Campaign Finance Disclosure

As the influence of independent expenditures grows on Minnesota elections, there is increased interest in informing voters about who they are and what they represent. Legislation was heard this year that would provide additional disclosure to voters regarding who is trying to influence their vote. Supporters argue that stricter disclosure in political campaigns is important because the public has a right to know who is trying to influence how they vote. Under current law, an organization could structure itself in a way that would allow it to easily avoid disclosure so that the public wouldn’t know who was bankrolling the organization and its campaign. This legislation requires an organization that does not have a segregated banking account (ex. one for the organization and one for money donated specifically for electioneering communications) and expends more than $1,500 for communications in political campaigns in a year, to pro-rate the amount spent for political communications over its membership. Donors whose pro-rate share is more than $5,000 would be disclosed.

STATUS: The bill is in the Rules Committee. (S.F. 214)

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