Rep. Josh Shapiro, of the Pennsylvania House's 153rd district, has sent out an email outlining his plans for campaign finance reform. Someone forwarded it to me. Shapiro co-chairs the Speakers Commission on Legislative Reform and also serves as Deputy Speaker of the House. Here are his suggestions:
During our Commission deliberations, I offered a campaign finance reform proposal that would limit campaign contributions and require more disclosure and transparency by:
· Capping contributions from individuals and political action committees (PACs) to candidates at $2,300 and $5,000 respectively. This would bring state races in line with the limits set for federal races like congress.
· Allowing candidates to exceed those caps by a factor of three only when their opponent spends more than $250,000 of his or her own money.
· Requiring that candidates file campaign finance reports to disclose the amount and who they receive contributions from at least quarterly in a non-election year and 9 times in an election year. Under current state law, candidates need to only file once in a non-election year and a minimum of 5 times in an election year. This will make sure the public knows who gives what to whom, when they give it and how much is contributed.
· Mandating disclosure of all contributions greater than $50 within 24 hours of receiving the contribution during the 30 days before the primary or general election.
This common-sense, bipartisan proposal will improve our politics in Pennsylvania , clean up elections, limit the possibility and appearance of corruption in our system and level the playing field so there is more competition.