Beach, Greenstein introduce campaign reform bill

TRENTON – Two senators introduced a campaign transparency bill Monday.

Democratic Sens. James Beach and Linda Greenstein introduced a bill designed to close loopholes and address problems with pay-to-play laws.

Among other things, the proposal would do the following:

*The bill would eliminate an exception that allows a candidate, political party, or legislative leadership committee to withhold information about donations of $300 or less.

*The bill would require the prompt disclosure of all campaign contributions and expenditures to the Election Law Enforcement Commission upon each instance of spending or receiving contributions over a threshold of $3,000. Once the $3,000 threshold is surpassed, a candidate, committee, or organization  would be required to electronically disclose certain information to the ELEC within 48 hours.

*The bill would raise the amount of money that can be contributed by an individual, a corporation or union, or a group to a candidate committee from $2,600 per election to $3,000 per election, and raise the amount of money that can be contributed by a candidate committee, political committee or continuing political committee to a candidate committee from $8,200 per election to $9,200 per election.

*The bill would close a loophole in pay-to-play laws by eliminating a provision that exempts municipal and county governments from abiding by pay-to-play requirements.

“By requiring full disclosure of all donations, we are not limiting those who wish to donate, but making the process more transparent so that the public can make educated decisions regarding candidates and their contributors,” Beach said in a release.

The lawmakers said the proposals are modeled after recommendations made by ELEC.

Beach, Greenstein introduce campaign reform bill