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https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20130&cosponId=10375
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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 28, 2012 12:33 PM
From: Representative Brendan F. Boyle
To: All House members
Subject: Public Financing for PA Supreme Court Elections
 
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Election Code allowing for partial public financing for Pennsylvania Supreme Court elections and retentions.

Our justice system is predicated on the notion that we are all to be treated equally and fairly under the law. In order for this to be achieved, judges must rule impartially regardless of an individual’s party affiliation or their monetary contributions. Often times, judges hear cases which directly involve individuals or organizations that have made substantial contributions to their campaigns, resulting in at the very least a perceived, and at worst a real, conflict of interest. The Supreme Court, as the court of last resort in Pennsylvania, should especially be free of this perception.

My legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code by adding a chapter entitled "Pennsylvania Fair Campaign Funding" to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption. It also provides limited campaign funding for statewide Supreme Court elections. Taxpayers could designate on their tax return form that they want to contribute $3 to the fund. Licensed attorneys are required to make a contribution to the fund of up to $50 when applying for or renewing their licenses to practice law. Any candidate for election or retention as a Supreme Court justice may apply for Pennsylvania Fair Campaign funding if he or she meets the contributory thresholds established in the bill. More than a dozen states now have some form of public financing for elections. My legislation would enable Pennsylvania to join these states.

If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Fouse-Miller in my office 717-787-3055.



Introduced as HB175