House Passes Massachusetts Disclose Act

The House of Representatives passed the Massachusetts Disclose Act shedding light on political campaign financing Wednesday, June 25, by a 143-4 vote.

The bill, renumbered H.4226, would require superPACs to publicly disclose the source of their funding and to do it in a timely manner, combatting the rise of “dark money,” spending by outside groups on elections.

Corporations, labor unions and special interests would be required to disclose expenditures in statewide, county or local races, as well as the sources of their funding, within seven days of the expenditure, which could be an advertising buy.   The top five donors to an independent expenditure group would have to be listed in any TV advertisement or newspaper advertisement, according to the provisions of the bill.

The bill also increases the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate annually from $500 to $1,000.

While recent U.S. Supreme Court decision have removed many of the limits on contributions to campaigns and on outside spending in elections, this bill will at least make those sources of funding more transparent in state, county and local elections in Massachusetts.

The Disclose Act now goes to the Senate for a vote.

6/26/2014