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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2015 03:13 PM
From: Senator Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public Financing of State Elections
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to create a public financing option for state political campaigns.

Specifically the legislation will create a Clean Elections Fund to provide participating candidates with public money to finance their election campaigns. Any candidate running for Governor, Senator, Representative, Auditor General, Attorney General or State Treasurer will be eligible to receive public funding. To qualify for the money a candidate must collect the prescribed number of qualifying contributions of $5 from registered voters within their electoral district. For example, a candidate for State Senate would have to collect 175 donations of $5 to become a certified candidate.

Each certified candidate is then given an amount from the fund, determined by the office they are seeking and whether or not they are in a contested race, with which to run their campaign for office. No other money may be sought, collected or spent by the candidate once they have collected the public financing.

There is a problem in our system of government when a candidate for office must either know wealthy donors or be one themselves. This system hurts us all when those who pay for ever pricier elections are perceived to be influencing the officials who represent them in office. I would like to give people the chance to run for office based on the broad public support for their ideas, not the breadth of their supporters’ wallets.

Please join me in supporting this important legislation.

If you have questions about this legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Jon Tew at jtew@pasenate.com or 610-768-4200.

Introduced as SB545