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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2019 10:51 AM
From: Senator Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public Financing of State Elections
Soon I will re-introduce legislation to create a public financing option for state political campaigns.

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.

My bill would 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 would 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.

This bill was known as Senate Bill 290 during the 2017-2018 session. It was cosponsored by Senator Haywood.

Please join me in supporting this important legislation.

If you have questions about this legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Introduced as SB812