July 25, 2014 •
DE Governor Signs Package of Campaign Finance, Lobbying Bills
On July 22, 2014, Gov. Jack Markell signed several bills amending Delaware’s campaign finance and lobbying laws. Senate Bill 187 allows political committees to donate prohibited contributions to certain charitable organizations. House Bill 300 protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation for reporting campaign finance violations or participating in the investigation of such violations.
Both Senate Bill 187 and House Bill 300 became effective upon the governor’s signature. House Bill 301 requires contributions given from a joint account, whether by check, debit card, or credit card, to be attributed to the signator of the contribution. Senate Bill 186 requires entities making contributions of more than $100 to disclose the name and address of one responsible party. A responsible party, as defined by the bill, is an individual who exercises control over the entity.
House Bill 301 and Senate Bill 186 are effective January 1, 2015. Also effective January 1, 2015, is House Bill 306, which imposes late filing fees on lobbyists who file late reports. A fee of $25 will be assessed for the first day and $10 for each subsequent day a lobbyist report is delinquent. The maximum late fee allowable is $100. The Public Integrity Commission may waive such late filing fees if it determines circumstances make imposition of the fee inappropriate.
Of the newly minted legislation, Gov. Markell said, “We must always look to improve our laws to strengthen the public’s confidence in the political process.”
Photo of Governor Jack Markell by John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV on Wikimedia Commons.
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