– Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) said Thursday he will soon be introducing legislation to put more teeth in campaign finance law compliance when third parties request documentation of reimbursements not already itemized in campaign finance reports.
“It has become more than evident that our campaign finance law needs to encourage more transparency, and that is especially the case when it comes to finding out what broad categories of reimbursements are actually for when campaign finance reports do not provide that itemized information,” Staats said.
According to a co-sponsorship memo sent to House colleagues, Staats’ legislation will be designed to close a loophole that allows political candidates and political committees to avoid complying with a provision of campaign finance law that ensures transparency by allowing the Department of State to place administrative penalties on candidates or campaign committees of $500 per day when they fail to make vouchers for reimbursement available for inspection by third party requesters.
Under current law, candidates and political committees must maintain records relating to expenditures of more than $25 and must make the vouchers available to any person who requests to inspect and copy them.
“While the Department of State is empowered to be a middleman for those requesting itemized voucher documentation for campaign reimbursements, they are not empowered with significant enforcement tools to ensure compliance,” Staats explained. “The bill I will introduce ensures increased campaign finance transparency by not only giving the department the authority to obtain the requested documents, but also the power to ensure compliance and encourage proper reimbursement documentation.”
Read the co-sponsorship memo here
Representative Craig Staats
145th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Joe Szymanski