Senate approves corporate contribution ban

AUGUSTA — A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, to ban corporate campaign contributions in state races in a vote of 24-10 on Thursday. LD 1417, “An Act Regarding Campaign Finance Reform” would ban corporations from contributing to individual legislative candidates or legislator-controlled political action committees, otherwise known as leadership PACs.

“Getting money out of our politics and our government is essential to ensuring that the Maine Legislature remains a governing body of citizens and a governing body that works for its citizens. That starts with the corporate contribution ban. It makes clear that our democracy is not for sale,” said President Jackson. “By limiting the amount of money flowing into our campaigns, working Maine people can have confidence in their government and elected officials. This move is long overdue.”

Twenty-two states have already adopted provisions of this bill into state law according to the National Conference of State Legislators, including Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Federal election laws already prohibit corporate contributions to candidates for federal office. 

“In the years since the Citizens United court decision, Maine has taken steps to strengthen campaign finance reform laws and improve transparency. We’ve passed laws to tighten the rules around Political Action Committees to ensure lawmakers aren’t profiting off PACs. We’ve put limits on when lawmakers can serve as registered lobbyists,” said Sen. Luchini. “This bill to prohibit corporate campaign contributions to political candidates is the logical next step.”

LD 1417 is supported by Maine Citizens for Clean ElectionsCampaign Legal CenterDefend Our Health the League of Women Voters, and Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN). The proposal will now go before the House of Representatives for additional votes. ###

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