Thursday, August 26, 2010

PA Campaign Finance Bill Sits in Committee

A measure that would limit campaign contributions in Pennsylvania to what one local lawmaker says are “reasonable” levels, has stalled in committee. State Senator Jay Costa of Forest Hills is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1269 that imposes limits on what political action committees and individuals can contribute to a candidate. It also caps total contributions that a candidate can accept. The limits are as follows---
 In-kind contributions would be limited to $500 per individual for candidates for the offices of state senator, representative, common pleas court, county or local offices.
 A $2,400 limit would be established for statewide offices and a $5,000 limit would be placed on contributions from a single political action committee, or candidate committee, including contributions from a political party committee to a political action committee.
 Total contributions would be capped at $100,000 from all political party committees for the offices of state senator or representative, local judges, or county and local offices.
 A $250,000 limit would be imposed for statewide offices.
 No individual would be allowed to make contributions exceeding $25,000 within a calendar year, while political action committees would be limited to $100,000 annually.
 No person with a fiduciary contract for services with the General Assembly may engage in campaign finance activity for a candidate of the General Assembly.
 Any business awarded a contract or grants of more than $50,000 from the commonwealth during the preceding two year period shall report by February 15th of each year a list of the contracts, description of services, and an itemized list of all political contributions made by every office, director, associate, partner, limited partner, or owner of the business.
 All candidates must fulfill all their filing and disclosure requirements from prior campaign activity before they can obtain a place on a new ballot.
 Reports by political action committees and candidates shall include the specific occupation of individuals making contributions in excess of $100.
Costa says the bill has bipartisan support and he hopes it will move out of committee and onto the floor by the end of the year.

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