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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 52

    Document Title
    Campaign Finance Reform

    General Assembly, Joint Subcommittee

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 213 (Regular Session, 2000)

    Executive Summary
    The 2000 General Assembly authorized this study by almost unanimous votes in both houses. House Joint Resolution 213 and Senate Joint Resolution 80 (Appendix A) reflect a continuing concern with campaign finance reform issues. These Resolutions point to the spiraling costs of campaigns and the need to examine Virginia's present campaign disclosure laws. The Resolutions call for an evaluation of several options: improved disclosure and enforcement, contribution limits, and expenditure limits coupled with public financing incentives.

    The 2000 General Assembly, as have most recent legislatures, considered a variety of campaign finance reform measures that ranged from bills limiting campaign contributions and expenditures to measures making adjustments in the campaign finance disclosure process. These bills are summarized in Appendix D where the list of measures passed and failed indicates that the 2000 General Assembly modified current law disclosure requirements but declined to adopt more far-reaching changes such as campaign contribution limits or proposals to have campaign finance reports audited. The legislature saw a need for further study in advance of acting on more comprehensive reform measures.

    The origins of this study predate the 2000 Session and find precedent in the early 1990s with the December 1992 Report of the Governor's Commission on Campaign Finance Reform, Government Accountability, and Ethics, "Public Service, Public Trust" (Appendix E). Recommendations of that Commission included contribution limits and audits of disclosure reports.