|Posted:||December 18, 2014 12:18 PM|
|From:||Representative Tim Briggs|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports|
|In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation which would require that all candidates for office and political action committees (PACs) in Pennsylvania utilize the Department of State’s online filing system to electronically file campaign finance reports (HB 917 from last session).
Papering filing of campaign finance reports is outdated, costly, and inefficient. Requiring all filings to be electronically filed would greatly improve government transparency and accountability while at the same time reducing expenses for the state. According to the Department of State, a third of all campaign finance reports are already filed electronically. If the other two-thirds of candidates and PAC’s were to begin filing electronically, the existing online system would be able to handle it with no additional cost.
Most importantly, this system will greatly hasten the process of disclosure to keep up with political and legislative developments in the state. Due to lack of funding, all reports that have not been filed electronically as of late 2010 have not been transferred from paper to the online database that is available to the public. Because of this, Commonwealth citizens and public watchdog groups are unable to efficiently gain access to these public documents. Instead, if a member of the public wants to see a recent campaign finance report, they must travel to Harrisburg, or they would have to pay for copies of the report to be sent by mail or e-mail.
There are currently 32 states that require electronic filing. Pennsylvania must not be left behind in the era of increased public transparency online. We have the technology to give our citizens the transparent government they deserve while saving the tax payers money.
Previous Co-Sponsors: STEPHENS, M. K. KELLER, CARROLL, COHEN, O'BRIEN, DUNBAR, D. COSTA, SCHLOSSBERG, TRUITT, DAVIS, SANTARSIERO, CUTLER, HALUSKA, ROZZI, AUMENT, MOLCHANY, MURT, GIBBONS, SIMS and McCARTER
Introduced as HB413