|Rep. Jay Edwards.
Photo: RI General Assembly.
The RI House passed a measure today that would require political parties and political action committees advocating for a town or city charter-amending question to file a report of all expenditures in excess of $100 with its local board of canvassers.
“I have been working to close this loophole for years,” said Rep. Jay Edwards (D-70), primary sponsor of the bill. “It’s important that the public be able to see contributions to groups and action committees advocating for charter amendments. Expenditures are equally, if not more important to the integrity of the election process. We should not settle for anything less than full transparency because that is what protects the integrity of the election process.”
The House approved the measure in a 68 to 0 vote.
The bill (2013-H 7054) applies to all charter questions considered during an election or financial town meeting. In 2012, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee signed similar legislation that focused on contributions received in excess of $100 as opposed to expenditures.
Cosponsors of the bill – which will now travel to the Senate for consideration – include all Portsmouth Reps (Dennis Canario (D-71), Raymond Gallison Jr. (D-69), Linda Finn (D-72)) and Sen. Paul W. Fogarty (D-23) has sponsored the mirroring legislation (2014-S 2235) in the Senate.
Editorial note: Written from a press release.