherwise, identities are required when a contributor has given a cumulative $100 in any two-year election cycle. The bill was approved by an initial vote of 109-5 on Wednesday, after some not-so-pretty debate, will be up for final passage on Monday and then will be considered by the Senate. This bill is one of 10 recommended by the House Select Committee on Ethics and Governmental Reform, on which I sat, which met before the legislative session began last month. More proposals to come include a pilot project for publicly financed legislative races, tighter regulations of 527s, and a prohibition on the conversion of campaign funds to personal use.

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