House of Delegates Pass Legislation to Tighten Fundraising Rules

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The House of Delegates passed HB 1634 which tightens fund raising rules for members of the General Assembly when they are in session.  The measure passed with a big bi-partisan vote.  The bill was passed in the house with a 78-14 vote.

The bill will limit the ability of members to do things like attend dinners designed to raise funds for political purpose while they are in session.  This is an important measure to ensure our law makers remained focused on what they are elected to do rather then hang out with lobbyist and ask for money and make promises to pass legislation for a donation.

Full press release:

House Republican Legislation Tightening Ban on
In-Session Fundraising Ban Clears Key Hurdle

— Virginia House of Delegates Endorses Republican-backed Bill 78-14 —
— Legislation Latest in Series of GOP Good Government & Transparency Initiatives —
— Claimed “Loophole” on Existing Ban Spurs Quick House Action on Delegate Saxman’s Bill —

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Christopher B. “Chris” Saxman’s (R-Staunton) bill to further tighten restrictions on political fundraising when the General Assembly is in session, House Bill 1634, was approved today by the House of Delegates on a bipartisan 78-14 vote.  The bill is the latest in a series of House Republican Caucus initiatives providing practical solutions to improve government operations, effectiveness and transparency.

“While some Virginia officials are intent on expanding national political fundraising in the state, the Virginia General Assembly should take precautions to protect against even the appearance of the creeping corruption of Washington-style politics,” said Delegate Saxman.  “House Republicans have passed similar fundraising reform legislation over the past several sessions.  We are hopeful that members of all parties will embrace this honest reform, which promotes trust and transparency for the citizens we serve.”

“Separating partisan political fundraising from legislating is important to the lasting institutional integrity of the House and Senate and all of state government,” remarked Delegate Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania), Chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, which endorsed the measure Wednesday on a bipartisan vote of 14 to 8.  “It has been disappointing that some have found ways to circumvent the existing restrictions.  Being entrusted by the people, elected officials must send a clear signal that their votes are not for sale.”

“Virginians expect their elected officials to act in the highest ethical manner while they are doing the peoples’ business,” noted Speaker of the House William J. Howell (R-Stafford).  “House Republicans have continually demonstrated their commitment to eliminating the influence of campaign contributions on the consideration and outcome of legislation.  This bill is yet another step toward achieving that goal.”

By restricting General Assembly members and statewide elected officials from attending political fundraising events, House Bill 1634 would close a loophole in the existing ban on soliciting campaign contributions when the General Assembly is in session.

With today’s House passage of HB 1634, the legislation now goes to the Senate.

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