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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2015 03:23 PM
From: Representative Michael K. Hanna
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Shareholder Approval when Corporations make Political Contributions.
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to protect the integrity of government and maintain the balance of influence in the election of public officials in Pennsylvania.

My bill would require a corporation to include in its bylaws adequate procedures for assessing the will of the majority of the shareholders regarding proposed contributions to campaign finance entities and independent expenditures for a federal, state or local election. This legislation aims to prevent corporations from spending any resources on political campaigns and candidates without a majority of shareholders expressing their political preferences and authorizing the political spending by management. If a majority of a company's shares are owned by large institutional investors that cannot take political positions -- like state and local pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, foundations, churches, and universities -- then the corporation would not be permitted to make political expenditures or contributions.

Although corporations cannot vote, they make significant political contributions and expenditures that directly and indirectly influence the election of candidates and support or oppose political causes at federal, state and local levels. Decisions to use corporate funds for political contributions and expenditures are currently made by corporate boards and executives, often without the knowledge or consent of shareholders. This legislation would simply require approval by the majority of shareholders when corporations make political contributions.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions, please contact Lynette Perkins via e-mail at LMPerkins@pahouse.net or via phone at 717-772-2283.

Introduced as HB1235