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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2020 10:39 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Establishing Contracts Between Municipalities and Campaign Committees for Special Events
In the near future, I will introduce legislation which will require formal cost-reimbursement contracts between campaign committees and municipalities prior to organizing any event. This bill will ensure that municipalities are not left with outstanding bills and insufficient resources to maintain the health and security of property and citizens, made available for use by campaign committees, for a given candidate.

Major events held by candidates, especially those which are open to the press, will often require extensions to the presence of law enforcement, major road closures and expansion or extended use of municipal resources. When campaign committees do not settle the difference between the municipal services generally provided and those required during these events, cities are left to foot the entire bill. The Center for Public Integrity has reported that municipalities have sustained losses up to $22,000.00 per event just in additional costs related to law enforcement.

Based on the most recent research, Pennsylvania is one of 45 states without explicit criteria providing for the responsibility of campaign committees to either reimburse or be exempt from costs associated with large public events. Of the 5 other states (New York, Utah, Ohio, Colorado and Texas,) which do provide for this responsibility, New York is the only one which requires reimbursement by a campaign committee. However, these costs continue to triple as campaign committees fail to respond to invoices and collection notices from cities where they previously held events. Continued failure to develop meaningful contracts between campaign committees and cities will doubtlessly result in persistent and unnecessary conflict.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact my legislative office in Harrisburg at 717-787-5970.