Senator Jay Costa

Harrisburg, Pa. − October 25, 2019 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today circulated a memo to his colleagues in the Senate seeking cosponsors on legislation that would reform Pennsylvania’s campaign finance laws and ensure better transparency and accountability moving forward.

The legislation will be similar to bills he has introduced in every session since 2010, but with several additions. Previous iterations of the bill (introduced as SB 11) included:

  • Limiting the expenditures of a candidate, political committee, political action committee, political party committee or other person, for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election
  • Requiring disclosure of the now-unlimited campaign contributions. While corporate political contributions to candidates remain illegal, these expenditures can now be made to influence the outcome of election, per Citizen’s United. The legislation will require that these expenditures be disclosed and made public to educate the public on the financial backers of candidates
  • Prohibition on the use of campaign funds for personal use
  • Ban campaign funds to be used in the purchase of gift cards

New additions to Senator Costa’s campaign finance plan include:

  • A requirement for full disclosure of itemized credit card expenses
  • Mandating that campaign committees provide access to expense receipts with an appeal available to the Department of State for assistance in determining whether the record should be accessible

Senator Costa also introduced legislation barring foreign contributions to campaigns as SB 1068 last session. This will be reintroduced with the components of SB 11.

A summary of the legislation can be found here and will be formally introduced again this session as Senate Bill 11.