The Michigan House today approved state Rep. Julie Calley’s plan to simplify and improve transparency in Michigan’s campaign finance laws.
Calley, of Portland, said her legislation will help people understand the campaign finance process by eliminating inconsistencies and providing precise rules, especially regarding prizes and gifts associated with fundraising.
“Our campaign finance regulations do not clearly address this practice, but it is taking place throughout the state,” Calley said. “We must update our laws to provide clarity and transparency.”
Current practice is to allow a connected organization – a trade organization, for example – to offer a gift or prize in exchange for a contribution to a separate segregated fund, such as a political action committee. Right now, that gift can be valued at up to 2.5 percent of the contribution. So, a $1,000 contribution could result in a $25 gift.
Calley’s plan would cap gifts and prizes at $5 or 10 percent of the contribution, whichever is less.
Her plan also addresses how these transactions would be declared on campaign finance reports.
“We’ve simplified the process and made it more transparent by adding the reporting requirement, which is not currently in place,” Calley said.
House Bill 4446 now advances to the Senate for consideration.