Commentary: Campaign FInance Reform is Alive but Needs Support in Arlington

Commentary: Campaign FInance Reform is Alive but Needs Support in Arlington

Individuals can make their voice heard this week.

There are only two weeks left of the General Assembly. Seven campaign finance reform bills remain; Del. David Bulova's oversight bill HB492 will be heard in the Senate Privileges and Elections committee on Feb. 22. Then, the three Senate campaign finance bills will likely be heard in the House Subcommittee on Feb. 23.

"CrossOver" is the period of time in the General Assembly where bills passed by the House are considered by the Senate, and vice versa. This week there are four bills moving from the House to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee and three moving from the Senate to the House.  After this midpoint, no new bills may be introduced. 

These seven bills, if passed, would provide a foundation for campaign finance reform in Virginia. They include bills enhancing oversight in the Department of Elections, strengthening disclosure and restricting the personal use of campaign donations. 

Arlington activist Nancy Morgan says residents need to speak out by calling or writing their representative and others who play a role in the process so that legislators know there is an interest in reform beyond the poll released earlier this year that shows Virginians want reform. The Money Out website has “one click” actions that make it easy to send comments to senators and delegates. 

HB86 (Del. Anderson) and HB 125 (Del. Davis) — would strengthen existing campaign finance disclosure provisions;

HB492 (Del. Bulova) would enhance the oversight authority of the State Board of Elections; 

HJ53 extends the mandate of the joint legislative study subcommittee on campaign finance reform.

Money Out VA’s website is: