Senate to vote Wednesday on campaign finance bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill changing West Virginia’s campaign finance regulations and disclosure requirements will be among the last to come out of the state Senate before a Wednesday deadline.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill Tuesday afternoon with bipartisan support. It raises the cap for individual contributions from the current $1,000 cap to $2,700 matching the federal contribution level.

The bill will be up for third and final reading in the Senate during the Wednesday morning floor session.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said on MetroNews “Talkline” she supported the parts of the bill dealing with additional financial disclosures for transparency, but she questioned taking individual contribution limits to 25 times the current levels for statewide races.

“Folks will agree, across the board, there’s already too much money in politics,” Tennant said.  “When I look at this, I see this fire that is raging.  You’re not going to put it out by putting more gasoline to it.”

Tennant was pleased with the final compromise bill the committee voted to send to the floor. She said the amended version does not allow PACs to contribute to other PACS, nor does it permit unlimited contributions.

Additionally, the bill would create an online searchable database on contributors and expenditures, an online list of late filers and a 24-hour reporting requirement for any contributions of $1,000 or more within the time period of the last reporting information and the election.

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