State Rep. Julie Calley’s plan to simplify and improve transparency in Michigan’s campaign finance laws has been signed into law.
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.
“This is a common practice that was taking place in Michigan, but it wasn’t properly addressed in our campaign finance regulations,” said Calley, who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee. “It’s important to keep our laws up to date, so people have a clear understanding of the regulations they’re expected to follow.”
Michigan’s campaign finance law will now clearly state that a connected organization – a trade organization, for example – can offer a gift or prize in exchange for a contribution to a separate segregated fund, such as a political action committee.
The previous practice of the Michigan Secretary of State was to allow gifts valued at up to 2.5 percent of the contribution. So, a $1,000 contribution could result in a $25 gift. Calley’s reforms cap gifts and prizes at $5 or 10 percent of the contribution, whichever is less.
The new law also addresses how these transactions would be declared on campaign finance reports.
“We made the process more transparent by adding the reporting requirement, which was not previously in place,” Calley said.
House Bill 4446 is now Public Act 93 of 2019.