Pa. Senate backs stricter rules on reporting campaign funds

    A proposal intended to provide more transparency to campaign finance data has passed in the Pennsylvania Senate.

    Candidates for statewide office and the General Assembly would have to file their campaign finance reports electronically under the plan.

    Candidates, as well as political action committees, also could trigger more frequent filing deadlines if they raise $10,000 or more in a month.

    More frequent filings are especially important for citizens who want to see what kind of contributions come to members of the General Assembly during a busy legislative season, said State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia.

    “In this budget cycle right now, we have liquor privatization going to be coming up for a vote. We have issues like transportation, you know where lobbyists are supporting candidates and candidates are raising money on issues,” he said. “We want to make sure we can see who is supporting who and what’s going on.”

    The $10,000 threshold was a late-stage change to the bill. Farnese says making it that low means candidates for state House are more likely to be affected by the legislation — and they’re the ones who get to consider the bill next.

    The chamber’s GOP spokesman was noncommittal on whether it would get a vote.

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