SD31 - Report of the Joint Subcommittee Studying Campaign Finance Reform

Executive Summary:

Senate Joint Resolution 393 (2001) continued the Joint Subcommittee Studying Campaign Finance Reform for a second year. During the 2001 interim, the Subcommittee dedicated its agenda to providing opportunities for the public to comment on campaign reforms, including contribution limits, electronic filing, random report auditing, voluntary expenditure limits, and reforms targeted to control the spiraling cost of campaigns and provide public confidence in Virginia's campaign financing.

The Subcommittee met five times during the year and conducted public hearings in Roanoke, Norfolk, Fairfax, and Richmond.

Based on its review and deliberations and comments received, the Subcommittee recommended:

1. Mandatory electronic filing of reports for General Assembly candidates who receive more than $10,000 in contribution and political committees (including PACs and political party committees) that receive more than $25,000 in contributions.

2. Random auditing of campaign finance disclosure reports to check for mathematical accuracy, facial completeness, and balance discrepancies.

3. Extension of the Campaign Finance Act to elections of any town with a population of 10,000 or more. Current law provides that the Act applies to elections of any town with a population of 25,000 or more.

4. A single annual filing schedule for PACs and political committees that would cover May and November elections.

5. Reimbursement from the campaign depository for out-of-pocket campaign-related expenses (not to exceed $1,000) paid by candidates, campaign treasurers and other authorized members of the campaign staff.