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April 18, 2024

Statement By Matthew Powell in Response to Passage of House Bills 1472 and 1220 in the PA State House

Statement By Matthew Powell in Response to Passage of House Bills 1472 and 1220 in the PA State House

April 18, 2024
Published By Matthew Powell, PA State Manager
It’s time state lawmakers take meaningful action by passing House Resolution 317 and Senate Resolution 212.
Matthew Powell
Pennsylvania State Manager

A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania State House members passed two bills on Tuesday to make campaign finance more transparent in state elections: House Bill 1472 and House Bill 1220. Both are headed to the Senate for consideration. The bipartisan support for these bills represents important momentum behind efforts to curb the toxic influence of unaccountable political spending from dark money groups.

However, even if House Bills 1472 and 1220 are signed into law, they could face legal challenges. Judicial overreach by the Supreme Court in campaign finance cases stripped states of their right to adopt spending limits and transparency rules – even in their own elections. This is why American Promise and 81% of Pennsylvanians support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to give states and Congress the power to set limits on political spending. House Bill 317 calls on Congress to adopt the For Our Freedom Amendment, which would do just that.

House Bill 317 recently passed out of committee with bipartisan support, 22-3, and it’s the only measure that can give the Commonwealth the ability to set enduring structural limits on political spending. 22 other states have passed similar resolutions. The companion Senate Resolution 212 currently awaits action in the Senate Government Committee  and it is urgent that state lawmakers advance this legislation now.

Tuesday’s votes reflect concerns expressed by Pennsylvania voters about the unlimited and unrestrained spending in our elections that silences the voices of Pennsylvanians while handing a microphone to wealthy individuals and even foreign actors. More than nine out of ten Pennsylvania voters agree that the current pay-to-play political system is a threat to democracy. It’s time state lawmakers take meaningful action by passing House Resolution 317 and Senate Resolution 212.

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