Delaware bill targets use of illegal campaign funds

(file/NewsWorks)

(file/NewsWorks)

The state Senate has voted to extend charity to political candidates and office holders in Delaware who receive illegal campaign contributions. 

Current law requires a campaign to return a prohibited contribution to the donor within seven days of learning about it in order to avoid liability for accepting an illegal donation.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 11-to-7 for a bill allowing campaigns to donate illegal contributions to certain state-approved charities. The bill cleared the Democrat-led Senate on a party-line vote, with no Republicans in favor. It now goes to the House.

Minority Whip Greg Lavelle suggested the bill was not about campaign finance reform, but about excusing certain campaign finance behavior.

The legislation attempts to codify how some candidates, including Gov. Jack Markell, have previously handled illegal campaign contributions.

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