State Legislators Reach Deal On Super PAC, Donations Bill

House and Senate negotiators broke through on Tuesday night with an agreement on a campaign financing reform bill that would force super PACs this election cycle into the timely disclosure of their funding sources, adding a measure of transparency at a time when these types of campaign committees are already beginning to air ads.

The compromise bill is expected to be considered quickly by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Deval Patrick for his signature, as the formal legislative session ends Thursday.

The bill would require super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money following the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, to disclose the their funding sources no more than seven days after making an expenditure, such as a television advertisement.

That schedule accelerates to every 24 hours within 10 days of an election.

The groups would also be required to list their top five donors at the end of a television, Internet or print ad, along with a written statement directing viewers to the website of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, where voters can view a full list of contributors.

The bill would also double the maximum individual contribution limit to a candidate to $1,000, but that change would not take effect until next year after the elections.


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