During the 2009-2010 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to reform our election, ethics, and campaign finance systems:
This bill comprehensively and fundamentally updates and improves voting in Massachusetts, and if enacted, would give Massachusetts some of the strongest voting laws anywhere in the United States – fitting for the birthplace of American democracy. Provisions included in this omnibus bill include Election Day Registration, Early Voting, improvements in the absentee ballot process for members of the military, and measures to simplify the Election Day process to save millions of dollars for cities and towns.
This bill will address the problems created by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC by requiring new levels of disclosure and transparency for corporate political spending, eliminating “pay-to-playâ€ opportunities for state contractors, enshrining new protections for employees, shareholders and investors, and prohibiting foreign corporations from influencing elections in Massachusetts.
Recent “pay to play” scandals across the country have severely damaged public confidence in elected officials, leaving honest elected officials trying to do the right thing looking tainted in the process. Our current campaign finance system sets elected officials up for numerous conflict of interest problems (or even just the appearance of such) because campaigns are often funded by the exact same people who are looking for something in return – a contract, a tax break, or a piece of legislation. This bill seeks to help restore public confidence by:
- Prohibiting lobbyists from soliciting campaign contributions
- Prohibiting principals of state contractors and their immediate family from giving or soliciting contributions for statewide and legislative candidates for office.
- Changing the expenditure standard to address some of the more extravagant expenditures.
- Changing the contribution limits from per year to per election
This bill, filed at the request of Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, is a comprehensive reform of the law that governs the way that lobbyists operate. Through clarification of the definition of a lobbyist, revision of registration requirements, and inclusion of penalties, this bill strengthens those laws. To reduce some uncertainty around the law, this bill consolidates disclosure requirements into one section, adds quarterly reporting requirements and requires more specific and detailed disclosure statements. Most importantly, it increases the ability of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to revoke a lobbying license and grants enforcement authority.
This bill would prohibit legislators from holding fundraisers during budget deliberations, to ensure that legislators are not influenced by special interests when they are debating the state’s budgets, particularly earmarks that may benefit particular industries or organizations.
An Act Authorizing Cities and Towns to Send Voter Information
This would create a local option bill allowing cities and towns to send balanced information to voters in advance of local elections. It provides a clear and open process for fair arguments on both sides of the issue to be presented to the voters.
An Act Prohibiting Campaign Signs on Public Property
This bill clarifies grey areas in existing law, stating that no political sign may be placed or affixed to property that is tax-exempt, including local, state and federal property and property owned by a non-profit. The bill specifies that city or town clerks in each municipality have the authority and responsibility for enforcement.