Making Democracy Work®
Money in Politics

The methods of financing political campaigns should enable candidates to compete equitably for public office and protect from corruption and undue influence in government.

Issue Team Chair: Cindy Madigan,
 DOWNLOAD the Money in Politics Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Contact Cindy Madigan

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Overview of the 2024 Legislative Session

In 2023, we saw one bill, requested by the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to update grassroots reporting legislation, HB 1317 delivered to and signed by the governor in 2023.  

Another bill SB 5284, requested by the PDC to strengthen campaign finance disclosure laws, was moving well until amendments were added by the House committee and Senate floor. The amendments were not reconciled before the cut off, and the bill did not move forward.  One of these amendments, prohibiting foreign-influenced corporations from making contributions and expenditures in state elections, will be a separate bill in 2024. The LWVWA will support this bill. Seattle passed similar legislation in 2020 and Minnesota became the first state in the nation to pass this prohibition on 4/27/23. Read more about this in the Free Speech for People Press Release.

Wrapping up the 2024 Legislative Session

We were disappointed that most of our priority legislation did not make it through this session. There will be more work to be done over the interim as we look forward to 2025. We (the People Powered Elections Washington Coalition)* will continue to advocate for improved campaign finance disclosure, creating a public financing system for legislative elections using a statewide Democracy Voucher Program, and ending foreign-influenced corporate spending in elections to protect the basic principle of democratic self-government, and improve trust in our elections.

We did see one success: Have you ever wondered who is paying for campaign yard signs and billboards? HB 2032 requires more political yard signs to disclose the sponsor’s name and address has been delivered to the governor. 

*The People Powered Elections Washington coalition is a statewide, multi-racial, multi-generational coalition committed to building more equitable and transparent campaign financing policies so that our government is responsive, representative, and reflective of all of us.

Below are reports the Issue Chair wrote throughout the 2024 Legislative session. There will be no further reports or action alerts this year.

    2024 Money in Politics Legislation

    Priority Bills

    Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

    HB 1677/SB 5284 Campaign Finance Disclosureat request of Public Disclosure Commission. This bill updates reporting deadlines, identification of digital advertising, use of the public disclosure transparency account for technology and reporting improvements.

    HB 1755 Establishing the democracy voucher program for contributions to state legislative candidates. This bill will create a public financing system for legislative elections using a statewide Democracy Voucher Program, similar to the Seattle Democracy Voucher Program. It will provide four $25 vouchers to constituents in each LD to give to participating candidates of their choice. This will strengthen the voice of everyday people in state government by promoting broad, diverse, fair, and undistorted citizen influence and participation in electoral politics.

    HB 1885/SB 5832 Strengthening campaign finance disclosure by prohibiting campaign contributions and expenditures by foreign-influenced corporations.This bill would end foreign-influenced corporate spending in elections, protect the basic principle of democratic self-government, and improve trust in our elections. Foreign investors are already prohibited from spending money directly or indirectly to influence U.S. elections, including state and local elections. Multinational corporations with significant foreign investment currently spend unlimited corporate funds to influence our elections.

    HB 2032 Reducing the size of yard signs that are exempt from certain political advertising disclosure requirements. This bill improves transparency by requiring disclosure of the sponsor and contributor information be listed on yard signs bigger than 2 feet by 1.5 feet. Currently yard signs are exempt if they are smaller than 8 feet by 4 feet.

    Other Bills
    Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

    HB 1330 Adjusts threshold for candidate contribution certifications related to foreign nationals. In this bill, the threshold would reduce the requirement to provide a document with every contribution that certifies the entity is not financed or controlled by foreign nationals.

    How To Be Involved

    • If you are interested in a particular bill, use the links above to go to the webpage for that bill. These pages include staff summaries and reports including who testified PRO versus CON on the bill. There is also information about how to access videos of hearings that have been held. 
    • Read and take action through the LWVWA Legislative Action Newsletter, distributed each Sunday during the legislative session.
    • You may also express your opinion on legislation with the LWVWA issue chairs. We will take your perspectives under consideration as we determine our support for legislation and prepare testimony. Please direct any questions or suggestions to Cindy Madigan, Money in Politics Issue Chair.
    • Do you like numbers and digging into data? Join us! We use the excellent tools provided by the Public Disclosure Commission and provide training. Please reach out to Cindy Madigan.

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