The League of Women Voters opposes HB 2602.
Sect 11-196.5 HRS, subsection 14 of this bill would require the name, address, occupation, and employer of each donor who has contributed an aggregate amount of more than $250 since the last election. This is an increase from the $100 that is in the HRS today. In the interest of continued appropriate transparency in the process, it’s important for voters to know who contributes to these independent committees.
In section 2 of this bill, we oppose the amendment to section 11-206(c)(4) which would increase the amount candidates may give from their surplus funds to community or charitable organizations. The League has long opposed the use of surplus funds for this purpose. At one time, candidates could give unlimited surplus amounts to community organizations, however, many of the good government groups opposed the unlimited amounts because of valid concerns over unfair advantages enjoyed by a few. Few incumbents attract the kind of contributions that result in large surpluses. Challengers would also not have the benefit of having distributed donations to their community groups which might earn them their support in the elections.
Some years ago, these donations were capped at the maximum amount that citizens could give to candidates: $2,000 for the House, $4,000 for the Senate, and $6,000 for statewide seats. League accepted that amendment, and we strongly recommend that it remain at that level.
We urge you to hold H.B. 2602. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.