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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2014 03:47 PM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz and Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation – Disposition of Judicial Campaign Funds
Last session, I introduced Senate Bill 1128 that would address the residual funds in the campaign accounts of former judicial candidates. In the near future, we plan to re-introduce this legislation.

This change would have the effect of bringing the Election Code in line with the “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Judicial Campaigns” (Chapter 39 of the Pa. Code). These guidelines prohibit sitting judges from any involvement in political activities unless they are the candidate. The problem is that once they are no longer a candidate they can no longer retain their campaign accounts, hence they must distribute their “residual funds.”

Currently, the wording of the Election Code is ambiguous as to what is to be done with these residual funds, and it could be interpreted that they are to be distributed only to any various political committees and that the distribution of these funds to any non-profit and non-political group is prohibited. Our changes would amend the Election Code to allow for judicial campaign committees to donate their residual funds to a non-profit community organization as well.

Previous co-sponsors of SB 1128 were Senators Costa, Folmer, Greenleaf, Schwank, Vance, and Vulakovich.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB194