Governor of Delaware approves new campaign finance requirements

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August 28, 2012

By Jennifer Springer

Delaware

DOVER, Delaware: Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law on August 16, 2012 three pieces of legislation that collectively increase transparency and provide greater and more timely information to voters and residents of Delaware.[1][2]

The three pieces of legislation include House Bill 300, House Bill 310, and Senate Bill 185.[1] HB 300 and SB 185 go into effect on January 1, 2013.[1] HB 310 is effective immediately.[1]

In an August 16, 2012 statement, Governor Jack Markell stated, "These three pieces of legislation, taken together, will make our state government more open, more transparent, and ultimately, more accountable to the people we serve."[1]

House Bill 300, also known as the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act, closes a "loophole" with campaign advertisements, and requires prompt reporting of third-party spending on campaign ads and requires greater disclosure from those who spend money in an election.[1]House Bill 310 increases the penalties for late filing of elections disclosure reports from $50 a month to $50 a day and $50 a day for incomplete campaign finance reports.[1] Senate Bill 185 requires enhanced disclosure from lobbyists regarding the issues they are lobbying, including all bills, resolutions and regulations.[1]

House Bill 300 is the first major overhaul of Delaware’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years.[1]

House Majority Whip Valerie Longhurst (D) showed support for the new legislation, stating that the new campaign finance laws promote openness and increased transparency in political campaigns[1] Senate President Pro Tem Anthony DeLuca (D) agreed, stating “It will be easier for citizens to track what lobbyists are doing in Dover, letting the public know who’s invested in the outcome of a bill. Letting citizens know who’s paying for the kinds of negative attack ads that PACS and other outside groups have been able to hide behind in the past, helps them understand which organizations are trying to sway their vote.”[1]

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